By: Santee Smith, Artistic Director of Kaha:wi Dance Theatre
In March 2016, Kaha:wi Dance Theatre’s Artistic Director Santee Smith and a main collaborator and composer of Re-quickening, Cris Derksen travelled to Mexico City to work with musician and healer Humberto Álvarez, who specializes in Indigenous Mexican instrumentation and vibration healing techniques. Working internationally requires keeping up with busy artistic schedules, Santee and Cris had meetings in Toronto, Brisbane (AU) and Mexico (communication with Humberto included Skype and emails too).
Check out a glimpse into their journey in Mexico City:
Rehearsals for Re-Quickening took place in the Roma area of Mexico City, in wonderful mix of cosmopolitan and bohemian surroundings. The recording studio Toy Factory was in the nearby Condesa district another artistic and vibrant area. Following a whirlwind of rehearsals and recording Cris flew out to attend Canada’s JUNO Awards, being nominated in the Instrumental category with her album “Orchestral Powwow”. Polaris Prize-winning and this year’s JUNO winner Buffy Sainte-Marie for “Power In the Blood” also features Cris on cello. Santee returned to Six Nations to delve forward into final creation for Re-Quickening.
Re-Quickening music like the concepts and theme of the performance shifts between states and worlds light and dark from a bizarre tea party to enlivened seeding. The score is interwoven with live text and singing with song written by Santee and her daughter Semiah Kaha:wi Smith.
Re-quickening, produced by Kaha:wi Dance Theatre and part of Harbourfront Centre’s NextSteps series, opens April 28 at the Fleck Dance Theatre and runs until May 1. Tickets are available at Harbourfront Centre’s Box Office.
Photo Credit: Tony Nyberg