James Gnam. Foto: David Cooper
Simone Orlando. Foto: David Cooper


Compaigni V'ni Dansi


Dates and Venue 1-4 April 2009 @ 8pm | Firehall Arts Centre

Reviewer Ed Farolan

Stories from St. Laurent is an exploration of the rich culture of the Métis people through the language of dance. It connects contemporary, personal experiences with the history of the Métis and their kinship to life, love and land. Incorporating movement and text with video and soundscape,Yvonne Chartrand choreographed and danced to the stories her father shared with her all his life.

We would listen to actual narrations of her father who would talk about something he saw in the forest, "five feet long" but didn't know what it was. Chartrand would dance to this narration as though she were that five foot long creature to the sound of drums and Metis music (with violins, the French influence, I gather) by Metis multi-award winning musician and composer, Sandy Scofield.

Chartrand would then dress in a white, flowing traditional Metis costume, again with French Christian influence, and dance to the memories of her forefathers, as we see their pictures flashed in the background excellently delivered by photographer/projection designer Tim Matheson.

This was an excellent 45-minute dance presentation directed by Marie Clements, and I'm glad Firehall's mission under the leadership of Artistic Producer Donna Spencer is to enhance multiculturalism in Vancouver with such shows as this one as well as other shows by various multicultural groups in town.

© 2009 Ed Farolan