LARA KRAMER’S MIIJIN KI, A NEW WORK-IN-PROGRESS
Conceived, scenography and created by Lara Kramer
Created and performed in collaboration with Aria Evans, Ana Claudette Groppler, Patti Shaughnessy and Brian Solomon
Field recordings by Aria Evans, Ana Claudette Groppler and Lara Kramer
Fashion developed by Aria Evans, Ana Claudette Groppler, Lara Kramer, Patti Shaughnessy and Brian Solomon
Sound mixing by Lara Kramer
Lighting Design Oz Weaver
Miijin Ki was presented as a work-in-progress in January 2019, and it will be brought to completion during the 2019-2020 season.
Lara Kramer would like to thank the supply of manooin (wild rice) from James Whetung of Oshkiigimong aka Curve Lake First Nation #35.
Wild rice has always been regarded as a sacred gift to the anishnaabe. In the migration story the anishnaabe traveled till they found manooin growing in the water and this is how they knew where their homeland was.
Laying with my heart, speaking from our heart. Lara Kramer along with her collaborators create non-violent tensions in their presence, their existence. Dreaming, sleeping, laughing, birthing, dying, eating on the land. In Ojibwa language Miijin Ki is interpreted as Eating Land. Kramer proposes the title for its multidimensional meanings, complex realities and as a metaphor for the interconnectedness of all things in the modern and natural world.
We witness four bodies navigating colonial values of ownership of land, relationship to materials and decay as well as strong bodies connected to the essence in nature. A woman twirls endlessly cashing her trails of pleasure, while another rebuilds beauty among the fall and collapse of her storm. An original soundtrack is created from layers of field recordings and live dialogue, voice and textures. A man and a women sit together in their spontaneity cackle, sounds of rocks hitting ice, water gushing, muffled voices, plastic manipulated, a child’s voice describing winches blood, a woman askes of night swimming. All vivid sounds, textures, melodies and conversations are a part of the collective experience. They are dreaming, imagining and birthing new life. Showing joy, love and strength that become the counter narrative to the pan victim Indian. Miigin Ki shares the vibrancy of our bodies, our spirit. And the beauty of our being. It shifts and reworks, what is extracted, digested and transformed on territory.
I am living and working across Turtle Island. Our ancestors land for tens of thousands of years. Land that was stolen, land that will always be Indian land. I want to offer a territorial land acknowledgment to what is currently referred to as Toronto in a country that is currently referred as Canada as a gesture of respect to nations past, nations present and nations future who have cared for and continue to fight for the land and water. - Lara Kramer
ABOUT LARA KRAMER
Lara Kramer is of mixed Oji-Cree and settler heritage, and a choreographer and performer whose work is intimately linked to her memory and Aboriginal roots. She received her BFA in Contemporary Dance at Concordia University, Montreal (2008). Working with strong visuals and narrative, her work pushes the strength and fragility of the human spirit. Lara’s work is political and potent, often examining political issues surrounding Canada and First Nations Peoples. She has been recognized as a Human Rights Advocate through the Montreal Holocaust Memorial Centre.
Said The Globe and Mail, “Kramer is an aboriginal choreographer, but her works have universal resonance… [she] is a talent to watch. She wears her heart on her sleeve, which translates into dance theatre that is as vulnerable as it is emotional.”
Lara’s works have included NGS (Native Girl Syndrome) (2013) which was met with critical acclaim across the country; her solo work Tame (2015) which she showed in its very nascent stage at Native Earth’s 2015 Weesageechak Begins to Dance Annual Festival of Indigenous Works and at Dancemakers’ Flowchart; and Windigo which was performed at Festival TransAmériques, Montréal in May 2018.
Image: Aria Evans & Brian Solomon Photo: Omer Yukseker