Monday May 22, 2017

'Audiences don't need another history lesson': telling Indigenous stories through dance

Michael Greyeyes with Ali Hassan in the q studios in Toronto, Ont.

Michael Greyeyes with Ali Hassan in the q studios in Toronto, Ont. (Melody Lau/CBC)

Listen 17:11

Michael Greyeyes doesn't want people to just think about the weight of the history Canada has with Indigenous people — he wants you to feel it.  

Greyeyes is an award-winning Plains Cree choreographer, director and actor, and he has created a dance-opera called Bearing, which premieres at Toronto's Luminato Festival next month. The aim here, according to Greyeyes, was "to dramatize, to manifest our personal experiences in a way that audiences might be able to ingest or absorb in a way that's different from when we watch the news, or when we look at a documentary, or a history book."

"Audiences don't need another history lesson," he continues. "It's necessary for people to understand this on a visceral level, and on a physical level."

Bearing premieres on June 22 at Toronto's Luminato Festival. For more information about performances, head over to Luminato's website

— Produced by Elaine Chau