Exhibitionists·NAIG 2017

Dancing under the stars: Behind the scenes of the stellar choreography at the Indigenous Games

Choreographer Santee Smith is empowering the next generation of dancers through the energetic and thoughtful work of Kaha:wi Dance Theatre.

Choreographer Santee Smith is empowering the next generation of dancers through Kaha:wi Dance Theatre

Dancing under the stars: behind the scenes of the stellar choreography at the Indigenous Games

4 years ago
3:09
CBC Arts goes behind the scenes of the stellar choreography at the heart of NAIG's opening ceremony. 3:09

If you caught the Opening Ceremony of the North American Indigenous Games last week, you saw a group of dancers using bows and arrows, hoops and some serious footwork to launch the athletes into a week of competition.

The company behind the performance is Kaha:wi Dance Theatre, an energetic and thoughtful troupe creating performances that wind meaning together with intricate choreography. In this video, Kaha:wi founding artistic director Tekaronhiáhkhwa Santee Smith takes CBC Arts behind the scenes during the process to explain some of the intention behind the dance moves. Her rehearsal is full of a ton of positive spirit that feels like a fitting start to the annual Games.

(CBC Arts)

Next, Smith is moving on to her creation for the Living Ritual: International Indigenous Performing Arts Festival taking place in Tkaronto (Toronto) at Harbourfront Centre's Fleck Dance Theatre from July 25-27 — you can get tickets here. You can keep an eye on what Smith is up to next here. (We consider ourselves lucky that we caught her on a rare three-minute break.)

Watch Exhibitionists on Friday nights at 12:30am (1am NT) and Sundays at 3:30pm (4pm NT) on CBC Television.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jess Hayes is a video producer and a partner at Hex Productions.

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