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

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

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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