How Brian Solomon's contemporary Indigenous dance connects his past to his future
Solomon wants us think more consciously about the way in which our bodies connect us to the earth
Brian Solomon is dancing as part of the new CBC Arts series The Move, where six dancers invite you into their routines, providing a deeper understanding of the movements that hold personal significance for them. Watch all episodes of The Move right here.
How would you walk on your mother if you had to?
In this video, contemporary Indigenous dancer Brian Solomon leads us through a meditation to think more consciously about the way in which our bodies connect us to the earth. By focusing on our feet and how they respond to the ground beneath them, he teaches us a softer way to walk, dance and be in the world.
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It's something he learned from Margaret Grenier, a choreographer of Gitksan and Cree ancestry. She says: "We should walk on the ground as though we are walking on our mothers."
Brian grew up in two worlds. His father immersed him in hunting, fishing and the occasional pow wow, while his Irish mother introduced him to jig and square dancing. Raised in Shebahonaning — a small First Nations community colonially known as Killarney, Ont. — he grew up without internet, cable television or much outside influence. This upbringing rooted him in an organic style of dance that careens between synergy and conflict, constantly pushing him to dive deeper into his own artistry.
He quotes the legendary words of Louis Riel: "My people will sleep for 100 years, but when they awake, it will be the artists who give them their spirit back."
Brian is a living reminder that we should never forget where we come from. He's classically trained in numerous dance styles but credits the "kickass hunters" and the wisdom of "women who raised 13 kids" in his community for being his true teachers.
"In my mixed blood community, there is a way that we lived that doesn't happen here in the city, and that could be valuable."
Watch all the episodes of The Move right here.