Telling the dark story of Canada's residential schools through ballet

Going Home Star, an original ballet based on a story by Joseph Boyden (The Orenda), tells the difficult story of Canada's residential schools through dance.

A new doc about the making of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet production airs June 19 on CBC Television

A scene from Going Home Star, a production about reconciliation and Canada's indigenous peoples from the Royal Winnipeg Ballet. (Royal Winnipeg Ballet)

The story of Canada's residential school system and its traumatic consequences is one of the darkest and most troubling truths about our history, but in 2013 the Royal Winnipeg Ballet suggested an unlikely — but powerful — way for the country to learn and heal from decades of pain.

Going Home Star is the name of their critically acclaimed original ballet, based on a story by The Orenda novelist Joseph Boyden and featuring music from Tanya Tagaq. The moving piece was commissioned with the support of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and the RWB brought the performance to 12 Canadian cities on tour during the spring.

On Sunday, June 19, a one-hour CBC Arts documentary called Truth, Dance & Reconciliation will reveal how this production came to life, with interviews from the show's diverse team of collaborators: Boyden and Tagaq, choreographer Mark Godden, associate producer Tina Keeper and more.

Beyond the doc, CBC has a variety of articles and interviews with the creative team who brought Going Home Star to the stage. Learn more about the ballet with these past reports from around the network:

Watch Truth, Dance & Reconciliation on CBC Television Sunday, June 19 at 2 p.m. (2:30 NT).