Experience Metis culture and dance this Saturday

Yvonne Chartrand as Sara Riel. Edward Poitras photo.

Yvonne Chartrand as Sara Riel. Edward Poitras photo.

Experience Metis culture this Saturday with an evening at the Roundhouse that recognizes Metis leader Louis Riel.

On Nov. 15, Vancouver dance company Compaigni V’ni Dansi presents Sara Riel: The Long Journey. It’s a contemporary dance piece set inside of a visual installation, and explores the life of Sara Riel, sister to Louis Riel, who was hung for treason in Regina, Saskatchewan, on Nov. 16. 1885.

The new work is by dancer/performance artist Robin Poitras and visual artist Edward Poitras and features Yvonne Chartrand in the title role. According to the Compaigni V’ni Dansi website, Sara riel: The Long Journey was “inspired by stories of Sara Riel” and is the result of an on-going mentorship of Yvonne Chartrand by Robin Poitras. “In 2011, Yvonne commissioned Robin to create a solo work for her, which then began developing into Sara Riel: The Long Journey. The evolution of this work is a collaborative creation by Edward Poitras and Robin Poitras for Yvonne. Robin’s research for the project was informed by the writer and poet Tim Lilburn.”

Chartrand is also the co-leader (with Madelaine McCallum) of the Louis Riel Métis Dancers, who are also performing this evening. The Dancers will perform traditional Metis dancing, or “jigging,” and will be accompanied by the fiddle-and-keyboard music of Shaganappi (according to Wikipedia, “Shaganappi” is a Cree word for rawhide thong or lacing).

Madelaine McCallum and Yvonne Chartrand at the 3rd Annual Louis Riel Day Celebration 2008. Chris Randle photo.

Madelaine McCallum and Yvonne Chartrand at the 3rd Annual Louis Riel Day Celebration 2008. Chris Randle photo.

Award-winning filmmaker, writer and teacher, Greg Coyes will host the evening, which begins at 7:30 p.m. at the Roundhouse (181 Roundhouse Mews) at Davie and Pacific.

Ticketsa re $15 for adults and $10 for seniors and students. Visit vnidansi.brownpapertickets.com for tickets.

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