While I was away in Toronto I had the unique opportunity to be part of a historical story that was displayed before me. It was dance theatre. I had never been to one. I was excited because I knew one of the performers, so I couldn’t wait to see it live. I love live theatre. It’s a breathtaking event that is played out right in front of you. The thing I love about live theatre is how it is able to connect you emotionally. It’s like being struck by lightning ( metaphorically speaking!) and having the ability of holding back tears being ripped away from you. And you are left with pure emotions. So vulnerable and raw. It’s so beautiful.
The play was titled, “The Honouring” and it was about the war of 1812. It portrayed the struggles of the families of the First Nations warriors who fought and died in that war. The musical score for the performance was haunting and epic. You could feel yourself being pulled in by it because you’re immersed in the sound of it because you hear it all around you. It was fantastic! It was magical! But also so heartfelt. The performers did their jobs awfully well. They made you believe you were there, witnessing the experience of what it was or might have been like. Now’s that’s theatre. That is performance at its best.
The majority of the performers were First Nations actors who had performed before. They were either in the first premier of the Honouring in 2013 in Toronto, or they had just joined in 2014. When I spoke to the person who I knew about the training and the dance choreography, he told me that it was hard. But he also said that it was worth it. And it showed in his performance. He knew every move, every step. And when I saw him out there dancing and performing, he convinced me that he was a warrior of 1812. I saw it in his face, his movements, his steps, and his dance. I couldn’t believe it. But I felt it. I was totally awestruck. And maybe because I was partial to the story, but I think you can be awestruck even if you weren’t. There were words in the story and made people perks their ears up to listen. It told of a tale of long ago but a story that is still relevant today. It told us how one day animals would be deformed, and the waters would run contaminated. And so it is. We see it all around us. We hear stories about the crisis of our home, the world we know as home. Our Mother Earth. The Honouring played in Fort York in Toronto and in Niagara, New York and is set to play in P.E.I this July 12 weekend. It will be the last date to play this year. But don’t worry, if you haven’t seen it yet I am sure they will return again next summer.