Saturday, 02 October 2010 02:55

Tribe - Performance Workshop Review

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Tribe of One - Performance Workshops Tribe of One - Performance Workshops Alex Dennonville
• Tue, Sep 28, 2010

Blending music, spoken word poetry, dance and visual art, performing group Tribe of One took JBT and PWK students on a multicultural, inspiring journey to find answers to some of life's big questions.

"I think there are just so many things in the world that bring us together," said Rik Leaf, guitarist, singer and poet of the group. In the first half of the show Leaf encouraged students to find what they loved and to work hard at it.

The show, an eclectic blend of different cultures and art forms, hoped to strengthen those similarities in the face of "parties that are happy to highlight the differences between us."

The group lives the message as much as they preach it. Leaf, originally from Manitoba, played on stage alongside Marie-Josee Dandeneau, a Métis woman who joined the group in 2005.

Switching between instruments including acoustic guitar, upright bass, pow-wow drums and even a didgeridoo, the duo laid the foundation for the incredible dance skills of Buffy Handel, one of Canada's top Aboriginal dancers. At one point Handel broke into a Brazilian Capoeira, a form of dance combined with martial arts, leaving students in awe.

During the performance, award-winning visual artist Tina Newlove completed a painting from start to finish.

It seemed an organic performance, with each artist feeding off each other's energy. Leaf commented on what it was like watching Newlove being moved by his music, which inspired him even more.

"We're drawn together by our voices," he said, hoping to highlight how people of different backgrounds can come together with a message of oneness. "There's this idea that your success comes at my expense. It's completely untrue."

At one point Leaf broke into a slam poem called "What if?" asking students what it would be like if they questioned some of the fundamental understandings of our culture.

The entire performance was a hit with students, who showered the group with applause at the end of the show. Handel's dancing was received with wonder while the music got hands clapping and feet tapping.

Some students left energized by the tempo of the performance and others may have left with the broader message that despite all of our apparent differences we really are a tribe of one.

The troupe is on a three-week tour of the Northwest Territories. After Friday's performance they head off to Hay River, then to Yellowknife.

Last modified on Monday, 04 October 2010 20:42
Tina Newlove

Tina Newlove

i love what i do


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