Members of Answer, an all-female drumming group, rehearse for this weekend’s production of Pendulum: An Indigenous Showcase, running Feb. 23 and 24 at the Belfry Theatre. Michelle Munki photo

‘Pendulum’ swings Indigenous arts onto the Belfry Theatre stage

From contemporary to traditional, ‘it’s a magic show’ says Indigenous Artist in Residence

Pendulum: a weight suspended from a pivot so that it may swing freely.

For the City of Victoria’s Indigenous Artist in Residence, Lindsay Delaronde, the concept also represents a starting point. On Friday (Feb. 23), the Iroquois Mohawk woman will open Pendulum: An Indigenous Showcase, at the Belfry Theatre – the first of its kind in the city.

“It’s a magic show,” Delaronde says. “Each piece weaves something very special. You cannot think your way through, you have to sit and experience and feel.”

Pendulum brings together 40 local Indigenous people from all territories for a performance that swings from the contemporary to the traditional. It brings new life into the context of theatre and decolonizes the art form, which Indigenous peoples are so often left out of, Delaronde notes.

In January, her Artist in Residence position was extended for a second year, despite some criticisms voiced by city councillors.

“People need to meet us where we’re at, instead of doing this in a western context,” she says, explaining how theatre has long perpetuated colonialism.

RELATED: Merits of performance art debated on review of Victoria’s Indigenous Artist in Residence position

“We need to be visible, especially in the arts – that’s where we carry a lot of our knowledge,” she adds. Delaronde credits the Belfry as an engaged partner interested in recognizing colonial damage and not creating spaces out of guilt.

“This sense of Pendulum is about transformation and unity and decolonizing spaces.”

Dance, spoken word, storytelling, the power of the drum – it will all be there when the show takes centre stage. Ohen:ton Kariwentehkhwa will present an Iroquois giving of thanks followed by Breath in the Land, a local acknowledgement of welcome and holding of space.

ANSWER, an all-female drum group, will perform as well as Rage Flowers, a contemporary duet exploring decolonizing of the body through rage. Ahousat, a Bear Song composed by Guy Louis Jr., will be performed by members of the Nuuchanulth community.

Delaronde considers her role as that of a mediator, preparing artists who have not been performers in the technical western sense, but who “have been singing and dancing since they were babies.”

This is about developing ongoing relationships for Indigenous people in Victoria’s arts community, she explains, noting they are often asked to be part of events, but never before have they been the event.

It really is important in Victoria to push into the mainstream and have shows like these annually, she adds.

“We have a lot of beauty, we have a lot of story that is relatable. It’s about relating to people and breaking stereotypes.”

Pendulum will stage three performances Feb. 23 and 24 at the Belfry Theatre (1291 Gladstone Ave.). Tickets are available through the Belfry box office, by calling 250-385-6815 or visiting Belfry.bc.ca.

Watch Lindsay tell you in her own words about Pendulum: An Indigenous Showcase below:

kristyn.anthony@vicnews.com

Just Posted

Police seek potential victims of bad ‘nanny’

Saanich Police seek potential victims of Johnathon Lee Robichaud from Central Saanich

Oak Bay firefighters help fund new Monterey playground

Sausage Fest cash handed over to Monterey PAC

Needles found at Goldstream campground in Langford

West Shore RCMP respond to several calls for service associated with homeless campers

Alcohol and drugs ruled out in serious crash that closed Sooke Rd last week

All three drivers taken to hospital have since been released

Neighbours fear impact of tent city residents on Goldstream Provincial Park

Langford residents opposed to campers voice concerns at campground gate

5 things to do this weekend in and around Greater Victoria

Sooke Apple Fest returns, Saanich lights up with lantern festival and anarchists unite for downtown book fair

B.C. premier apologizes for removal of 1950s totem pole at Canada-U.S. border

First Nations say pole was raised at Peace Arch but removed to make way for tourism centre

Tornado touches down in Ottawa and Gatineau, Que.

Environment Canada says cars and homes have been damaged by severe thunderstorms and high wind gusts

An unexpected sight: Bear spotted eating another bear in central B.C.

Cheslatta Carrier Nation Chief finds bear eating another bear’s carcass

RCMP confirm death of missing BC teen Jessica Patrick

No details on cause were given. Case is under criminal investigation and police are asking for tips.

CUTENESS OVERLOAD: 2 sea otters hold hands at the Vancouver Aquarium

Holding hands is a common – and adorable – way for otters to stay safe in the water

B.C. teen with autism a talented guitarist

Farley Mifsud is gaining fans with every performance

Most Read