Red on RedVisible Bodies Collective
This performance will be available to watch on demand anytime between noon on Monday June 21 and midnight on Saturday June 26. This show is offered for free, but we encourage you, if you are able, to make a donation in lieu of a ticket to the Support Network for Indigenous Women and Women of Colour (SNIWWOC). Donate here.
What happens when four Indigenous women come together in a dance studio? Exploring social justice through arts practice, a collective of Indigenous artists co-created a shared vision healing violence through dance, performance and storytelling. Red on Red combines movement and text, and embodies the in-between space of life and death and advocates for the ones gone and lost.
Visible Bodies Collective, founded by Lindsay Delaronde (Kanienkehaka) and co-founders Cheryl Henhawke (Kanienkehaha, Seneca), Elowynn Rose (Metis), Nicole Mandryk (Annishaabe, Ukranian), is a newly formed Indigenous, inter-generational dancetheatre group who come from many nations, and places across Turtle Island. They have previously performed Red on Red as part of Dance Victoria’s Rough Cuts Series, and are in residence at Dance Victoria.
There are two videos of this show. One video has captions, one video has captions and ASL interpreting.
Choreographer: Visible Bodies Collective
Director & Dramaturge: Jo Leslie
Performers: Lindsay Delaronde, Cheryl Henhawke, Nicole Mandaryk, Elowynn Rose
Welcome: Guy Louie Jr
ASL interpreter: Seraphine Acosta-Charleson
About the artists
Cheryl Henhawk was born in South Western Ontario with Welsh/German and Seneca, Kaniekehaka ancestral roots. Her art work has always been deeply rooted in the knowledge of First Nations wisdom and ways of being. A Haundensaunee artist and mother, her life- long creative processes have allowed her to find understanding to personal and historical impacts of colonization.
1987 -91 she attended at OCA in Toronto and, on Vancouver Island, she graduated from UVIC in 2007 with a BA in Fine Arts. Driven in concept, Henhawke’s work has taken many forms over the years, from poetry to fashion modelling and painting, layout, illustration & logo design, assemblage installation & sculpture, organic material and wire weaving, wood & stone carving, leather crafts, sewing, digital photography. Recently her work has evolved into live performance, contemporary dance and collaborations with Indigenous productions. Cheryl was on Scholarship with Raino Dance Studio – Summer 2017 and 18, training in contemporary dance with Kathy Lang, who she continues to study with at Seda Studio, Victoria.
Gestured in abstract expression her life has uniquely unfolded in a conceptual theme she has come to identify as Wound Bear. This serendipitous journey has profoundly guided her artistic journey to express and explore personal, social and political belief systems. Bearing witness to truths that ultimately have reconciled her faith in transformations. A reflection of what Bear does with its wounds into dancing Bare.
Cheryl’s earliest inspirations include her father, Mohawk artist Hilton Henhawke and early nineteenth century Mohawk Poet Pauline Johnson. A century apart, both artists were born on the Six Nations Oshweken reserve in S.W. Ontario and have processed in their lifework, the Colonial impact specific to Iroquois & Woodland territories.
My name is Lindsay Katsitsakatste Delaronde, I am a Kanienke’haka woman from Kahnawake. For the past 13 years I have been a grateful, active and contributing guest on Lekwungen territory, Victoria, BC. I hold a Masters degree in Fine Arts and a Master of Arts in the Indigenous Communities Counseling Psychology Program from the University of Victoria. I held the position as the first Indigenous artist in Residence from 2017-2019 and currently the Indigenous Resurgence Coordinator for the Fine Arts Department at UVIC.
My artistic practice focuses on Indigenous theatre, land-based/site-specific performance art, collaborative practice, cultural resurgence and social/political activism through the arts. My artistic media include photography, performance/theatre, movement/dance and visual studio arts.
My journey as an artist over the past two years has focused on collaborative practice and collaborative performances that reflect on reconciliation as a participatory action that involves bearing Witness and observation that puts discussions of perspectives and values into action. I have sought to take a critical stand regarding how art contributes to reconciliation. I have explored reconciliation through working with non- Indigenous and Indigenous groups of people to co-create artworks that symbolized unity, integration and respect. During my Indigenous artist in residence for the city of Victoria, I created 18 diverse collaborative projects and have contributed to the larger discourse regarding decolonization in the arts, reconciliation and Indigenous art practice and protocols.
Nicole Mandryk is an Anishinaabe, Irish and Ukrainian woman living on the traditional territory of the Lekwungen, Esquimalt, and WSANEC nations. She is a grateful guest on these territories and raises her hands to the caretakers of the land and waters.
Nicole finished her Bachelors of Psychology with a minor in Indigenous studies at the University of Victoria. During this time she joined, Standing Nation, an urban drum group that sang traditional Anishinaabe pow wow songs at varying events around Victoria. Nicole developed her love for cultural singing and dancing in her time at Uvic and carried these songs forward through urban drum group A.N.S.W.E.R. Answer is an all Indigenous woman’s drum group which stands for All Nations Strong Woman for Education and Resurgence. The groups mandate is to speak to political issues happening in Indigenous communities through cultural songs and dances. Whilst in A.N.S.W.E.R, Nicole was introduced to Indigenous theatre through “Pendulum”, an all Indigenous showcase. Here Nicole began learning how to bring cultural expression and storytelling to a mainstream stage. She continues too be inspired by performative arts and is currently a cast member in the third showcase, “ Vision Quest”, UNO Fest and continues expressing herself within visual arts through traditional beadwork.
Elowynn Rose has lived and gratefully practiced her art on Lekwungen Territories for over 10 years. She is a multi-disciplinary, Metis performance artist and creator, whose creative process is grounded in storytelling. She often brings abstract experiences into a visual woven medicine of varying elements, spanning dance, movement, clown and spoken word.
She has worked with a wide range of Victoria arts organizations in various capacities, including the Belfry Theatre (Learning Exchange Residency 2019), Intrepid Theatre (Fringe Indigenous Artist Program and Artist Residency 2020-21), Art Gallery of Greater Victoria (Critical thinking strategies through art facilitation, 2018) and Dance Victoria (Artist in Residence program 2020).
As a creator, currently she is directing her passion and activism toward developing her first full length solo show, “Finding Home”, which will premiere at the Victoria Fringe Festival 2021. This personal story of reclamation is about her experience as a sixties scoop survivor and finding her own voice as a woman and a Métis artist.
ASL interpretation is provided with the support of an Accessibility Project Grant from Disability Alliance BC.