Round up of 2017

It’s that time of year when one reflects on the good and the not so good.  What one would like to see more of and not.  What seemed significant about the year.  As I look back over my writings for the last twelve months one clear theme stands out, Reconciliation.  There was the COC’s very thoughtful and thought provoking remount of Somers’ Louis Riel in April and all the fascinating events that went on around that.  There were attempts by the TSO to incorporate Indigenous themes; the Tanya Tagaq concert in March and Adizokan with Red Sky in October.  Neither of these quite came off but the intent was good.  Then there was a really fine recital of works by Indigenous composers by Marion Newman at the beginning of the year.  Then, of course, the Clemence/Current piece Missing, about murdered and missing Indigenous women, which premiered in British Columbia and which I haven’t seen yet but really, really want to.  2017 was also the year when Land Acknowledgements went mainstream in the Toronto arts world.  I guess there’s some tokenism here but there does seem to be far more engagement with Reconciliation in the arts world than in, say, the political mainstream which is unfortunate because opera isn’t going to produce clean drinking water.  We have to start somewhere I guess.

a dance to the music of time

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Adizokan

Adizokan is a collaboration between indigenous production company Red Sky and the TSO.  The program last night kicked off with a “sesquie”.  This time it was Blood Echo by Carmen Braden.  It was about as memorable as most of the sesquies have been.  This was followed by Fara Palmer singing her own composition My Roots about the residential school system and cultural survival.  It’s in a pop idiom with native drumming and while musically it’s not my thing it had to be there.

Adizokan_TSO 2 (@Jag Gundu)

 

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