By Invitation Only: Dance, Confederation and Reconciliation exhibit

Added 25th Jun 2021 by Amy Bowring / Last update 25th Jun 2021

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By Invitation Only: Dance, Confederation and Reconciliation exhibit didactic panels
Curators: Amy Bowring, Troy Emery Twigg
Design: Michael Ripley
Beaded flowers: Barry Ace
Embroidered flowers: Amy Bowring
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DANCE COLLECTION DANSE PRESENTS BY INVITATION ONLY Dance , Confederation and Reconciliation G CO - CURATORS ' MESSAGE I W first read about the diary of Mercy Coles in an issue of Canada's History magazine and was immediately intrigued by the idea that social dance had played a role in the Confederation conferences of 1864. The story of Confederation was hammered into my genera tion during our grade 8 education but women and dance were never mentioned as having had any role in those nation - building confer ences – we only learned about “ the Fathers ” . I firmly believe that dance plays a much deeper political role in our lives than is often perceived and Coles's diary was yet another example that proved that theory . Dance and women were tools that were needed by the delegates to do their political work and yet this story is distinctly absent from the traditional narratives surrounding Confederation . Another dance story that is infrequently told is how Confederation led to the ban of Indigenous dance in the 1880s . Dance was so important to Indigenous society that banning it was deemed necessary to achieve political goals . This story needed to be told but I didn't feel it was mine to convey . I called on my friend and colleague Troy Emery Twigg to collaborate with me on telling these important dance stories . ' hen I was first contacted by my friend Amy Bowring and in vited to participate as co - curator for this exciting project I was thrilled , but unfamiliar with the culture or practice of curating an exhibit . I knew I would be in great hands as I had been to a couple of Amy's shows in the past while I was living in Toronto . I ap preciated going on this journey with her and Dance Collection Danse and with the support of the elders , artists , families of artists , the mu seums and institutions that assisted this work / story . I was immedi ately attracted to themes and roles of women and began to investi gate and bring forth my knowledge of Indigenous women of this land before confederation , colonization and the resilience and survival of these practices today and within contemporary work . I began with my Kainai nation as a departure point . I also felt , as Canada celebrates its 150 existence , the importance to address the true history of this land from various perspectives and in particular the banning of sacred cer emonial song and dances crucial to the survival of nations . I am truly grateful and immensely addicted to this new ( for me ) form of story telling . I read a quote that I felt very connected to from this process by Megan Tamati - Quennell from Shape Shifters Time Travelers : N Amy Bowring " As a curator I believe it is your role to unlock ideas , open up discus sions , create dialogue , and facilitate change . ” - Kaataamatsiin N Troy Emery Twigg DANCE COLLECTION DANSE