Rainforest - 1987 - mistakes on the way to cross-cultural collaboration

Added 19th Mar 2022 by Karen Jamieson / Last update 19th Mar 2022

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Rainforest - 1987 - mistakes on the way to cross-cultural collaboration

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In 1987, Karen Jamieson Dance created Rainforest, a work that explored the West Coast of Canada as social milieu, physical environment, subject, and inspiration. Unfortunately, choices made in the work's creation and a lack of attention to permissions and attribution led to criticisms of the work, and a growing awareness of steps that needed to be taken to avoid culturally appropriating while exploring and drawing inspiration from First Nations traditional knowledge and ideas.
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Karen Jamieson Archives
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THE VANCOUVER SUN , WEDNESDAY , APRIL 29 , 1987 Three premieres on dance program - Collaboration is the buzz word on the Vancou- miere at the Arcadian Hall on Main Street , May ver dance front this month . 5-9 and May 12-16 . For the first time since contemporary chore- Jamieson , a Vancouverite by birth ( " My ographer Anna Wyman established her dance grandfather homesteaded here " ) , said in an in ' theatre here in 1971 , the company will be danc- terview this week that Rainforest is an attempt ing works by someone other than its artistic to find the underlying connections between the director this week . native and non - native cultures and to make a When the company ( recently returned from distinctively west coast kind of dancework . its second trip to India ) opens its three - night It uses masks , seven mirrored and tree - like home season at the Vancouver Playhouse on moving sculptures , and deals with a variety of Thursday , there will be three premieres on the ideas including those of initiation and transfor program The Stand by Wyman , Three Vi . mation - themes common to both the Hamatsa sions and a Hymn by Ballet B.C.'s associate ar- dance ceremony of the Kwakiutl and a Euro tistic director Reid Anderson , and Everyday a pean ballet like Giselle . Sunday by Tsutomu Ben Iida of the CH - Tanz " I kind of ransacked the archives of both Theatre ( Swiss Dance Theatre ) . sides , " Jamieson said . Wyman has not only brought together a cho- Jamieson , who is known for the boldly physi reographer from the ballet discipline and one cal , elemental and sometimes monumental from the European stream of contemporary quality of her choreography , believes the move dance but has also involved a visual artist - ment language she has developed over the West Vancouver's Sylvia Tait - in creating years has been influenced by the social and costumes for her own new piece . physical environment where she lives . Tickets are $ 15.50 ( $ 11.50 students / seniors ) " Any artist who pays attention to the en and are on sale at VTC and CBO outlets . vironment has to forge an appropriate lan Downtown at the Karen Jamieson Dance guage to articulate that , ” she said . Company , a collaboration among dancer - cho- " This piece is a decision to embrace and cele reographer Jamieson , musicians Bruce Rud- brate that extraordinary indigenous culture dell and Salvador Ferreras , writer David Pe- that imbues everything here , and to recognize it terson , sculptor Larry Cohen , costume designer as a source of power . Susan Berganzi and the seven - member com- Tickets for Rainforest at the Arcadian Hall pany has produced an evening - length work are $ 8 ( $ 7 students / seniors ) . Call 872-5658 for called Rainforest . reservations . The multi - media creation will receive its pre Susan Mertens - THE STAND : Trevor Schalk and Desiree Zurowski from Anna Wyman Theatre