For 20 years, this Toronto-based company directed by Sandra Laronde has been the bold proponent of a living and contemporary art form steeped in the cultures and visions of Indigenous peoples from around the world. Inspired by the chain of mountain ranges stretching from the Rockies to the Andes, and known as the “spine of the Americas”, Backbone conveys an electrical and physical connection to the land. The powerful, compelling musical score enwraps the performers’ bodies; percussion, throat singing and layers of sound interweave to create a rhythmic backdrop. In highly physical, almost acrobatic solos, duets, and ensembles, the dancers—hailing from Canada, New Zealand and Mongolia—interpret nature’s spine and landscapes, and embody mapping and cartography. A veritable seismic tremor, Backbone pulsates to a visceral and universal momentum that is irresistibly hypnotic and spellbinding.
Red Sky Performance
Director - Sandra Laronde
Choreographers - Jera Wolfe, Sandra Laronde, Ageer
Sandra Laronde is of the Teme-Augama Anishinaabe (People of the Deep Water) and an award-winning arts innovator and cultural leader in Canada. Her mission in life is to reveal the hope, promise, and vibrancy of Indigenous peoples through the expression and dissemination of First Nations, Metis, and Inuit artistry. As an arts leader, Sandra creates, choreographs, produces, directs, and disseminates world-renowned Canadian works of artistic...Read more about Sandra Laronde
As an Associate Artist, Jera Wolfe is a Choreographer and Dancer with Red Sky Performance. He is of Metis heritage. His choreographic works have included Red Sky’s Backbone presented by Canadian Stage and then toured to Europe, Miigis which has been featured at the Venice Biennale and Trace which was performed at Canadian Stage. His upcoming choreographic works will be presented by Canada’s National Ballet School and the...Read more about Jera Wolfe
Ageer is a guest artist with Red Sky Performance from Inner Mongolia. He studied dance performance at the Art Institute of Inner Mongolia University from 2006 to 2008. Since 2009, he has been a principal dancer with the Hohhot Performing Arts Group in Inner Mongolia. In 2014, Ageer performed in Red Sky's Tono at the China Shanghai International Arts Festival. He was a lead performer at the Inner Mongolia New Year Gala and Inner...Read more about Ageer
Internationally renowned, Red Sky Performance is a leading company of contemporary Indigenous performance in Canada and worldwide. This multi-award winning company was founded in 2000 by Artistic Director Sandra Laronde of the Teme-Augama-Anishinaabe (People of the Deep Water). Their mandate is to create inspiring experiences of contemporary Indigenous arts and culture. Red Sky creates, produces and disseminates new creations...Read more about Red Sky Performance
Concept and Artistic Direction Sandra Laronde.
Choreography Jera Wolfe with Sandra Laronde, Ageer.
Composer and Musician Rick Sacks.
Throat-boxing Nelson Tagoona.
Costume Design Jeff Chief.
Video Designer Andy Moro.
Rehearsal Director Philippe Larouche.
Dancers Ageer, Eddie Elliott, Lonii Garnons-Williams, Samantha Halas, Lindsay Harpham, Phillipe Larouche, Julie Pham, Jera Wolfe.
Lighting Designer Steve Lucas.