Choreographed by Lori Hamar. Featuring dance artists Brandy Baybutt, Jung-ah Chung, Nicole McSkimming and composer Dave Chokroun.
|Blood Line photo by Miles Lowry|
Lori felt compelled to share her experience of Ukrainian-related history as she has been discovering it, as well as her personal experience of the powerful force behind this irrepressible culture.
Her interest was sparked by her discovery of the internment of Ukrainian Canadians during the First World War. Connected to her cultural background, she was inspired to understand more about the character and conditions of Ukrainians. During this learning process, she began to wonder if she had a choreographic response to the many layers the research uncovered. Her answer was a resounding yes!
Blood Line had its debut on Sunday, January 30, 2011 at the Metro Theatre in Victora,as a part of the LOLA Projects program during Dance Days in Victoria.
Lori’s intention is to reflect a Ukrainian experience in Canada – one that acknowledges the complexity of Canadian Ukrainians who continue to practice a traditional way of life that no longer exists in their motherland, as well as the vast majority of ‘non-practicing’ Ukrainians who carry a genetic blueprint of their ancestors’ resilience and traditional values.
Blood Line has evolved into a trio of dancers. One represents a Ukrainian immigrant while the other two exchange roles between literal expressions of supporting characters to figurative expressions of image, emotion and concept.
Last Sunday’s performance of the first phase of Lori's dance work explored themes of physical resistance and perseverance. New music was composed for it, by Vancouver-based composer Dave Chokroun. Symbols and props from Ukrainian culture consisted of a pysanka (Ukrainian Easter egg), scarves, and a vinok. Lori enjoyed the support of Victoria's Veselka Dancers in incorporating authentic cultural elements. (Veselka was out in full force for the performance, and I had the pleasure of meeting several of them.)
Recorded music and a mother-child dialogue in Ukrainian were also featured in Sunday's performance. The latter in particular resonated with some audience members, who commented on it after the performance.
An unusual component was a spoken part quoting excerpts from Danny Evanishen's story of the internment, published in Kobzar's Children: A Century of Untold Ukrainian Stories. In the process of obtaining permission to use excerpts from Marsha Skrypuch, the editor of the anthology, the two came up with the idea of having copies of the book for sale at the theatre.
As one of the contributing authors to the anthology, I was thrilled to be invited to the performance to autograph copies of the book. It was an absolute delight to meet Lori in person, on the heels of a very enjoyable interview for Nash Holos which aired the week before.
It seems we are both the type to be the last to leave the party. Here I am, after the show, with an exhausted but exhilarated (and stunningly gorgeous) Lori.
|Pawlina (L), Lori Hamar (R)|
So, stay tuned!