On Friday Nov. 29, 2013 the public was invited to an “Anishnaabe Maanjiiqwin” open Dance rehearsal by the “Indigenous Performance Initiative” (IPI) & the department of Indigenous studies at Trent University, Canada. It was called, “The Malintzin Project.” It was created & choreographed by Rosalie Jones (Daytsar Dance Company) who collaborated with Norma Araiza & students from the Indigenous studies program. Guest artists included Heryka Miranda & Coman Poon.
The first program was called, “The Malintzin Project - Creation Process.” (An investigation of themes through improvisation). It was directed by Norma Araiza, Coman Poon & Heryka Miranda. Music was titled, “Malinche” by Lila Downs. The demonstration by students were explored at Trent University.
In the Fall semester of 2013 - Rosalie Jones & Norma Araiza explored issues involving, “Colonization & Decolonization” & “Building a Foundation for Indigenous Storytelling.” Araiza asked the questions, “Who were we in the past? Who are we now? Who will we be in the future?” The Indigenous class students experienced storytelling, mask making & dance movement. It eventually became, “The Malintzin Project – Creation Process.”
All Indigenous artist & dancer-students included, Coman Poon, Heryka Miranda, Victor Parker, Brianna Shields-Anderson, Carolyn McGee, Tessa Nasca, Olivia Port, Megan Roberts & Lauren Steels. The northwest coast blankets & masks were provided by the Daystar Dance Company.
The second program was called, “Jiibayaabooz: Light in the Underworld.” (Story begins with animals, their capture, confinement & abuse, resistance & escape / The snake precursor, Kokopelli, the seed giver, empowerment, renewal & celebration). It was choreographed & directed by Rosalie Jones with guest artists Coman Poon & Heryka Miranda.
According to the official program flyer, “Jiibayaabooz” was described like this - “In the transformative world of Indigenous culture and belief, humans and animals communicate and teach us about living not as an individual with personal needs, but collectively in society. The emergence of cultural belief systems generate understanding of 'The Way Things Are' and in return create personal strength and empowerment.”
“In the hunting and dance of the Inuit (Tribe) we see the sacred trust between the hunter and the hunted – human and animal in respect for each other within the shared necessity of survival. To complete this cycle of discovery, we celebrate 'Life in Good Relationship' with the Tlingit/Haida masked dances and songs of the northwest coast.”