Inspiration for V'ni Dansi's Indigenous contemporary dance works is sourced from the ancestral memory of the body, the land, the stories, the history and the culture of the Métis people. Past works have portrayed cultural realities through a Métis lens rather than a colonial perspective. Yvonne's creative journey has now led her to work from a more abstract, intellectual and poetic approach while maintaining a cultural foundation that honours her heritage.
This solo contemporary dance work created by and for Yvonne Chartrand is currently in development with dramaturgy by Lee Su-Feh. Eagle Spirit was inspired by the recent passing of Yvonne’s mother and explores themes of death and rebirth. An excerpt will be performed at the 10th annual Louis Riel Day Celebration on November 14, 2015.
Sara Riel: The Long Journey
Inspired by stories of Sara Riel, sister to Louis, this work was born was born of an on-going mentorship of Yvonne Chartrand by Robin Poitras. In 2011 Yvonne commissioned Robin to create a solo work for her, which then began developing into Sara Riel: The Long Journey. The evolution of this work is a collaborative creation by Edward Poitras and Robin Poitras for Yvonne. Robin’s research for the project was informed by the writer and poet Tim Lilburn. This work premiered in 2014 at the NDH Studio Theatre in Regina and was presented in Vancouver at the 9th annual Louis Riel Day Celebration in November 2014.
Cooking It Up Métis
This show was first performed at the Dance Centre in November 2012. Drawing on the exciting world of Back to Batoche Days, Compaigni V'ni Dansi has created a major new work intended for viewing by youth and children. Some beautiful words from our Director, Michele Sereda: “Cooking It Up Métis is a delightful dance theatre performance that tickles the mind with dances and stories inviting you into the beautiful world of the Métis. I feel honoured to be working with Yvonne and her company.”
Stories from St. Laurent
Yvonne Chartrand created Stories from St. Laurent, drawing on rich oral traditions and dances gathered from the elders of Canada’s most established Métis communities. The show was premiered at the Firehall Arts centre April 1-4, 2009. Excerpts have been performed at the Talking Stick Festival and at the Weesawgeechuk Festival.
In 2006, Compaigni V’ni Dansi completed the creation of The Crossing, and presented the premiere in Saskatoon at Saskatchewan Native Theatre Company and at the Norman Rothstein Theatre, in Vancouver for Louis Riel Day.
The Crossing is a dance trilogy that depicts the years of the Métis Resistance from the hearts of the Métis people. This 90-minute piece combines three previous short works based on the lives of four distinct personalities who shaped the Métis resistance -- Marguerite Riel, Louis Riel and Madeleine Dumont and Gabriel Dumont.
Created in 2004, Gabriel’s Crossing is the story of the Métis chief Gabriel Dumont told through traditional storytelling and contemporary dance. This 60-minute play follows Dumont’s role in the Métis Resistance and his position as defender of the traditional Métis lifestyle. In 2005 and 2006, Gabriel’s Crossing toured BC schools as a youth production.
A Poet and Prophet
A Poet and A Prophet is a dance piece conceived by Yvonne Chartrand in 2003. Supported by the Canada Council, the company collaborated in summer 2003 with Butoh Dance Master Yukio Waguri from Japan. We then facilitated two Butoh dance workshops in the community and successfully produced A Poet and Prophet featuring a cast of 10 artists. Our production was created in honour of the life of Métis leader, Louis David Riel, and was inspired by his poetry.
Marguerite is a 20-minute solo dance piece created by Yvonne Chartrand in 2000, which tells the story of the wife of Louis Riel and her life with the great Métis leader through a fusion of traditional and contemporary dance.