March 20, 2018

Wheelchair Dance 2017

In November, 2017 Anne performed a wheelchair dance at the 2nd Dance for Life event held in Antigonish at St. Francis Xavier University. This event, sponsored by Arts Health Antigonish and the Heritage Association of Antigonish was designed to make a re-commitment to peace and friendship, nation to nation and a treaty was signed to indicate this. The treaty was later displayed in the local library for others to sign. The evening, which included smudging and drumming by Mi’kmaq participants, also included the presentation of a painting by a Mi’kmaq artist and multi-cultural dance performances. Anne was one of the dancers participating in an evening that highlighted many dance forms including highland dance and interpretative dances done by members of the local L’Arche community. You can see Anne’s dance by following the link at the end of the blog. Please note that people standing on the stage were there as spotters, as Anne closes her eyes when wheelchair dancing. Anne’s dance celebrates the joy of play and connectedness to the earth, while acknowledging her respect for the Mi’kmaq people. She hopes her dance expresses the common love of music, movement, and play, but also the interconnectedness of all life. For her music she chose Eskisoni Mi’kmaq musician Joel Denny’s song “Alukjii Ktapi'kiaqn or Little Cloud” to honour the Mi'kmaq people and traditions, but also because it expresses her joy in connecting with the earth and playfulness. Her dance begins and ends with a bow to the four directions. In between she expresses what it feels like to spin and sit on a cloud, feet dangling in the air. She chose blue and white for her clothing to represent the idea of being in the sky on a cloud and wishes to express her gratitude to Joel Denny for the beautiful music she used that he had uploaded to YouTube.