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Oracles of Innocence

Premiere Performance at the Vancouver Playhouse 1991

Choreography: Karen Jamieson
First Nations Consultant: Evan Adam
Dancers: Catherine Lubinsky, Virginia Corcoran, Allan Dobbs, Kay Huang, Hiromoto Ida, Andrew Olewine, Karen Jamieson, Daina Balodis
Assistant to the Artistic Director: Daina Baldois
Composer: Jeff Corness.
Costume: Susan Berganzi
Lighting: Gerald King

A dance work for the 8-member Karen Jamieson Dance Company, Oracles of Innocence was a visionary prelude, foretelling the Company’s collaboration with First Nations artists. It is a celebration of cultures – icons form Western, Asian and indigenous cultures appear in a space where conflict, sensuality and innocence are equally at home. Here, black humour and parody co-exist alongside a genuine spirit of play.

Oracles of Innocence articulates with madness and clarity the many cultural collisions inherent in contemporary North America. A richly sonorous and complex musical score by Jeff Corness includes live vocalizing by the dancers.

A companion piece to Mixk'Aax, this work toured extensively on its own. The work emerged from an exploratory process undertaken with Salish actor and dance artist Evan Adams to discover common root forms in the movement vocabulary of contemporary dance and traditional First Nations dance. The movement vocabulary includes variations on elements of Northwest Coast Indian dance forms introduced to the company by Salish and dancer Evan Adams.

The surprise was that a piece with a strong comedic flavor emerged, one of the few I have ever created. This may have been due to the influence of Evan Adams: during our work together I would often find myself rolling on the floor laughing as he would pontificate in mock lectures on the various possible outcomes and hurdles of cross cultural collaborations.

Oracles of Innocence represents the first stage of a longer journey. Here, influences are felt but not yet understood; voices are heard but the speakers are not yet present. It is a premonition of change...
 

At rehearsal...