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Stone Soup (1997)

On April 2, 1997 the Karen Jamieson Dance Company embarked on a five week tour of Northern British Columbia. These performances marked a significant undertaking by both artists, the company as well as the local aboriginal and non- aboriginal communities involved in the tour. Stone Soup was presented in the traditional territories of the Wet’suet’en Haisla, Gitk’san, Tsimshian, Nisga’a and Haida Nations.

At the beginning of each performance, the members of the Karen Jamieson Dance Company asked people who have an ancestral connection to the land for permission to enter and dance.

The Stone Soup Project was created in a spirit of respect for First Nations people, their traditions and the long-standing relationship of each local native group with the land on which the performance takes place. The tour was welcomed in: Laxgalts’ap, Gitwinksihlkw, Smithers, Terrace, Kitimat, Hazelton, Kispiox, Kitimaat Village, Kemano, Prince Rupert, Masset, Skidegate and ending with a Gala presentation at the Roundhouse Community Centre in Vancouver.

The company attempted, through the performance of Stone Soup, to engage in an activity that builds bridges of understanding between people through the exchange of cultures, in the hope that if we share, we will feast and be richer.
 

The People

Artistic Director & Choreographer - Karen Jamieson
Dancers – Anne Cooper, Laura Crema, Caroline Farquhar, Karen Jamieson, Donald Alfred Morin, Dean Makarenko, Jerry Longboat
Composers – Peter Hurst, Simon Kendall
Masks Commission – Sanford Williams
Set & Lighting – Gerald King
Costume Design – Deborah Dunn
Text – Marie Clements
Managing Director & Producer – Jay Rankin
Company Manager – Kateri Akiwenzie-Damm
Administration – Linda Blankstein, Angela Cormier
Financial Services – Nigel Jones
Rehearsal Directors – Kay Huang Barnes, Andrew Olewine
Dance Teachers – Andrew Olewine, Sylvain Brochu
Accompanist – Patrick Pennefather
Volunteer Coordinator – Mia Kivari
KJD Board – Marsha Ramsden, Sonia Usmiani, Jocelyn Bearsto, Ming Song
Sponsorship Support – Barbara Clausen, Linda Blankstein
Graphics Design – Michela Sorrentino
Tour Publicist – Angele Cormier
Vancouver Publicist – Ryan Mullins
Stage Manager – Ann Rowley
Technical Director – Tim Cardinal
Technician, Set Painting – Lorraine West
Production Assistant – Cameron Rimmer
Program Design – Amanda Marier
Set Construction – Harry Vander Shee, Tradeworks
Set Sewing – Valerie Moffat
Costume Producer – C. Hatfull
Costume Construction – Alison Abell. Tanya Granneman (Twisted Unions)
Photography – Daniel Collins, Jay Rankin
 

 

Audiences were treated to a visually stunning performance Friday by the Karen Jamieson Dance Company... The Tsimshian Nation Cultural Dancers performed first, before the Vancouver company asked permission to perform in traditional Tsimshian territory. The local dance group also closed out the show... It was a fascinating melding of a dance style sculpted over generations and of modern dance. The Prince Rupert Daily News

"For the past 14 years, Jamieson has stood out among west coast choreographers because of her distinctive primal dance style that owes much to her interest in native culture. With her latest show, Stone Soup, she fuses a European folk tale with aboriginal values in an attempt to build a bridge between two cultures. It is no wonder critics have referred to her as a shaman and a mystic and described her dance as atavistic. As the dancers tour they ask each community for permission to dance on the land. After Jamieson's troupe performs, local dancers take to the stage and then the community provides a feast for everyone at the show. Aboriginal communities have supported her projects." The Globe and Mail

"Take one Vancouver-based modern dance company. Add a traditional European legend. Mix with a dozen First Nations dance groups in 29 ceremonial performances across the province, and you have the recipe for the Karen Jamieson Dance Company's five-week Stone Soup tour. Harvey Grant, hereditary chief of the Kitimaat Village Haisla people says ...he was surprised at the hundreds of curious people who showed up for the Kitimaat Village public performance. Most had never seen modern dance before. "I saw our people accept [the dancers] and they watched in awe," he says. "The people that spoke to me after said it was something different from our dance, and that we could learn from each other. This show was well accepted, not only by my people here - the Haisla people - but from what I hear the schoolchildren in Kitimat say, they'd never seen anything like that before." The Georgia Straight