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The River (1998)

The River was about rivers and connection between the reality of a real and physical outdoor river and the different reality of "the river within", the network of body systems carrying the energy and images that fee our spiritual life.

The River traces the memory  of Brewery Creek through the landscape it once flowed freely for centuries. It's shape is still visible in the streets and alleyways of our city, defining our neighbourhoods .

Karen Jamieson Dance together with the S'pak'wus Slu'lum Dancers of the Squamish Nation, the Brewery Creek Historical Society and other community groups created a processional performance to honour the layers of history and memory of the now buried waterway Brewery Creek.

The entire performance took place over two weeks. From April 30th to May 3rd, 1998 The River began at the headwatersof Brewery Creek in the Mountainview Cemetery, traveled down to where the creek became a vast swamp, northward to the ravine where it once cut a deep swath of land and finally into the mudflats of False Creek. From there it traveled across the sea to the Roundhouse Community Centre. 

"...a lament for the buried stream.. performers clamber over garbage bins, fling their bodies off metal garbage doors, and drape their torsos over cement barriers...the choreographer has become accustomed to instilling joyous awe in people who happen to pass by her dancers in the street. Jamieson has earned a reputation for choreography that's rooted in the primal, the archetypal; her vocabulary draws from natural, primitive movements. She has a gift for taking ordinary gestures and injecting them with mystery and magic." Georgia Straight

"The show began last week along four site-specific performances along the path of Brewery Creek, a stream that once ran from high on Mount Pleasant to False Creek before it was erased several decades ago...the movement of The River can coalesce into striking images with a delightful suddenness. In one early scene, for example, three dancers, moving independently, come together on the floor, arching their backs in unison and spinning around. It's as unexpected as seeing a fish jump from a glassy lake and as quietly thrilling." The Globe and Mail

The People

Choreographer: Karen Jamieson
Composer: Peter Hannan
Site Designer: Paula Jardine
Costume Designers: Susan Berganzi (original creations), Christine Hatfull (re-purposing, re-creation)
Masks: Sandford Williams (Mowachat)
Props Design: Taryn O'Gorman & Marina Szijarto
Lighting Designer: Gerald King
Set Designer: Terence van der Woude

Dancers: Shinn-Rong Chung, Laura Crema, Allan Dobbs, Caroline Farquhar, Peter Hurst, Hiromoto Ida, Karen Jamieson, Rulan Tangen

Historical Guides: Charles Christopherson, Bruce MacDonald

Music: Dave Branter, Nicolas Coulter, Russel Shumsky (with The Community Orchestra), Robert Baker, William Nahanee and other members of S'pak'wus Slu'lum

Assistant Director: Kay Huang Barnes
Field Marshall: Susan Bartsch
Design Consultant: Catherine Hahn
Stage Manager: Jan Hodgson
Production Assistant: Jerry Longboat
Volunteer Co-ordinator: Pamela McKeown
Technical Directors: Adrian Muir, Dusty Rhodes
House Technician: Lorraine West
Production Manager: Jay Rankin
Publicity: Ryan Mullins, Koralee Nickarz
Graphic Designer: Michela Sorrentino
Manager: Paul Henrik Borup-Jorgensen

Community Performers: list coming soon...