Maamawi (ᒫᒪᐏ): Together Through The Fire
You’re invited into our vision of the future. The world has been transformed through fire, revived through water, and humankind has been gifted the ability to experience Life through the Lessons of the Heart.
Maamawi (ᒫᒪᐏ): Together Through The Fire braids the dreams of past, present, and future into a post-apocalyptic landscape. An expression of the Anishinaabe Seven Fire Prophecies, as shared by Anishinaabe Elder, Gloria May Eshkibok, Maamawi (ᒫᒪᐏ) imbues us with heart-light, stewarded by the Original Ones. We are held in trust with Love and Respect for all that is, all that was, and all that will be as we move steadily toward our destiny.
Maamawi: Together Through the Fire (ᒫᒪᐏ) is a full-length Contemporary Indigenous dance performance and immersive experience for live audiences to enter into a fictional, futuristic world following the revelation of the Anishinaabe Seven Fire Prophecies. Using motion-capture techniques, the movements of the dancers will be captured in real-time and used to drive animated avatars and visual imagery conceived of and designed by Anishinaabe artist, Joshua Mangeshig Pawis-Steckley, which will then be projection-mapped onto surfaces behind and around the performers, while simultaneously filling the 3D space of an online immersive multiplayer virtual reality environment that remote audiences can connect to and enter from around the world.
During the presentation of Maamawi: Together Through The Fire (ᒫᒪᐏ) , members of the audience will be pre-selected to view the performance from within the virtual story world using wireless virtual reality headsets in a dedicated area of the theatre. This will enable them to freely move around within the space. Their motion will contribute to the visual landscape displayed in the on-stage projections and enable them to interact with the dancers within the virtual reality environment at key moments during the performance acting as a virtual bridge between the dancers and the online virtual audience from across the globe, bringing them all together to a share a single ephemeral moment in time as one, in the presence of a common and conflicted history and the pursuit of lasting reconciliation.
Maamawi: Together Through The Fire (ᒫᒪᐏ) is a cross-cultural collaboration between Indigenous artists and non-Indigenous allies, providing important work to come to new understandings, using new technologies to tell old stories to a broad, cross-cultural audience. The medium of dance enables us to tell those stories in non-literal ways accentuated by visual and sonic designs.
Original choreography by Anishinaabe choreographer Olivia C. Davies, based on stories shared by Anishnaabe Elder, Gloria May Eshkibok and utilizing the concept of the “Mino Bimaadiziwin” pillars of Anishnaabe culture (Anishinaabemowin; translated as The Good Life) as dramaturgy. Co-creative director and creative technologist, Athomas Goldberg, brings several years of experience in the creation of hybrid live/virtual performances through his work as a co-founder of Pepper’s Ghost New Media & Performing Arts Collective, as the Executive Director of Shocap Entertainment, and as a consultant to the interactive entertainment and virtual reality industries through his company, Lifelike & Believable Animation Design.
Producers: O.Dela Arts & Pepper’s Ghost New Media Collective
Co-creator, Choreographer: Olivia C. Davies
Co-creator, MoCap, VR, AR experience: Athomas Goldberg
Co-creator, Visual Design: Joshua Mangeshig Pawis-Steckley
Co-creator, Composer: Michael Red
Cultural Consultant: Gloria May Eshkibok
Dance Artists: Sophie Dow, Daisy Thompson
Lighting Designer, Technical Director: Jonathan Kim
Assistant Lighting Designer: Vanka Salim
Costume Designer: Raven John
Rehearsal Director: Kelly McInnes
Stage Manager: Kayleigh Sandomirsky
Producer: Brian Postalian
Olivia C. Davies is a Contemporary Indigenous dance artist, choreographer, community-arts facilitator, producer, and emerging writer of Anishinaabe, French-Canadian, Finnish and Welsh heritage. Davies’ works often explore the emotional and political relationships between people and places. Her recent choreographic explorations are driven by a desire to explore neo-traditional aspects of her Indigeneity, story-weaving, and collaborative projects that bring about new awareness of the world around us.
Co-creative director & creative technologist, Athomas Goldberg, brings several years of experience in the creation of hybrid live/virtual performances through his work as a co-founder of both Pepper’s Ghost New Media & Performing Arts Collective, and Shocap Entertainment, and as a consultant to the interactive entertainment and virtual reality industries through his company, Lifelike & Believable Animation Design.
Gloria May Eshkibok is from the Wikwemikong unceded territory on Manitoulin Island. Currently residing on the Capilano unceded territory of the Squamish Nation, Eshkibok has been an actress, singer, writer and producer for more than 30 years and has collaborated with O.Dela Arts as cultural advisor since 2018.
Joshua Mangeshig Pawis-Steckley is an Ojibwe illustrator from Barrie, ON. He is a member of Wasauksing, FN and is currently living in the unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-waututh peoples. His work aims to rejuvenate Ojibwe culture using a modern woodland art style.
Visit his instagram @mangeshig for more of his work.
Michael Red is a Vancouver based music producer, composer, curator, performer and DJ. The founding member of the respected bass music collective Lighta! Sound, head of the Low Indigo leftfield music label, one half of LA FE, one half of Chambers, former curator for New Forms Festival for over ten years, Bass Coast Music Festival resident and curator, Shambhala Music Festival performer over ten years, former long term collaborator with throat singer Tanya Tagaq, and ambient/experimental artist under the alias Souns.
Raven John, artist, involuntary comedian and two spirit activist, is of Coast Salish and Stolo Nation decent. This Two-spirit Trickster is a BFA graduate from ECU, with a major in visual art and minor in social practice and community engagement. Raven is a visual artist, cultural consultant, mediator, storyteller, photographer and sculptor. A jack-of-all-trades (and master of a few), their practice covers a wide array of mediums from provocation and humor, puppet making, ceramics, dressmaking, interactive electronics and indigenous technologies. www.ravenjohn.com
Treaty 1-born Sophie Dow is a multidisciplinary creative, inspired by dance, music, film, collaboration and Métis-Assiniboine + French/Ukrainian roots. An avid adventurer, Sophie exudes passions for busking, yoga and traveling on top of holding a degree in Dance Performance and Choreography from York University. Sophie is a freelance dancer/choreographer/sound designer and a puddle jumping trickster. www.sophiedow.com
Daisy Thompson is a European settler who lives on the unceded territories of the Skwxwú7mesh, Səl̓ílwətaɬ and xʷməθkwəy̓əm First Nations. Through dance performance, teaching, and writing, she seeks to extend ideas of the dancing body as a key site for the questioning and interruption of logics of control in relation to culture and identity.
O.Dela Arts & Pepper’s Ghost New Media & Performing Arts Collective
Since its inception, O.Dela Arts seeks to develop audiences for Contemporary Indigenous dance and multidisciplinary arts. Under the leadership of professional dance artist Olivia C. Davies, the organization has built a solid foundation of peer exchange, professional development opportunities and performance series. Highlights include the creation of multiple Contemporary Indigenous dance works including residencies and presentations in Vancouver, Montreal, Calgary, Toronto, Prince Rupert, and Nanaimo, BC. Our Talking Truths series of circle conversations hosted by Olivia and featuring Indigenous choreographers from across Turtle Island, Aotearoa, and Australia have provided new ways to educate audiences to the nuances of Contemporary Indigenous dance practice and have been supported by partner organizations including DanceHouse Vancouver, Talking Stick Festival, Downtown Eastside Heart of the City Festival, and Dance West Network.
Pepper’s Ghost New Media & Performing Arts Collective was founded in Vancouver, British Columbia in the spring of 2014 by veterans of the theatre, dance, film, music and video game industries, along with leading academic researchers in new media, to explore the expressive potential of advanced computer graphics, digital audio and visual effects technologies, including real-time motion capture, stereo 3D projection, electronic sound synthesis and virtual & augmented reality, in the creation of live theatre, music and dance performances.