“Every person in Canada is surviving residential schools, because if you’re Canadian you’re part of it.”
Canada’s residential school system is not in the past; its impact is woven throughout our country’s present. Until we face its legacy together, its long shadows will haunt and divide us. Bearing proposes that we address our history collectively and examines the Indigenous notion that time is circular—and that the trauma of the past is inextricably linked to the present.
A world premiere dance-opera created by co-directors Michael Greyeyes (Plains Cree) and Yvette Nolan (Algonquin) and librettist Spy Denommé-Welch (Anishnaabe), Bearing
features music performed live by the National Youth Orchestra with some of Toronto’s best professional classical musicians, a custom-built choir, and mezzo soprano Marion Newman (Kwagiulth and Stó:lo). Music by JS Bach, Vivier, and a commissioned work by Dénommé-Welch and Catherine Magowan is combined with percussion and electronics while the performers communicate through dance, music, and spoken word. It’s an ambitious, multi-faceted piece from Signal Theatre featuring some of the most talented and exciting artists of our times.
When the headlines speak of an Indigenous community in crisis, our national discourse demands that we remain present and that our conversations move us all forward into healing and recovery. Presented in a custom built theatre in the Canadian Opera Company complex on Front Street East, Bearing
helps us take one step towards understanding.