Kiinalik: These Sharp Tools
PuSh International Performing Arts Festival/ Espace Libre
The award-winning Kiinalik: These Sharp Tools hits the road this winter with stops in Iqaluit, NU, Vancouver, BC, and Montreal, QC. Conceived by Iqaluit-based uaajeerneq (Greenlandic mask dance) and per formance artist Laakkuluk Williamson Bathory and Toronto-based theatre-maker Evalyn Parry, who met as artists-in-residence on an environmental education expedition from Nunavut to Greenland in 2012, the per formance carefully weaves together bodies, territories, climates and histories. Here, Williamson Bathory discusses the site-specific show that is more concert than play:
Evalyn and I realized we had a lot of storytelling we had to do. We offered each other deep and long-running conversations. Over the years, it has developed into what is now Kiinalik: These Sharp Tools. The show is not really a “play” in the standard sense; we treat each of the sections of the performance as a set-list, as if we are giving both a concert and a conversation that co-exist.
There are aspects of the performance that are done by the audience and that are about conversation with the audience. Each place we perform will have different questions and sparks for conversations in which people can participate. We are always going to be site-specific.
In so many instances Inuit have had our history told by other people. What I’ve learned—in the telling of my own history, my parents and my siblings—is this intimacy allows people to understand a greater political picture. To have the stories of your own blood coursing into a political discussion is powerful. Hence, Kiinalik is really an extension of our true selves. We are not taking on different characters to become somebody else on stage. It’s us.
– Laakkuluk Williamson Bathory
BELOW (RIGHT) Laakkuluk Williamson Bathory performingin Kiinalik: These Sharp Tools in Toronto, ON, 2017