Ki­inalik: These Sharp Tools

PuSh In­ter­na­tional Per­form­ing Arts Fes­ti­val/ Es­pace Li­bre

Inuit Art Quarterly - - HIGHLIGHTS -

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

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