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Sisters a work for missing women

By Lorraine Ilagan

DMCI’s Finest Dancers (l-r): Nikki Chien, Isabel Dominguez, Kim Chavez, Sanny Guerrero, Kathryn Carganilla, Denise Roque, Paulo Emeterio & Trish Alforte
Choreographer and Daniel McIntyre Collegiate Institute (DMCI) Dance Teacher, Loa Olafson wanted to honour the memory and deepen community concern for missing and murdered Aboriginal women. With eight of her DMCI’s Finest Dancers, Ms Olafson choreographed Sisters, which is a contemporary dance work set to the music of the indigenous DJ collective, A Tribe Called Red.

Sisters raises awareness through addressing social issues and essential discussions about the representation of Indigenous issues in Canada. Through their creative process, they’ve connected with visual artist Jaime Black whose work the REDress Project is currently installed at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. The exhibit houses red dresses collected by community donation. These red dresses are symbolic and serve as a visual reminder of the staggering number of women who are no longer with us. Jaime hopes to draw attention to the gender and racial nature of violent crimes against Aboriginal women and to evoke a presence through the marking of absence.

Videographer Kayla Jeanson filmed the completed work of Sisters at Winnipeg’s Graffiti Art Gallery, which donated their space for the video shoot. Ms Olafson and her dancers filmed the video on December 23, 2014 and can’t wait to share the finished product with others. The dancers will also be performing their routine at DMCI’s annual Melody and Movement Recital on January 12 at the school.

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