‘The most powerful telling of this story’: New Blood Dance Show & Calgary Civic Symphony Unite
On June 15, the Blackfoot tradition and the music of Peter Gabriel combine in a special live orchestra performance of the true story of a residential school survivor.
The New Blood Dance Show opened in 2014 after teacher Deanne Bertsch visited Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park and learned about the lost history of the Blackfoot people. Elders such as Eulalia Running Rabbit visited Bertsch’s class to share the untold stories: fur trading, small pox, residential schools, addictions, healing, and the vision quest, a coming-of-age ritual when a young Blackfoot man goes out onto the land for four days and nights, awaiting his spirit animal. Vincent Yellow Old Woman, then chief, also shared his stories of surviving residential school and the poem written about his life, “The Indian in the Child.” With a brave Blackfoot boy on a journey and spirit animal dancers rising around him, the New Blood play was born.