Impulse-driven, intuitive and raw-intensity Here On Earth expresses our spiritual connections to the land, Earth as a living organism, Earth as Mother and Earth as sacred. Four primal Beings journey from the Sky to touch the Earth. Each takes a path that leads them through an incredible journey of discovery and transformation. They thrive in the world of the seen and the unseen, real and intangible, of past, present, future. Time stands still as dancers become shamans transforming from humans to animals. Moving through shape and form the dancers unite in ritual expression inhabiting the land of the spirits: animal, plant and human. “Here On Earth is where we come to live out a dream.”
The work embraces the belief that humans were originally Sky Dwellers who dreamt their existence on earth. During Here On Earth the stage comes to Life and for a moment as spirit, earth, sky and dream are captured in image, shape and sound. Here On Earth aspires to represent the mysticism and connection between life forms and earth as well as representing the man-made fractures and dysfunction that occurs when earth and spirit are disregarded as sacred. Time shifts and a contemporary world is revealed incorporating dreams of loss, antagonism and alienation. Through a sense of ceremonial sacrifice the four Beings cycle back to the Sky World to awaken as pure spirit.
Here On Earth premieres as a DanceWorks Co-Works Series event at the Harbourfront Centre Theatre, Toronto in 2005. The production has toured to the following venues: Sanderson Centre for the Arts (2007); The Refinery, Saskatoon (2008); Gas Station Theatre, Winnipeg (2008), etc.
Artistic Director/Choreographer/Dancer: Santee Smith
Composer: Donald Quan featuring musicians David Maracle and Rick Shadrach Lazar
Costume Designer: Brenda Clarke at Industry Costumes
Earth Mounds: Christine Plunkett
Original Lighting Designer: Geoff Bouckley
Musical Producers: Santee Smith and Donald Quan
Canada Council for the Arts, Ontario Arts Council, Laidlaw Foundation, The National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation, Dreamcatcher Fund, GREAT, The Banff Centre for the Arts Centre for the Arts. The world premiere took place at the Harbourfront Centre Theatre in October 2005 as was co-presented by DanceWorks CoWorks Series.
Here On Earth Accolades
Gemini Award Nomination 2008: Best Performance in a Performing Arts Program or Series for Santee Smith, Emily Law, Brian Solomon and Alex Meraz
Dora Mavor Moore Award Nomination 2006: Here On Earth, Best Performance Brian Solomon
“To see them reveals a fascinating study through gesture, athleticism and art of one culture’s view of the mysteries of life. The spirits’ ascent to Earth, their metamorphosis into all manner of creatures and beings was as compelling as it was engaging. Bodies writhing, mouths opening like fishes in the sea, everyone swaying and licking their chops in anticipation of an incredible journey.” James Wegg (2005)
“A hymn to the Earth soars with passion. Choreographer Santee Smith is a member of the Mohawk Nation, Turtle Clan, and lives on the Six Nations Reserve. This information is key to unlocking her new dance piece Here On Earth, because the choreographer’s intentions are anchored firmly in her aboriginal heritage. That said, the production as a whole comes across as polished and sophisticated contemporary dance. Composer Donald Quan (with David Maracle and Rick Shadrach Lazar) has given Smith a sensational original score that crosses world beat with new age, and is as mysterious as it is spiritual. When one adds in Geoff Bouckley’s ravishing lighting and Brenda Clarke’s fetching costumes, Here On Earth is a class act.” Globe and Mail (2005)