Kahilu Theatre presents indigenous dance company Dancers of Damelahamid

  • Young students sit in on a recent workshop. (Courtesy / Kahilu Theatre)

  • Aloha Theatre is hosting Dancers of Damelahamid (Courtesy / Kahilu Theatre)
  • (Photo courtesy / dancevictoria.com)
  • Dancers of Damelahamid will perform “Spirit and Tradition” as part of the Asia Pacific Dance Festival at the Kahilu Theatre July 26. (Photo courtesy / damelahamid.ca)

WAIMEA — Experience a history as rich as they come.

Celebrate the stories, songs, and rhythmic movements of indigenous populations throughout the Northwest.

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The compelling storytelling of the peoples from coastal British Columbia, Manitoba, the Yukon, and Alaska capture the beauty and diversity of the deep tradition of masked dances.

And it’s coming to Waimea.

The Dancers of Damelahamid will perform Spirit and Tradition as part of the Asia Pacific Dance Festival at the Kahilu Theatre at 7 p.m. Friday, July 26.

The group, which will also present two workshops, is an indigenous dance company from the Northwest Coast of British Columbia.

Masked dance celebrates the diversity and time-depth of the many beautiful indigenous cultures across Canada. Through dramatic dance, captivating narrative, intricately carved masks, and elaborate regalia, the Dancers of Damelahamid transform time and space and bridge the ancient with a living tradition.

Since 2003, the Dancers of Damelahamid has established itself as a preeminent professional indigenous dance company that has self-produced several theatre-based productions, and the creation of newly choreographed dance works. It is the current directive of the company to redefine and characterize their practice so that the dances may continue to be tangible and accessible for the next generations.

The Dancers of Damelahamid will hold a community outreach dance workshop 9:30-10:30 a.m. July 24. It’s a movement-based workshop where the participants will experience different styles of Coastal First Nations Songs. The workshop is designed for youth of all levels.

From 9:30-11 a.m., the company will facilitate a movement-based Master Class centered on the contemporary coastal indigenous dance form. In addition, participants will gain awareness of the dynamic and innovative qualities of current indigenous dance practices.

All levels of dance experience are welcome for both workshops, however the Master Class is catered to those with a dance background. Participants are asked to dress comfortably, and wear moccasins, dance shoes or bare feet. Workshops are $10 each and will be held onstage at the Kahilu Theatre.

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Space is limited, registration for the dance workshops is available under Arts Ed on the Kahilu Theatre website.

Tickets for the stage show are $30 and can be purchased at kahilutheatre.org, 885-6868 or at the Kahilu Theatre Box Office located at 67-1186 Lindsey Road in Waimea.

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