My Theatre

26 January 2015

A Side of Dreams: The Beauty of Ancestral Connections

By // Theatre (Toronto)

unnamed 2A Side of Dreams is a beautiful view into Metis cultural traditions of generational and ancestral healing. The evening begins with a wondrous and effective projection of a spider beginning to spin a web, through a suspended aerial hoop. The initial image and soundscape prepare the audience for the intimate and thoughtful performance to come.

The themes and images of the show are clear and run throughout the entire work. Weaving spider webs, dream catchers, and the invisible yet delicate lines of a relationship between mother and daughter shine prominently and with feeling throughout the performance. A true interdisciplinary work, each scene uncovers a new gem of talent from the three-woman show. Puppets, dragons, and fog giants provoke the audience to turn into themselves and reflect on their own lives, or even laugh out loud. While the humourous moments cannot always tickle everyone, it is clear that there is a cultural humour at work. A Side of Dreams plays at the Aki Studio Theatre, where the sense of community runs high

There are moments in the evening of such pure beauty, such as the flight of the puppet Haisa through the fog (enabled by lovely puppeteers), the spider web song with Katherine, and the enshrouding or cocooning fabric on the aerial hoop. These moments shine like beacons in A Side of Dreams, rays of truth and honesty. The performers’ open emotions invite the audience in to their personal stories, and one of the main themes of dealing with past trauma. Through ancestral and cultural healing, the mother, Haisa, is able to break her trauma-driven silence and begin to mend a bond with her daughter. While the performance does aim to bring light to the healing process after a traumatic event, it does so by negating the silence that is often needed.

A Side of Dreams is a very personal, interesting, and welcoming show. The insight into Metis culture is wonderful, and mystical, perfectly combining interdisciplinary techniques. The performance is an emotional journey that can speak to audiences of any age, and is absolutely a show worth seeing.

A Side of Dreams plays until February 1st.
For more information visit papercanoeprojects.com

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