Culture News

Bringing performing arts to Red Lake ‘is a gift’

BY LINDSAY BRISCOE

The RLDHS gym was turned upside down last Friday when a local audience was dazzled by the athleticism, flexibility, and creativity of Motus O Dance Theatre’s evening performance; the second show of the 2015-16 Red Lake Wilderness Entertainment Series (WES).

Debra Shushack, Ontario Dance Project representative for Red Lake, says she’s been trying to get this kind of performance off the ground in the area for years.

“Contemporary dance is another piece of the big ‘Arts’ puzzle that we have been trying to put together…The dance component will expose Red Lake to an art form that they otherwise may never have seen. It is important to give your audience a well rounded entertainment series that will add to the culture of Red Lake,” she said.

Motus O not only performed Friday night, but also came a day early to run workshops with both Northwood Lodge and Instep Dance.

Margaret Ecuimates, owner of Instep Dance, said the turnout was amazing and that her dancers were very excited and inspired to participate.

After Friday’s performance, Motus O held a Q&A period and many of those same dancers had the opportunity to ask them questions, including whether or not the performers had any regrets about their career choice.

“I’ve driven a 735 rock truck to pay the bills in between dancing and rehearsing, working construction with a bunch of men, and waitressing. You just do what works and you never give up what you love,” said Motus O’s Sarah Felschow.

Ontario Dance Project has provided Red Lake the opportunity to bring contemporary dance to the community at no cost for the next four years. The project has been made possible with Canada Arts Presentation Fund money through the Department of Canadian Heritage.

“WES has bought into the idea of bringing a dance component to their series and without their backing and volunteer hours this would not be happening,” said Shushack.

“This is a fantastic opportunity to educate and hopefully grow dancers as well as dance appreciation in Red Lake. Due to our geographical location, it isn’t always easy to include the performing arts in our lives. Bringing them to our back door is a gift.”

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