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Melvin and Rosa John
Short History of Kehewin Native Performance 2003:
Kehewin Native Performance began in 1993 when Melvin and Rosa John began using performance as a teaching tool for Native culture and history. They used their training in theatre, music and dance to provide a venue for Native youth to express themselves. Since then they have developed a touring company that has travelled throughout Canada, the U.S., Mexico, New Zealand, Switzerland, France, and Italy.
In 2003, Kehewin Native Performance will be celebrating 10 years of providing performances, dance and theatre workshops and hosting several youth conferences, festivals and the first Aboriginal Dance Symposium.
Throughout the years there have been two motivating factors. One is to bring first class performances to Native communities and two is to keep providing youth with a positive alternative in the arts. These are both accomplished by training youth in communities throughout Canada and securing the youth are creating, writing composing and choreographing
In theatre and dance Kehewin works with the body, voice, group building, character development and scene creation. Before a piece is written, the youth research the subject, by using personal experiences as well as oral and written research. They create scenes surrounding the theme and the research. They do this by improvising. This allows a safe environment to try out new things.
The performances that Kehewin is now touring are HEALING TIMES a dance show about the effects of residential schools and those who triumphed in the spite of the school they experienced. TRICKSTER TRILOGY a humourous collection of Trickster stories performed with large masks and Dancing the RED PATH, a show that teaches the history of several Pow Wow dances while demonstrating each one.
Melvin and Rosa's Stories
The following stories are by Melvin and Rosa John.