Backbone is a cutting-edge new dance and live music creation inspired by the 'spine' of continents. Featuring eight dancers, Backbone combines contemporary Indigenous dance with athleticism to express its power, formation and spirit.

Red Sky explores the 'backbone' of continents and how these rocky mountainous spines have life, circuity, electricity and impulses. The idea that there is a 'spine' to our continents is an Indigenous concept. It reveals our way of perceiving land as sentient, alive and intact, much like a human spine. Backbone shows how these mountains have emerged from millions of years of restlessness. Raw, ferocious, and magnificent.

Conceived and directed by Sandra Laronde, with collaborative choreography by Thomas Fonua and Jera Wolfe, with Sandra Laronde. Featuring original music by Rick Sacks, production design by Andy Moro, and costume design by Jeff Chief.

Co-produced and original commission by Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity.

"Backbone sounds like those mountains have emerged from two million years worth of restlessness. The choreography itself is raw, masculine and frequently ferocious. There's wind, too, which, like Backbone, doesn't blow - It howls... The audience responded with a thundering standing ovation that might have moved the mountain a little itself."
- Calgary Herald

"Throughout the work [Backbone]...they had become a continually shifting landscape. The precision of the dancers' movement intricately mingled with the soundtrack of cracks, creaks and pops, making it unimaginable that one could exist without the other...sound and movement seemed to transcend their distinct categories."
- The Dance Current




Backbone Video

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