Recent History – 2004-2006
By Gary Rusak, March 31, 2005
A local aboriginal dance troupe will be representing Canada all this week at the World’s Fair in Aichi, Japan. The Northern Shadow Dancers received the invitation to the international event in December and were on route to Japan last weekend.
“I received an email asking us to make an application,” said manager Donna Testawich. “We made the application and out of the thousands that applied, we were one of the few that were chosen.”
Four lucky dancers from the troupe will be making the all-expense paid trip and will be christening the Canadian pavilion with their pow-wow style theatrical dance. One of the many highlights of the trip will be a planned April 5performance on the Fair’s centre stage with Canadian rock star Alanis Morissette.
“We haven’t met her yet,” said Testawich. “We will be opening for her and then she will perform and then we will come and perform with her. We will have to meet her and work it all out when we get there.”
Over the past month, the group has been through a heavy regimen of rehearsals in preparation for their first-ever international performance.
“We were on kind of a hiatus and basically we only did big performances in Vancouver at the Orpheum Theatre or the Plaza of Nations once a year,” she said. Seizing on the momentum from the exposure, Testawich is hoping to reinvigorate the troupe when they return.
“I want to start raising money for the group so we can start up again,” she said. “We also want to train more people who want to make a commitment to travel the world.”
The group is thankful for the opportunity to bring their traditional style of dance to a wide audience, but, understandably, also a little bit apprehensive about the performing on the world stage.
“I’m a little scared,” she said. “I have never ever been there before, but I think it is going to be very interesting.”