The cast of Tlakentli on stage
Tlakentli | Photo: Courtesy of the High Performance Rodeo


Ondinnok Productions explores themes of identity, migration, freedom, and movement

Amy Jo Espetveidt

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In a performance midway between dance and theatre, two Indigenous artists of Nahua and Mixteco descent share their quest for identity by drawing on their cultures and the history of their ancestors.

Part of One Yellow Rabbit’s 34th annual High Performance Rodeo, Calgary’s International Festival of the Arts, Making Treaty 7 Cultural Society presents this show from Ondinnok Productions—the first French-speaking Indigenous theatre company in Canada.

Tlakentli shares with us the deep-rooted historical stories that have survived the many generations who hold the culture closely,” says Justin Many Fingers, Making Treaty 7’s Artistic Director, in a statement. “This story highlights the importance of resilience and celebrates the resistance that many indigenous cultures face around the world with colonial suppression. This piece of work is not only educational but extremely brilliant in merging the world of dance, theatre, culture, and language.”

Languages and myths propel a voyage that redraws borders and casts off the hides adopted both freely and forcibly. The show presents scenes of metamorphoses through time, revealing upheavals and constantly driven by the artists’ hope of finding themselves.

Revealing that which unites us and that which tears us away from each other and ourselves, Tlakentli considers the issue of identity in relation to migrations and explores the myth of our original elegance.

Tlakentli runs January 23 to 25, 2020 at The Grand (608 1st St. SW).

Want to learn more? The artists of Tlakentli are also leading a creative, hands-on In Focus Workshop on January 25. Based on their personal backgrounds, the artists invite participants to explore with movement, natural objects, and music. Learn more and register at