Decolonizing the Narrative Conversation Series: Muriel Miguel
Decolonizing the Narrative Conversation Series is an online conversation session that invites leading Indigenous Art creators to talk about their practices and processes, facilitated by Reneltta Arluk, Director of Indigenous Arts at Banff Centre.
The Conversation Series engages an Indigenous lens in the various arts forms of Literary Arts, Film and Media Arts, Digital Media, Visual Arts, and Performing Arts including Theatre, Dance, and Music with Opera, Singer/Songwriter, and Classical Music. Explore and deepen your understanding of how Indigenous artists are using their arts discipline as a tool to decolonize artistic process and creation.
Storyweaving: An Indigenous Performance Practice
Join Muriel Miguel as she shares a talk on storyweaving. Rooted in an Indigenous storytelling tradition, in storyweaving, personal and traditional stories of the ensemble are intertwined with movement, text, sound, music, art installation and visual images. Storyweaving team leaders, whose areas of practice are story, movement and voice, in collaboration with the performers, guide a development process of unveiling the story and performance style through investigating motifs, phrases, songs, and dances that layer, connect and juxtapose the stories. This is an Indigenous process and is the foundation upon which Muriel build Spiderwoman Theater productions.
Muriel Miguel (Kuna/Rappahannock) is a founding member and Artistic Director of Spiderwoman Theater, the longest running feminist Native American theater company in North America. She has directed and co-written almost all of Spiderwoman’s shows since their first show, Women in Violence in 1976. They have produced over twenty original works for the theatre. Find out more about Muriel in her bio below.
This session takes place over two days:
August 17: Muriel Miguel does a presentation of her work.
August 18: Be part of a conversation with Muriel Miguel and Janine Windolph. This second session is the space intended for your questions and comments.
Sessions may share experiences and ask difficult questions.
These are registration only and questions and answers will remain unrecorded.
With support from:
Meet Muriel Miguel
MURIEL MIGUEL (Kuna/Rappahannock) is a founding member and Artistic Director of Spiderwoman Theater, the longest running feminist Native American theater company in North America. She has directed and co-written almost all of Spiderwoman’s shows since their first show, Women in Violence in 1976. They have produced over twenty original works for the theatre.
Muriel is a 2018 Doris Duke artist and in 2016, was a John S Guggenheim Foundation Fellow. She most recently received an honorary Doctorate of Letters from Trent University and in 2007, received an honorary Doctorate in Fine Arts from Miami University in Oxford, OH, home of the Native American Women Playwrights Archives. She was awarded a Rauschenberg Residency in 2015 and is a member of the National Theater Conference and the Southeastern Theatre Conference where she received the 2019 Distinguished Career Award. She is currently a member of the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs Advisory Commission.Muriel studied modern dance with Alwin Nickolai, Erick Hawkins and Jean Erdman. She was an original member of Joseph Chaikin's Open Theater where she performed in the groundbreaking works: Terminal, The Serpent, Mere Ubu and Viet Rock.
She is a choreographer, director and actor. She choreographed Throw Away Kids and She Knew She Was Shefor the Aboriginal Dance Program at the Banff Centre. She directed Spiderwoman Theater's Misdemeanor Dream; Material Witness; Evening in Paris with Raven Spirit Dance Company and The Unnatural and Accidental Women at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa, ON. She has been a dramaturge with Native Earth Performing Arts’ annual Weesageechak Begins to Dance Festival. As an actor, she was the Mary Deity in the off-Broadway hit, Taylor Mac’s Lily’s Revenge. She created the role of Philomena Moosetail in The Rez Sisters, by Tomson Highway, a play that is a seminal work in the development of a First Nations play repertory in Canada. She played Aunt Shadie in The Unnatural and Accidental Women by Marie Clementsand Spirit Woman in BONES: An Aboriginal Dance Opera. She has created one woman shows Hot' N' Soft, Trail of the Otter and Red Mother.
She was selected for the Native and Hawaiian Women of Hope poster by Bread and Roses International Union’s Bread and Roses Center and was the recipient of the first Lipinsky Residency (feminist-in-residence) at San Diego State University Women’s Studies Department. She has received many awards as a member of Spiderwoman Theater. The Smithsonian Institution’s Museum of the American Indian presented a retrospective exhibit, New Tribe, New York honoring Spiderwoman Theater’s years of work; a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Women's Caucus for Art and the Otto René Castillo Award for Political Theatre. Spiderwoman Theater received the first Honoring the Spirit Award for Arts and Entertainment from the American Indian Community House.
Muriel was an Assistant Professor of Drama at Bard College. She taught at and directed a yearly production at the Centre for Indigenous Theatre (CIT) and was Program Director for CIT's three week summer intensive from 2004-2016. She is a pioneer in the development of an Indigenous performance practice and is active in the training of Indigenous actors and dancers in this culturally based method. She was a Program Director for the Aboriginal Dance Program at The Banff Centre and an instructor there for seven years. Muriel has lectured with Muriel Miguel: A Retrospective and facilitated Storyweaving Workshops in conservatories and universities in the US, Canada and Europe.
Her work has been profiled in numerous articles and essays. The most notable of these are Women in Love: Portraits of Lesbian Mothers and their Families by Barbara Seyda and Diana Herrera and American Women Stage Directors of the 20th Century by Anne Fliotsos and Wendy Vierow. Plays Published: TRAIL OF THE OTTER in Staging Coyote’s Dream: An Anthology of First Nations Drama in English Vol. II & HOT 'N' SOFT in Two-Spirit Acts: Queer Indigenous Performances- Playwright's Canada Press. Publications of Spiderwoman Theater plays: PERSISTENCE OF MEMORY in Performing Worlds into Being: Native American Women’s Theatre-Miami University Press; WINNETOU’S SNAKE OIL SHOW FROM WIGWAM CITY in Keepers of the Morning Star: An Anthology of Native Women’s Theater -UCLA American Indian Studies Centre and REVERB-BER-BER-RATIONS in Staging Coyote’s Dream: An Anthology of First Nations Drama in English -Playwright’s Canada Press.
Meet Janine Windolph
Janine Windolph (Atikamekw/Woodland Cree) is the Acting Director of Indigenous Arts at Banff Centre Arts and Creativity. Windolph is known as an Interdisciplinary artist: filmmaker educator, curator, and storyteller. She has a Master of Fine Arts Interdisciplinary in Indigenous Fine Arts and Media Production.
Filmography includes Stories Are In Our Bones (Director/Writer) Lifegivers: Honoring Our Elders and Children (Director/Writer), The Land of Rock and Gold (Director/Writer/Producer), Ayapiyâhk ôma niyanân “Only us, we are here at home” (Production Mentor/Narrator), From Up North (Producer), The Beacon Project: Stories of Qu’Appelle Valley (Production Support/Storyteller /Producer), and RIIS from Amnesia: Recovering the Lost Legacies (Co-Director and Co-Producer).