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Storytelling to Storyweaving

An evening with Muriel Miguel

Theatre Preview by Lisa Lunney (From GayCalgary® Magazine, March 2014, page 36)
Storytelling to Storyweaving: An evening with Muriel Miguel
Storytelling to Storyweaving: An evening with Muriel Miguel
Storytelling to Storyweaving: An evening with Muriel Miguel

Muriel Miguel (Kuna / Rappahannock) is a woman known for her stories. She has become an internationally acclaimed Aboriginal artist, teacher and diva. This March, she will be returning to Calgary for the first time since 2001, and she will set the city on fire with her retrospective discussion of her grandiose career.

As mentioned, Miguel’s last Alberta appearances were in 2001, when she performed the raucous one-woman show Hot ‘N Soft to a sold out crowd in Calgary for Teatro Berdache’s Threesome Festival of New GLTBQ plays. This wildly amusing play was recently published by Playwrights Canada press in the anthology Two-Spirit Acts: Queer Indigenous Performances, alongside works by Kent Monkman and Waawaate Fobister. In addition to spoken word performances, Muriel also choreographed and performed in the critically acclaimed Bones: An Aboriginal Dance Opera at The Banff Centre in 2001. This performance was one that blended indigenous performers from across the globe, bringing huge crowds to Banff.

Along with her sisters, Miguel is also the artistic director of North America’s longest running Native theatre company, Spiderwoman Theatre. As an actress, choreographer and director, Miguel has worked across North America, including several years’ work with the Banff Centre’s Aboriginal Arts Program. Muriel Miguel is driven by the beauty of a creative mind; she is passionate about art in all forms.

Contemporary Calgary, formerly The Art Gallery of Calgary is proud to host Miguel on Thursday March 27th. She will speak about her journeys in life and her celebrated career. She is a woman of many life experiences, and has a deep, culturally rooted story to tell.

Her career started on a high note: fifty-four years ago in the 1960s, Miguel was at the forefront of New York City’s avant-garde theatre scene, as an original member of Joseph Chaikin’s Open Theatre. Fast-forward to the 1980s, when Miguel appeared as "Philemona Moosetail" in the original production of Tomson Highway’s groundbreaking play The Rez Sisters. With over fifty-years of showbiz experience under her belt, this diva sure has a story to tell.

Miguel is admired for her work with Aboriginal youth; she has cited her work with the next generation as her greatest accomplishment. As a teacher in post-secondary programs, she has pioneered culturally based teaching methodologies now used across North America. She has changed the face of education, and sought out to ensure human rights are always at the forefront of any lesson. She has made waves for Toronto’s Centre for Indigenous Theatre. A loud and proud Two-Spirit woman – the mantle worn by gay, lesbian, transgender and bisexual Indigenous people to reflect the special gift of their sexuality - Miguel is recognized across North America as an advocate, elder and stateswoman.

Muriel Miguel is an icon. A woman of outstanding courage, passion and zest for life. A woman ever so deserving of the title of Diva. Contemporary Calgary invites everyone to attend this special evening.

From Storytelling to Storyweaving: An Evening with Muriel Miguel runs from 6pm to 8pm at Contemporary Calgary, 117 – 8th Avenue SW. Admission is free; laughter is mandatory. The talk runs in conjunction with Deadly Lady Art Triumvirate, an exhibition of works created at CC by Alberta First Nations artists Tanya Harnett, Amy Malbeuf and Brittney Bear Hat.


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