WHITE BUFFALO CALF WOMAN by Rose Stella. July 19-20. Rating: NNNNN
There's nothing irreverent about clown, says native theatre artist Rose Stella . Her first play, White Buffalo Calf Woman , takes the traditional Lakota tale into the realm of dance and red noses. In the original, the buffalo have left the plains because of humankind's lack of respect for the earth. Hunters looking for them have a vision of a white buffalo woman who teaches holy rites to the people.
"The buffalo is a symbol of peace and prayer, but that doesn't mean the story has to be solemn," notes Stella, artistic director of the Centre for Indigenous Theatre.
"I fell in love with clown early in my training. When I began telling this tale in schools, I saw the innocent hunters as clowns, figures who are sacred in many cultures.
" Because she has two aspects - the animal and the woman - my White Buffalo Calf Woman is played by two dancers, figures who mirror each other and control the action. They're both supernatural, a version of the traditional trickster figure."
Stella's unusual script, developed in Native Earth's new-play program, Weesageechak Begins To Dance, melds European clown and native trickster.
It plays in rep with De-Ba-Jeh-Mu-Jig Theatre 's New World Brave as part of Ina Kidack! - Ojibway for everyone speak together - at World's Fare: The Americas Now .
WHITE BUFFALO CALF WOMAN by Rose Stella