Uaajeerneq, Inuit masked dancePerformance
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As an ambassador of the Inuit culture of Greenland, Josepha Lauth Thomsen will be our festival’s patron.
When Greenland was colonized, masked dances were forbidden by christianity…but the traditions continued in secret notably in the North and West of the island. These traditions are rooted in social, cultural and spiritual rituals that go back thousands of years.
The dancers paint their faces, sometimes out objects in their mouths or cord around their heads so they are unrecognizable. They may also use objects from animals such as bones, claws or shriveled parts of dead animals for a frightening effect. The substantially symbolic colours most commonly used for facial painting are black, white and red.
As much as masked dance was used in Greenland across time to entertain long and cold winter nights, it also has an educational function : the dance is frightening, to learn to react to challenges encountered throughout life.
Josepha Lauth Thomsen is an aboriginal artist of Greenland, and specialist in traditional masked dances. She gives us a glimpse of an island that was and remains anchored in past time, reveals to us its arcanas and shares this unique cultural and social heritage. An impressive and intriguing dive into Greenlandic myths and rituals.
At the end of the presentation, the public will be invited to exchange with the artist. The performance plays out in English, a translation service will be offered.