Razzamataz Kids’ Shows are presenting their first show of 2023 with the Indigenous dance group, Odawa Wiingushk. There will be a workshop for children to learn traditional dances on Jan. 14, followed by a performance of the group on Jan. 15. / PHOTO SUBMITTED

Razzamataz kicks off 2023 with dance

By Emily Stonehouse

Razzamataz Kids’ Shows is kickstarting the new year with colour, culture, and dance. On Saturday, Jan. 14 and Sunday, Jan. 15, Razz will present two special events featuring the Indigenous dance group, Odawa Wiingushk.

“Haliburton sits on the traditional territory of several Indigenous groups including the Ojibway, Huron/Wendat, Mohawk, Pottawatomi and Metis Nations,” said Nicole Stewart, the Chair of Razzamataz. “These events are important because it allows for us to take a moment to recognize and celebrate this, through learning more about Indigenous culture and sharing in their dance.” 

On Saturday, there will be a workshop offered at Haliburton School of Art + Design from 9:30 a.m. until 1 p.m., and will be an opportunity for participants to learn about Indigenous dance, history, culture, regalia, and the relationship to the land. This will be a very interactive workshop, with kids being invited to learn different Indigenous dances and practices. The workshop is designed for ages six to 16. 

On Sunday, Odawa Wiingushk will be at the Northern Lights Performing Arts Pavillion, to perform a series of traditional Indigenous dances, with a special surprise for the audience at the end. 

“This is a very unique project funded by Ontario Presents,” said Stewart. “It is aimed at shining a spotlight on under-served artists who are often made invisible by barriers such as race, language, and sexual orientation and in this case, a colonial legacy.” Stewart noted that the intention of the project is to actively connect with children by sharing Indigenous dance traditions in an immersive and participatory experience. 

This is not the only show Razzamataz has planned for the 2023 year. The group is dedicated to bringing affordable and high-quality theatre and arts to children and their families in Haliburton County. They also strive to diversify the types of performances in the community, including different types of art such as dance, music, acrobatics, puppetry, poetry, and more. 

You can register for the Odawa Wiingushk show by visiting www.razzamataz.ca. Tickets for the workshop on 14 are $10 and include lunch and admission to the performance the following day. If you do not attend the workshop on the 14, you can purchase tickets for the show on the 15 at 2 p.m. for $7 for children and $10 for adults.