August 5, 2018 to August 11, 2018
ANCIENT INUIT MUSIC ONCE BANNED, NOW RECLAIMED The Qaggiavuut Society announces a ‘master course’ in Pisiit, the ancient Inuit music once banned and discouraged during colonization. The Pisiit course is held in Iqaluit August 6-10 and include group classes, rehearsal, performance and individual mentorship by elders from across Nunavut. “The drum songs brought joy, the Inuit were always striving to be happy, no matter what they went through and the drum and singing made them happy”, says Pakak Innuksuk, a longtime performer, film and theatre actor and teacher of the North Baffin drum style. Pakak will lead the drum dance training during the course. The Pisiit course is a fundamental music course in Qaggiavuut’s newly launched Qaggiq Performing Arts School. The Qaggiq School, in partnership with the National Theatre School of Canada and the National Theatre School of Greenland, will offer flexible training to Inuit performing artists in 7 programs and 34 courses. The Pisiit course will be taught in Inuktut, there is no translation, by 8 renowned elders from all regions of Nunavut and communities including Taloyoak, Kugaaruk, Arviat, Rankin Inlet and Igloolik. Vocal techniques and performance skills will be taught by renowned Inuit performing artist Susan Aglukark and Looee Arreak. The participants will learn Pisiit daily and rehearse as a ‘choir’ each evening of the course. A public performance of songs not heard publicly in over 50 years, will be held Thursday, August 9 at 7 p.m. at Iqaluit’s soup kitchen. The Pisiit course includes musicians and performers who applied from communities across Nunavut: Emerald Macdonald and Chad Hayohak, two young western Arctic drum dancers from Kugluktuk, contemporary singer songwriters Corey Panika (Rankin Inlet), Mary Poisey (Pangnirtung), Agagtoq (Arviat) and award winning actor Natar Ungalaq (Igloolik). They will join 30 other Inuit who want to learn from the masters to rejuvenate and reclaim the music once deemed too rooted in Inuit spirituality for the Christian missionaries.