They Are Still Talking

Photo credit to Erik Zennstrom
One of the values shared by many Native peoples is that we are to act in consideration of those to come. Long before we were born, our ancestors’ prayers willed us into existence. Ꮟ ᎠᏂᏬᏂ They Are Still Talking is a 4 part homage to our connection to our ancestors through air, gesture, inter-generational trauma and laughter. We are physically formed from all that our ancestors were. As we speak, the air that travels through our bodies carries their essence. They are still talking.

In collaboration with Cherokee Life-ways Consultant and LGBTQ community organizer Ahyoka Youngdeer, Maura García is currently developing Ꮟ ᎠᏂᏬᏂ They Are Still Talking to explore ancestral messages through the lens of Cherokee language and traditional teachings about two-spirit people and women. The fully fleshed out work will include live Cherokee language narration and also may incorporate 1-4 dancers, 1-2 live musicians and multiple shadow puppets.

Her work is layered, muscular, and surprising. In particular, her open, raw, emotional presence inside the movement is breathtaking...I found myself weeping during the journey towards the self in “What If We Were Warriors.” (a selection from They Are Still Talking) She offers a vivid and lively connection to Indigenous cultures within a contemporary lens."

Marissa Wolf, Director of New Works, Kansas City Repertory Theatre 

"…They Are Still Talking, a version of which premiered in Kansas City as part of Open Spaces 2018, achieves a delicate balance between narrative and ritual...performers interact with the set by alternately using it and ignoring it, through fluid movements and gestures that conjure the intimacy of family gatherings. As always, Garcia’s solo work is a highlight of all her dance compositions, and this work pushes her to new expressive heights."

Dan Cameron, Artistic Director, Open Spaces

They Are Still Talking was originally commissioned by Open Spaces and premiered in September 2018 under the working title Uncle Jimmy's Table. This first iteration was developed to exhibit a rich connection to the local artistic community. Community members were integrated into the performance including a grandaughter/grandmother duo. In November of the same year, Maura brought the work to Weesageechak Begins to Dance 31 and collaborated with shadow puppeteer Lindy Kinoshameg to further develop the piece.

Development & Production Supporters 
Lawrence Arts Center
Open Spaces: A Kansas City Arts Experience
Weesageechak Begins to Dance 31
Keith Barker (Métis)

Photo credit to Erik Zennstrom
Photo credit to Erik Zennstrom