Guest Review: NGS (“Native Girl Syndrome”), Dancing on the Edge, July 9

Reduced to using plastic sheeting and tin foil as bedding, the ravaging effects of alcoholism and the residential school system are poignantly evident in NGS “Native Girl Syndrome.”

Dancers Karina Iraola and Angie Cheng graphically portray two women whose better days of partying hard are sadly behind them. Stripped of their dignity, they slump through the days mired in their own stupors and wallow in the trash and strewn beer cans of the streets of 1970s Winnipeg. 

Inspired by choreographer Lara Kramer’s own grandmother experiences, NGS “Native Girl Syndrome” pulls few punches when showing the effects of racism, sexism and substance abuse. Whatever dance element there was in the performance – often alcohol inspired – it was the captivatingly slow and methodical drunken crawls and staggers, suffered during the isolation of living in the big city, which were interpreted with haunting precision.

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