Native Intelligence/Innate Intelligence incorporates dance, Hawaiian chant & percussion, original compositions for cello, and multimedia scenic design to examine ancestry, home, and belonging. The research for the work began by questioning the word “native,” an identity that has become politically charged, has limiting vagueness, and has long been a weapon of colonization. The work explores nature versus nurture, the origins of instinct, what aspects of our identities are shaped by our environment, and if our genes influence who we become. Looking to genetics inspired Christopher Morgan to incorporate a lei making technique whose twisting spirals are reminiscent of the double helix of DNA. The metaphor of lei as strands of our DNA informed the scenic design by Brenda Mallory and how the work looks to weave together stories from varied identities as a way to build bridges that celebrate difference and respect unique individuality.
With live music by electric cellist Wytold and Hawaiian chanter/percussionist Patrick Makuakāne, projection design by Kelly Colburn, lighting by Peter Leibold and costuming by Marques Hanalei Marzan, this work creates a comprehensive picture of the multiplicity of identities we all navigate and invites audiences to reflect on their perception of Native people, their own identities, and instinct. Joining long-time company dancers Tiffanie Carson, Abby Farina, and Deontay Gray are new company members Jamison Curcio and frequent collaborator of CKM&A Matthew Cumbie.
Tickets ($36) here.