ABOUT wind in the leaves:
Even on the limited budget that was evident in this performance I could not help but be profoundly moved by the power and depth of the production. This work deserves and, indeed, needs to be seen by a wider audience. Charles Smith’s vision touches a hidden level of experience that lies just below the surface of our awareness. He has put it forth with such skilful means that what has been hidden comes into consciousness with tremendous force and power. The experience stayed with me long after I left the theatre.
Kerry Gordon, PhD
Wind in the leaves is dance, instrumental music and spoken word. It is visually arresting but spare, leaving room for one’s imagination. Two dancers moved expertly with the words and punctuated the drama as it unfolded in my ears, a drama that interweaves historical and present day trauma of the middle passage, judicial and extra-judicial lynching and the banality of every-day racism today. Wind speaks to mass suffering and personal yearning for home and acceptance. It also speaks of our continuing trauma as a people through the voice of a young woman who was privileged to visit the “door of no return” during the bi-centenary marking of the abolition of the shipment of slaves. She commented after experiencing the site: “I’m not OK. I’m never going to OK”. Hers was the privilege of first-hand re-traumatization.
Wind in the Leaves is not soothing; it is profoundly disturbing and thought-provoking although delivered with a light touch, minimal sound and light devices to enliven the spoken word. Just maybe, it will disturb us enough to move more earnestly towards healing.
Yola Grant, Human rights lawyer
I saw the production of Charles C. Smith’s wind in the leaves – a journeying at Lab Cab. It is a beautifully painful expression of some little-acknowledged truths about historical racism, Canadian-style. It needs to be seen by as many people in this country as possible.
As we move through the healing required to create an enlightened society, an artistic piece like this one that bares the truth but gives it to us with beautiful words, music, and movement of bodies, is good medicine.
In both the writing and delivery of his poetry, Smith brings a sensitive yet strong masculine presence to what must be spoken. Harvey Weisfeld’s music was a well- matched companion.
Already a powerful piece, it deserves support to go further.
Penny Winestock, M.Sc.
I woke up this morning thinking about the notion of the “father tongue” and how it is the voice of the colonizer. However, ironically…you use language in your work and you use it so precisely, and beautifully. It made me think that you have conquered the conquerer through your mastery of an imposed language. I felt your comments this weekend were some of the most powerful of the symposium.
Sara Angelucci, Photographer and Video Artist
Thanks so much for all the incredible performances last week. Your poetry is powerful and exquisite and I hope that you continue to develop your own writing and “Wind In The Leaves”.
Trisha Lamie Lecturer, Theatre and Performance Studies, University of Toronto Scarborough
Letter from Ronnie Brown, Coordinator Marketing & Development, The Oakville Centre For The Performing Arts.