Tanya Tagaq performs at Nathan Pahillips square as part of the Panamania concert series. Tagaq’s performance was intense, sensual and at times challenging to the crowd made up of diehard and casual fans along with those unfamiliar with her work. Tanya closed her performance by exclaiming “I hope we weren’t too fucking weird for you!” and maybe she was, but I honestly don’t think she cares and that’s what’s so beautiful about it.
In addition to her core band of violinist Jesse Zubot and drummer Jean Martin, Tagaq was joined on stage by Christine Duncan’s Element Choir and notably Greenlandic (yes that’s how you say it) uaajeerneq performer Laakkuluk Williamson Bathory. The interplay between the two was a rollercoaster ride of intimacy, fear, dominance, submission, sadness and release. I’m not surprised to read the murmurs of disapproval from certain media outlets, but considering all of the vile, offensive activity that goes on inside City Hall, I was quite proud something so raw and uncensored was taking place outside, in my city square. Whatever your place on the tolerance level, there was no way you were left unaffected. That’s fucking art for ya!