12th World Symposium on Choral Music

Christina Murray with Sarain Fox


Country: Canada

This lecture and demonstration will include performance selections from Xara Choral Theatre‘s full length performance of "Fatty Legs" - a work based on the true story of one little girl's experience in "Indian Residential School". This work is the result of an ongoing collaboration between Indigenous and non-Indigenous artists. The two principle creators, Christina Murray and Sarain Fox will offer a lecture and facilitated conversation covering topics that include: the creation process, building trust and relationship between Indigenous and non-indigenous artists, approaches to audience education and engagement, and navigating the pitfalls of cultural appropriation.

Christina Murray is artistic director and conductor of Xara Choral Theatre Ensemble, a professional choir that draws on theatrical techniques to present choreographed, narratively conceived programs. She approaches her conducting practice through the voice and is known for her innovative programming.

Christina holds an honours undergraduate degree in music (voice/conducting) and philosophy from Mount Allison University, has done graduate work in feminist liturgical practices, and has subsequently studied conducting with Diane Loomer (CA), Jon Washburn (CA), Michael Zaugg (SZ and CA), and Elise Bradley (NZ and CA).

Since 2011, she has maintained an ongoing collaboration with contemporary Indigenous dancer Sarain Fox in the development of full-scale works of choral theatre that tell stories of identity, community, and culture.

Sarain Fox is an interdisciplinary artist who, following a celebrated career as a contemporary dancer, has become one of the voices leading the restoration and revival of Indigenous cultures across the world. As host of the ground-breaking Vice Media series “RISE” she travelled to Australia, Brazil, Canada, mainland USA, and Hawaii to document the work of Indigenous communities who are fighting for their own survival and the survival of the land and waters to which they are so deeply connected. In addition to her work in the media, Sarain continues to work in the performing arts as the choreographer for the acclaimed Canadian ensemble, Xara Choral Theatre. Her long-standing artistic partnership with Xara’s conductor Christina Murray has given life to beautiful interdisciplinary creations that are dedicated to reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people on Turtle Island (North America).

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