Emma Hassencahl-Perley is working to revitalize Wolastoqey iconography and regalia and she’s bringing that knowledge to her work as the lead costume designer for an upcoming ballet at the Fredericton Playhouse.
Hassencahl-Perley, who is from Neqotkuk, Tobique First Nation about 120 kilometres west of Fredericton, spent hundreds of hours researching archival images. She brings those traditional motifs, such as double curves and fiddleheads, into her designs.
A double curve is a Wabanaki motif that features two curves meeting in the middle, often symbolizing relationships and balance.
Hassencahl-Perley’s costumes will take centre stage on May 12, when the ballet opens. Pisuwin, a collaboration between director and choreographer Igor Dobrovolskiy, multi-disciplinary artist Possesom Paul and composer Jeremy Dutcher, is a Wolastoqey story ballet put on by the Atlantic Ballet.