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REGALIA – Native Pride

By Roland Lorente and Aline Saffore

Originally from France, photographer Roland Lorente has lived and worked in
Montréal for over 25 years. A dramatic arts specialist, he has photographed numerous
large projects in both France and Québec. The iconography of some of Montréal’s most
prestigious institutions bear his mark, including Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de
, the Théâtre du Nouveau-Monde, and the National Circus School in Montreal.
The exhibition REGALIA, Native Pride combines his talent as a portraitist and his
outstanding sense of scenography.

A trained sociocultural facilitator with a passion for nature and science
popularization, Aline Saffore has been a guide at the Montréal Science Centre for over
15 years. She also works as a freelance journalist for publications in Canada and
France. Her short biographies accompanying the photographs in REGALIA, Native
eloquently relate the engaging life stories and flourishing spirituality of these
Indigenous dancers.

Some 30 years spent photographing the performing arts have guided Roland Lorente’s
artistic process toward the desire to glorify the evocative power of motion; to reveal
the identities hidden among folds of costume, festive clothing, or ceremonial garb; and
to question the particular social-cultural stereotypes that manifest themselves at
community gatherings.

A hands-on person, Lorente went to meet First Nations peoples on their territories
and strived to photograph them in action, using natural light to capture both the
power of their dances and the essence of the identities expressed through them.

In REGALIA, Native Pride, the marriage of images and words creates a space where
tradition and modernity, “here” and “elsewhere,” and Self and Other can come
together and elicit reflection on that which brings people together rather than
separates them. And while it contributes to the impact of each work in the exhibition,
the polished aesthetic also acts as a mirror that is extended in respect and deference
to Native peoples. It is an homage to the courage and determination of these
individuals, a way to highlight the essential character of the cultural and
environmental values they defend, and, through their example, a tribute to the pride
and resilience of all First Nations.