“Dee(a)r Spine” explores the connection between heritage, genetics, ancestry and culture. “Dee(a)r Spine” was the result of a lifelong, tenuous relationship with my Native American culture. In creating this work, I wanted to experience going within a ritualized ceremony, as a portal to gain insight into my heritage and cultural history. “Dee(a)r Spine” chronicles the journey of the ancient, timeless Deer Dancer, within a contemporary framework, which allows the audience to access a shared experience, The Trickster figure plays an important role, as a constant presence of lightness and darkness. The Trickster plays with the audience, coaxing them to laugh at his foolishness, and then quickly holds up the mirror to expose the real source of laughter. The ancient medicine wheel becomes an access point, a point of departure, a doorway into a threshold and a foundation for the score.