Previous Article Next Article FNPI Search Home Previous Year Next Year Year List

Another Saskatchewan Star Shines

Kenneth Noskiye

SASKATCHEWAN INDIAN      WINTER 2001      v31 n01 p20  
Michael  Greyeyes - KENNETH NOSKIYE

For a 33-year old man, Michael Greyeyes has accomplished more than many people do in an entire lifetime. A member of Muskeg Lake First Nation, Michael is a graduate of The National Ballet School in Toronto. In 1984, he went on to apprentice with The National Ballet of Canada before he joined the company as a full Corps de Ballet member.

While with the prestigious National Ballet, he performed in all the major classics, including Swan Lake, Giselle and Romeo and Juliet. In 1990 he left the National Ballet to join famed choreographer Eliot Feld in New York City. While in The Big Apple, Michael danced in many performances as a soloist, and as a featured dancer in many roles.

1992 was a turning point for Michael; this was the year he choreographed his first aboriginal-related play, Glory of the Morning. "I've always been proud to be First Nation," he says. "The arts, either it be dance or film is a way of showing the rest of the world what we have to offer." He continued to choreograph for stage and film, which included two productions of Tomson Highway's The Rez Sisters.

Michael  Greyeyes Michael  Greyeyes

Since 1993, he has devoted himself to film and television. He has appeared in featured roles in such films as TNT's Geronimo. He played "Gooch" in Bruce McDonalds' Dance Me Outside, a popular film that is currently still available on video. He also played the title role in Crazy Horse. He has appeared in television shows, as a guest star, on Millennium, Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman and as a co-Star on CBS's Stolen Women. All this success has not gone to his head though. "I am doing something I really enjoy," he says. "I believe our people are gifted and it's great to see so many aboriginal people starting to pursue their dreams."

Michael was happy to be back in Saskatchewan to work on the 4-hour mini-series for CBC Television "Big Bear," starring Gordon Tootoosis. "I never forget where I came from," says the humble young man. Parts of the series was shot on the Pasqua First Nation. Big Bear is set in the 1880's and recounts the story of the Northwest Rebellion, through the perspective of the legendary Cree chief.

Dancing, along with acting, is not enough as he still holds one dream. "I want to teach," he says. "My parents taught me to believe in myself and I want to teach young people, especially First Nations children," he says. His parents, George and Mary-Jean Greyeyes also members of Muskeg Lake First Nation, have been a big source of inspiration for him. "My dream is to go back to university and get a degree in teaching."

Michael, who has been married for 5 years, his wife's name is Nancy. When not busy with his career, he also Grassdances. "I was taught this traditional dance by Boye Ladd," he says proudly.