Dance work remembers late loved nonna

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Tranquilla Laurenti died on Jan. 23. She was 92.

La Nonna e Qui (Nonna is Here) is a creative dance work featuring Smith moving to the music of Here, a song her husband, Rod Smith, wrote when he played with Leaves Off Trees. The track was featured on the band’s album, Songs for a New Beginning.

This song matched perfectly and I wanted to dance to it,” Smith told The Sault Star on Wednesday. “It made me think of my nonna and the wonderful garden that she had.”

Laurenti was a master in the kitchen, drawing on herbs from the garden of her west-end home to prepare meals. Potato soup and hamburgers cooked in butter in a pan are two of Laurenti’s creations Smith remembers well.

She made grand things, but they were always delicately seasoned, perfectly salted, wonderful home-cooked meals,” she said. “We remember her in the kitchen cooking and all these wonderful smells and her chopping herbs.”

Creating La Nonna e Qui “was a part of my grieving process” following Laurenti’s death, said Smith. La Nonna e Qui was first staged at Stories Steeped in Stone at Ermatinger-Clergue National Historic Site. Amelia Stuetz, of Elite Dance Force, did the choreography.

Smith studied dance for 14 years at Sherry Walsh Academy of Dance Arts. She’s also been active in community theatre. Her stage credits include Opening Night, God of Carnage, Moon Over Buffalo and Charlotte’s Web.

Smith penned an accompanying work, The Steelworker’s Wife, based on Ray Stortini’s Only in Canada: Memories of an Italian Canadian, featuring Lisa Vezeau-Allen and Northern Arts Academy students Aidan Allen, Desi Saunders and Elli Nirkkola. Vignettes highlight life as an Algoma Steel worker, or steelworker’s spouse, during the 1950s.

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La Nonna e Qui and The Steelworker’s Wife will be presented at Fringe North Festival at an indoor stage at Sault Ste. Marie Museum on Aug. 21 at 7 p.m.

Aug. 4

Country Legends Tribute Tour at St. Joseph Township Centennial Grounds. 7:30 p.m. $40. Call 888-777-9793.

Aug. 10

Alex Cuba at Roberta Bondar Pavilion. 8 p.m. Tickets, $26 plus tax and fees, on sale at GFL Memorial Gardens, online at or call 705-759-5251.

Aug. 12

Cole Swindell with Tyler Rich at Kewadin Casino in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. 8 p.m. $65.

Aug. 18

Stories Steeped in Stone presents Tim Murphy and Wasn’t It Grand? A Theatrical Retrospective of Sault Ste. Marie’s Original Opera House at Ermatinger-Clergue National Historic Site. $25.

Aug. 18-21

Fringe North Festival at Sault Ste. Marie Museum.

Sept. 10

Tennyson King at Algoma’s Water Tower Inn.

Sept. 19

Walk Off the Earth at GFL Memorial Gardens. Tickets on sale at arena, call 705-759-5251 or online at

Submit events to by noon Wednesday.

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