A Short Interview with the Choreographers/CoProducers of “The Sneak” including a sneaky self-interview by Lucy Rupert

Blue Ceiling dance coproduces “The Sneak” with Rebecca Carney, Caroline Niklas-Gordon and Brian Solomon

A DanceWorks CoWorks Series Event

January 29th and 30th at 8pm

Winchester Street Theatre, 80 Winchester St.

Tickets: $15 Student, Senior, CADA/$20 General Admission

http://www.danceworks.ca / 416 204 1082

I am very excited to be coproducing this show with Brian, Rebecca and Caroline. Rebecca and I once toured across Canada together on the theatre fringe circuit. Caroline and I have been dancing in each other’s works since 2000. Brian is a new friend, but funnily, one of the first people in the dance community whom I told I was pregnant. “The Sneak” is a program of 5 works that are kernels or glimpses of larger works or ideas with which each of us is grappling.

It is tricky interviewing yourself and choreographers involved in a dance concert you are co-producing. Luckily, everyone has been working fairly separately and I didn’t have to pretend too hard that I didn’t know much about what they were doing. There are days I am quite sure I don’t know what I am doing, so I tried to answer my own questions in that frame of mind.

Brian Solomon

What is your inspiration for creating the work(s) for “The Sneak”?

BRIAN: My inspiration for “The Sneak” is the only choreographic work I can visualize doing later in life and not completing presently, le sacre du printemps, the Rite of Spring.

REBECCA: Jump Jet was made for the outdoor stage to be the introduction of the grand entrance to a Jump Jet itself. The characters in orange were to represent ground traffic control with each of their own interpretations of what flying was like. The choreography was bound by a limited stage: dancers were up on industrial sea containers with waffle board surfaces. By the time the show was mounted and the show ran overtime, some of the choreography had to be cut. I became inspired to show the piece indoors with a different feel and idea.

The idea for Sisi started when I was in Vienna Austria. My partner was in the hospital with third degree burns and I took the afternoons to ‘get some fresh air’. Someone recommended that I go to the Schonbrunn castle.  It was there that I became familiar with the old Austrian Empire and the Empress Sisi. Sisi’s story touched me deeply and for years I wanted to play with some of the images that came to mind. This is only the tip of the iceberg. A small smidgen of detail of what I see and feel about her life.

CAROLINE: I am inspired by the subtle changes we go through daily, both the physical and intellectual. Minute changes which occur over time.

LUCY: My work started off with a brainstorm between Sarah Slean and I about how, what, why, when and where to collaborate. We started with a quote from A.A. Milne, The House at Pooh Corner: “It is because you are a Very Small Animal that you will be Useful on the Journey.” From that Sarah and I have gone off on our own threads, exploring what it is to be a small animal, to have a small voice and yet distinct purpose. Sarah is creating a string quartet, which will premiere with the full-length version of this solo in 2011. She is off in Paris right now, writing it, among other things.

Other inspirations are creeping in for me: the end of Henry Miller’s life; the landscape of Big Sur, California; the new sense of mortality I feel after having a baby; and, believe it or not, krumping, a dance form which not un-coincidentally originated in the bodies who then had small voices with incredible things to say.

What might be surprising or sneaky about your creation?

BRIAN: I think the use of very few props in this work and how crazily transformative they can be very sneaky.

REBECCA: Jump Jet belongs to a completely different show. In Sisi I’m playing with two instead of one.

CAROLINE: The dance, and the music are a structured improvisation. Not knowing what’s around the bend always adds an element of surprise.

LUCY: What’s sneaky or surprising?…Well, I won’t be krumping. And I might be wearing a tutu.

How does your creation for The Sneak fit into the bigger picture of your artistic life?

BRIAN: My excerpt of The Rite of Spring has great significance in the grander vision of my artistic endeavors.It is a vision of change in focus for me, a glimpse at what’s to come.

REBECCA: Jump Jet: Obsession. Sisi: Obsession. If they’re not done I will not feel complete. They’ve both been on my ‘to do list’ for a long time.

CAROLINE: I’m trying to gather my dances together in different ways, one of them being through improvisation. This less formal approach makes the movement much more authentic.The dance is shaped more by the subconscious, the physical impulse and sensory awareness rather than a fixed idea / theme, music or standard dance vocabulary.

Lucy Rupert

LUCY: It is part of a bigger work that will be my first ‘full-length’ solo – I guess that just means longer than 20 minutes – and a real turn in my sense of self. I am lucky to have a lot of support for all the different phases and facets of this work and I am trying to appreciate how far I’ve come as an artist and human being to be a small animal, a sneak, a dancer, a creator, and now a mummie too. This is where I am because a lot of evolution has gone on in the interior clockwork. I think that is a universal thing. We all grow and develop and one day really feel how small and mortal we are. It sounds morbid, but it’s very liberating.

Interesting that we all are feeling a shift in our careers, though we all work in such different ways, are at different stages in our dancing. 2010 seems a big clear year: I have already cleaned out my closet and cupboards, dumped old emails and shredded correspondence that no longer has any resonance. Is this the year we all get rid of our baggage and sneak into the heart of things?

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