Long Trips and Long Shadows – an interview with Jennifer Dallas, Artistic Director of Kemi Contemporary Dance Projects

Longer Than a Shadow

A DanceWorks CoWorks Series presentation

Dancemakers Centre for Creation

55 Mill St., Cannery Bldg. (#58), Studio #313

Thurs. Feb 24 – Sat. Feb 26, 2011 at 8pm; Sun. Feb 27 at 2pm

Tickets: Call DanceWorks at 416 204 1082

Interview by Lucy Rupert

Lucy Rupert: What does the title Longer Than a Shadow mean for you?

Jennifer Dallas: To exist beyond what can be seen, and to see more than what is physically present.

LR: How did the collaboration with Bienvenue Bazie, an artist from Burkina Faso come to be?

JD: Bienvenue and I met in Lagos, Nigeria a year ago as guest artists at an international festival: Turefesta. After the festival I travelled to Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso with Bienvenue. It became clear then that we would find a way to work together.

LR: I know you have had many travel experiences with dance. Of all all the places you’ve travelled to dance, which one influenced you the most, and why?

JD: I have performed, taught, and studied in Vienna, Nigeria, Ghana, Benin, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, and across Canada three times as a solo dancer with the Afro beat band Mr. Something Something. Many of the images in Zetetica [a work that will be performed in Longer Than a Shadow] come from my time in Ethiopia. I am writing to you from Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso where I am creating a new piece entitled Converse with Bienvenue.

Each journey to Africa and across Canada has left its mark on me and influenced my work. I love the way my character is challenged in West Africa and yet I also feel a sense of calm there.

LR: If you had to pick 5 words to describe your production, what would they be?

JD: Inviting, dynamic, transporting, unique, fecund.

LR: What do you dream for the future of your company?

JD: I would like to spend six months to a year in West Africa in order to research and work with colleagues and students, and deepen my voice as a solo artist. Touring my work and teaching internationally are also priorities. 

 This interview has been condensed and edited.

View a performance extract

Buy tickets: 416 204 1082

Kemi Contemporary Dance Projects is pleased to offer a community class
with Burkinabe artist Bienvenue Bazié.
Come and dance away the cold
with movement from the traditional dances of Burkina Faso. Suitable for all levels!

The class is FREE!
Dancemakers Centre for Creation, 55 Mill St, Building #55, Studio #313
February 27, 2011 from 5pm – 6:30pm
Please email Kemiprojects(at)gmail.com to secure your spot.


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