605 Collective premiered New Animal, choreographed by Dana Gingras, for Toronto area school students on November 15 at the Enwave Theatre. The work mixed film and movement (along with lemons), and brought applause and gasps of excitement from the young audience.
Former Education and Outreach Manager at DanceWorks, Kate Cornell, led a post-performance chat with the 605 Collective. The group shared insight about their dance beginnings and activities outside of stage rehearsals. From Shay Kuebler’s training in martial arts and capoeira, Lisa Gelley’s love of ballet at five years old and her rock-climbing jaunts, to David Raymond’s childhood tap dancing, and Josh Martin’s admission of video gaming during the off season, the students enthusiastically responded to the 605ers.
Dancer Amber Funk Barton even detailed elements of Dana Gingras’ rehearsal process as a playful mix of task-based improvisations such as exploring how to survive a bear attack or an approach from an anaconda. Ms. Barton went on to declare that her favourite moment in the piece was “chucking lemons”, as it’s a unique opportunity to initiate a food fight in a theatre.
If you missed the show, here is a video clip (just as the lemons meet their demise) and a collection of images from the pre-performance stage warm-up (just before the dancers take on their New Animal personas).
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