We asked Lua Shayenne to chat about her new work cos.mo.pol.i.tan. From musical collaborations to gaining inspiration from dancers, Lua shares insight in to her creative process.
Can you briefly describe how you came up with the title cos.mo.pol.i.tan.?
The title of the show is something I aspire to be: a cosmopolitan – a person who is free from local, provincial, or national bias or attachment; a citizen of the world. The dictionary actually breaks up the word visually, to avoid any confusion with the drink, and it stirs up curiosity.
What kind of music will accompany the movement?
The music in cos.mo.pol.i.tan is quite eclectic and both sections, Landed Immigrant and Hybrid, include live and recorded elements. I worked with composer Reza Moghaddas and he was amazing at translating my vision. For the first piece in cos.mo.pol.i.tan, Landed Immigrant, I gave Reza ideas regarding tempo, mood and style of music. However with the second piece, Hybrid, I decided to go the opposite direction and let Reza create a score for me to choreograph to – we only spoke about tempo and theme.
The live music sections of the show were arranged and created by my musical director, Burkina Faso percussionist Amadou Kienou. Landed Immigrant uses a traditional Malinke rhythm named Soko while Hybrid is entirely new composition by Amadou Kienou. The accompanying drummers are Derek Thorne on Djembe and Walter Maclean on Sangba and dun set.
Can you describe some of the challenges you faced while creating the piece? What about some moments of inspiration?
That’s a challenging question in itself. No creation and production process doesn’t face challenges. Aside from some scheduling conflicts with company members and having to find the right production team, I’d say my main challenges were trusting that I had made the right choices artistically. I’m always inspired by my dancers and their trust in my work. They were a great part of the creative process and gave life to my pieces. They are my main source of inspiration.
cos.mo.pol.i.tan runs May 29-31 at 8pm and June 1 at 2pm, at the Harboufront Centre Studio Theatre, 235 Queens Quay West. Tickets can be purchased by calling 416.973.4000.
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