AMAZING new #TripleBill!

triple bill

June 18-20 | 8 pm | Collective Space (221 Sterling Road, Unit 5)

Gandhari is a contemporary re-visioning of the Mahabharata character accompanied by the internationally renowned Parmela Attariwala on violin.

 

Re:Pairing is a female duet that delves into forgotten stories in a boldly crafted dance with surreal theatricality.

 

see-through offers rare insight into the performer’s perspective through tightly integrated video, installation and sound.

Gandhari 

choreographed by Gitanjali Kolanad & Brandy Leary (Anandam Dancetheatre) | interpreted by Brandy Leary | accompanied by Parmela Attariwal

Re:Pairing

choreographed by Emily Gualtieri (Parts+Labour_Danse) | interpreted by Linnea Swan & Emily Gualtieri

see-through

choreographed by Allison Nichol Longtin | interpreted by Karen Fennell

June 18-20 | 8 pm | Collective Space (221 Sterling Road, Unit 5)

$25 General Admission
$20 Students/Senior/Arts Professional
 
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Dora nominations 2015!

Congratulations to all the nominees for the 2014/2015 Dora Mavor Moore Awards!

We are proud of to have 7 nominations from our DanceWorks MainStage and CoWorks season including 3 nominations (Best Choreography, Outstanding Ensemble Performance and Outstanding Lighting Design) for adelheid dance’s elsewhere, 2 nominations (Outstanding Solo Male Performance and Outstanding Sound Design) for Damaru Dhamaar (part of Baghree Vaze’s Paratopia), another Outstanding Solo Male Performance nomination for Vincent Mantsoe’s NTU and Outstanding Solo Female Performance for Takako Segawa in Moments in Time (part of Across Ocean’s new dances Old Stories)

elsewhere by Jeremy MimnaghBageshree 2015-15skwatta 2HeppnerSegawa19_2crop

Best Choreography : Heidi Strauss for elsewhere

Outstanding Solo Performance (Male) : Anuj Mishra for Damaru Dhamaar

Outstanding Solo Performance (Male) : Vincent Mantsoe for NTU

Outstanding Solo Performance (Female) : Takako Segawa for Moments in Time (new dances Old Stories)

Outstanding Ensemble Performance : ensemble of elsewhere

Outstanding Sound Design : Vineet Vyas for Damaru Dhamaar

Outstanding Lighting Design : Rebecca Picherack for elsewhere

 

Gridlock

#WhyDoPeopleFight?

 Is it our instinct to attack, or are we conditioned to think that?

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Would we surrender in order to survive?

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Gridlock is an exploration of why and how people fight

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Physically electric, intelligent, and relevant

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This is a must-see Larchaud production!

Founded in 2004, Larchaud Dance Project combines breakdance aesthetics with contemporary technique to create repertoire based on strength, agility, and gravity-defying movement.  Pioneers of this hybrid dance form; their  highly stylized partnering is now recognized as Larchaud Technique.  This Toronto based company guarantees to captivate audiences with high voltage athleticism, compelling presence, and a unique approach to dance art.  Under the Artistic Direction of Jennifer Robichaud, a dynamic performer, choreographer, and educator, Larchaud Dance Project has been recognized for its vibrant workshops, cutting edge choreography, and multimedia performances.

Choreography: Jase Cozmic, Jennifer Robichaud, Raoul Wilke
Collaborators: Patrizia Ferlisi, Amy Hampton, Ryan Lee
Rehearsal Direction: Marie France Forcier, Jesse Dell
Lighting Design: Siobhan Sleath
Stage Management: Gillian Lewis

When: June 11-13, 2015 and June 18-20, 2015 at 9pm
Where: Artscape Youngplace – 180 Shaw St., Toronto*

*Please Note: This is a site-specific performance that will travel throughout the building. Box Office will be inside the main entrance to the building.

ONLY 30 TICKETS A SHOW!! GET YOUR TICKETS NOW!

Tickets: $22 in advance, $25 at the door (cash only)
$20 students/seniors/CADA
Tickets are sold through TO TIX.

Tickets can be purchased in person at the TO TIX Booth in Yonge Dundas Square or online at www.totix.ca. T.O.TIX online accepts Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Interac Online. The T.O.TIX Booth accepts cash, Visa, MasterCard, and Interac.

2015/2016 Student Matinees Announced!

Our 2015-2016 Main Stage season includes 4 exciting Student Matinee shows!

Student Matinees provide students with the experience of attending professional contemporary dance shows followed by intimate Question and Answer periods with dancers and choreographers. Bringing students to live performance expands students’ world perspectives, exposes them to contemporary art and cultivates skills to look, analyze, feel and appreciate a diversity of performance experiences.

In addition to the Student Matinees, our Study Guides provide teachers with contextual information on artists and dance genres along with research activities, studio activities and pre and post reflection/discussion prompts for each Student Matinee. Our innovative Study Guides can be used in tandem with teachers’ lesson plans, other curricular topics and are adjustable to meet students’ needs.

If you are interested in booking a student visit, please email education@danceworks.ca


 

peter chin

Woven

Tribal Crackling Wind (www.tribalcracklingwind.ca)
(Contemporary dance with dancers from Canada, Cambodia, Indonesia and Mexico – Toronto)

Wednesday Sept 23rd 2015 at 12:30 | Harbourfront Centre Theatre | $10 per student & FREE for teachers

Woven explores traditional weaving practices, the revitalization of lost traditions of woven art and working collaboratively with nature. Woven is a meditation and ceremony towards deeper interconnectivity among us all, and with all things, seen and unseen. Woven features an international cast of dancers from Canada, Cambodia, Indonesia and Mexico. To view an in studio performance rehearsal, visit: https://vimeo.com/91225903

The Student Matinee/Study Guide integrates topics such as globalism, traditional weaving and textile work and choreography. Students will have the opportunity to research traditional weaving techniques as well as learn about how these techniques/ideas can be explored through dance. $10 per student

To book tickets email education@danceworks.ca


 

sportinglife_1 by Nicole Rivelli

Sporting Life

Julia Sasso (www.juliasasso.com)
(Remount/remake of contemporary dance from the 1990s – Toronto)

Friday March 4th 2016 at 12:30 | Harbourfront Centre Theatre | $10 per student & FREE for teachers

Accomplished Canadian choreographer Julia Sasso re-envisions and remounts Sporting Life (originally created in 1996). Placing five characters in conflict, Sporting Life reveals ridiculousness, vulnerability, pain and the potential for redemption. Sporting Life is a series of scenes linked together by theme, movement style and content which investigates human behavior. To view a video made by Michael Downings, visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cHlAKpQd1-4

The Student Matinee/Study Guide explores Canadian dance history, what is involved in ‘remounting’ a dance piece, ways to archive and revisit dance works from the past as well as themes of contemporary dance, sports and masculinity. $10 per student

To book tickets email education@danceworks.ca


 

danielle

Jackie Burroughs is Dead (and what are you going to do about it?)

Danielle Baskerville / DA Hoskins (www.thedietrichgroup.com)
(Contemporary dance world premiere – Toronto)

Friday April 8, 2016 at 12:30 | Harbourfront Centre Theatre | $10 per Student & FREE for teachers

This world premiere focuses on the light, energy and impulses that drive us following significant loss. Throughout the creative process with DA Hoskins, dancers Danielle Baskerville, Luke Garwood & Robert Kingsbury drew upon personal experiences, including the loss of Canadian stage and film actress Jackie Burroughs, who died in 2010. Burroughs was a highly dedicated contemporary dance enthusiast whose enduring presence inspired many dance artists throughout her lifetime. The work explores the power of reaction – how we observe, absorb and ultimately respond.

The Student Matinee/Study Guide explores how art can be a place to deal with emotional and personal issues as well as aspects of humanity. Through personal reflection, journal entries and choreographic structures, students will be able to explore various emotions through their bodies with movement for pre and post studio activities. $10 per student

To book tickets email education@danceworks.ca


 

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Vital Few

605 Dance Collective (www.605collective.com)
(Hip Hop with Contemporary – Vancouver)

Friday May 6th 2016 at 12:30 | Fleck Theatre | $10 per student / $18 per student for Staging the World & FREE for teachers

Vital Few highlights autonomy and responsibility within a collective consciousness, based on individual dancers’ choice-making within a group dynamic. This work employs six dancers who share in the creative process through collaboration and improvisation. To view rehearsal footage of Vital Few, visit https://vimeo.com/97354339

The Student Matinee/Study Guide looks at the development of Hip Hop and contemporary dance, collective responsibility, collaboration and improvisation. Students will reflect on their own definitions and experiences of collective responsibility and collaboration through studio activities and written journal reflections. $10 per student

Staging the World! DanceWorks and the Harbourfront Centre’s School Visits program are offering a special Workshop & Student Matinee package for student groups. Participate in a half day workshop at the Harbourfront Centre with a local dance artist before seeing Vital Few on Friday May 6th 2015. For more info visit, http://www.harbourfrontcentre.com/schoolvisits/?p=1608 $18 per student

To book tickets email education@danceworks.ca

 


 

2015/2016 Mainstage Season Announced!

DanceWorks 2015-16 Mainstage Series

DanceWorks’ 2015-16 Mainstage Series will bring works by three Ontario-based choreographers, and one each from Quebec and British Columbia to Toronto’s lakeside theatres as part of Harbourfront’s NextSteps Series.

Local artist Julia Sasso will remount a seminal piece presented by DanceWorks in 1997 that continues to address current social concerns, while Peter Chin and DA Hoskins will create world premieres for the Mainstage. The two touring companies will present new repertoire in return engagements with the series. Montreal’s Daniel Léveillé Danse last had a successful run at DanceWorks in 2008. With their popular urban style, Vancouver’s 605 Collective will build on their theatrical debut here in Fall, 2013, which included two sold-out student matinees.

With two world premieres, two Toronto premieres and one remount, the Mainstage series brings our human individuality into sharp relief – the state of solitude and its emotional resonance; the substance of social power dynamics; how we intertwine and form allegiances; the transformation caused by loss, separation and moving on. The dances highlight the fabric of personal interactions, from the upbeat to the tragic.
Mimi Beck, Dance Curator

peter chin

Sept 24-26, 2015 DW 212 – Woven by Peter Chin, Tribal Crackling Wind

Woven draws on the metaphor of intertwined threads of woven art, and the spirit of traditional weaving communities. Choreographer Peter Chin has worked directly with weaving communities in Cambodia, Flores Indonesia, Oaxaca Mexico and Toronto, also gathering his international cast of dancers from those four countries. During a final creative residency at Dancemakers Centre for Creation, he will unite the cast of five dancers once more, joined by a musician/performer and a back-strap weaver who will weave on stage over the course of the presentation. Following its world premiere in September, 2015, Woven will tour internationally.

 

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Oct 23-24, 2015 DW 213 – Solitudes Solo by Daniel Léveillé, Daniel Léveillé Danse

Solitudes Solo leads us – ever so painlessly – to the difficult emotional states of our human condition. In this grouping of spare, elegant dances, performed in silence and to Bach’s Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin, Léveillé highlights five performers who explore what it means to be alone. Winner of the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec (CALQ ) Award 2013 for the best choreographic work presented in Quebec in the 2012-2013 season, Solitudes Solo appears on its cross-Canada tour. Léveillé received the Dora Award for Outstanding Choreography for Amour, acide et noix, presented by DanceWorks in 2004.

 

sportinglife_1 by Nicole Rivelli

Mar 3-5, 2016 DW 214 Sporting Life by Julia Sasso, Julia Sasso dances

Choreographer Julia Sasso will re-envision and remount her Dora nominated work (Outstanding Choreography, Outstanding Performance – Mark Shaub) that examines the nature of violent behaviour. Placing five characters in conflict, Sporting Life reveals the ridiculousness, vulnerability, pain and potential for redemption through a series of vignettes linked together in theme, movement style and content. With an arc that is clear, potent and often darkly humorous, this highly anticipated, rigorously physical, technically and emotionally challenging piece is set on one female and four male dancers. Sound score is by Sasso and Eric Cadesky. Rehearsal assistant is original cast member Julia Aplin.

 

dietrich group

Apr 7-9, 2016 DW 215 Jackie Burroughs is Dead (and what are you going to do about it?)

Artistic Producer: Danielle Baskerville, Choreographer: DA Hoskins

This world premiere focuses on how energy reverberates and grows through exchange – an echoing forever permeating the present and speaking of the residuals of loss. Throughout the creative process with DA Hoskins, dancers Danielle Baskerville, Luke Garwood & Robert Kingsbury drew upon personal experiences, including the loss of Canadian stage and film actress Jackie Burroughs, who died in 2010. Burroughs was a highly dedicated contemporary dance enthusiast whose enduring presence inspired many dance artists throughout her lifetime. The work explores the power of reaction – how we observe, absorb and ultimately respond.

 

VitalFew2byDavidCooper

May 7, 2016 DW 216 Vital Few by 605 Collective, Artistic Co-Directors Josh Martin & Lisa Gelley

DanceWorks will present 605 Collective’s spring, 2016 touring repertoire, Vital Few that highlights autonomy and responsibility within a collective consciousness, based on individual dancers’ choice-making within a group dynamic. The work features six dancers who share in the creative process.

 

2014/2015 Mainstage wrap up!

Our 2014/2015 DanceWorks Mainstage season has come to a close

Thank you to all who attended, participated and supported DanceWorks this year!

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“This work is made of, and for all of us.” – John Newton

“The ordinary throws itself together out of forms, flows, powers, pleasures, encounters, distractions, drudgery, denials, practical solutions, shape-shifting forms of violence, daydreams, and opportunities lost or found. Or it falters, fails. But either way we feel its pull.” – Kathleen Stewart

https://nowtoronto.com/stage/features/getting-real/

http://www.mooneyontheatre.com/2014/09/26/review-elsewhere-adelheid/

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“Dancing is the best medicine all over the world :)” – Martina Andelová

“Vincent’s charisma is extraordinary! This is a rich, touching evening of transformation.” – John Newton

http://www.mooneyontheatre.com/2015/01/31/review-vincent-mantsoe-danceworks/

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Emard BY Jean Baptiste Bucau DANCERS Neil Sochasky, Justin Gionet

“It’s a gorgeous work!” – Tal Aronson

http://www.thestar.com/entertainment/stage/2015/02/25/art-and-autobiography-meet-in-two-room-apartment.html

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“Wonderful show! Bravo Forcier/Norman cast & crew!” – Dawne Carleton

“[Scars are All the Rage]’s intense focus, complex simplicity and bravery to stay in the worlds of the uncomfortable and fearful were exciting and challenging to experience.” – Brandy Leary

https://forciernorman.wordpress.com/

Bageshree 2015-15

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“Paratopia is an awesome show! I LOVED it!” – Ruchira Sawh

“Today, my students got to experience the rhythmic similarities between kathak (a centuries-old North Indian dance) and hip hop. It’s through connections & collaborations like these that I can imagine a new future in Indian communities that dismantle anti-Blackness.” – Roopa Cheema

http://www.thedancecurrent.com/review/paratopian-view

Interview with Bageshree Vaze

Bageshree Vaze spoke to us about her upcoming show Paratopia

April 23-25 | 8:00pm | Harbourfront Centre Theatre

www.danceworks.ca

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DanceWorks: You will be featuring excerpts from past works such as Tarana, Avatar (9), and the CanAsian Dance Festival commissioned-work In My (Dis)Place, along with a new commissioned group work entitled Paratopia.  You say “the word ‘Paratopia’ connotes innovation and synthesis”. Are the separate works in Paratopia connected for you? How have the various elements and dance styles informed each other?

Bageshree Vaze: The word paratopia is actually translated as ‘displacement,’ but is a coined term based on a number of interpretations. I learned about the concept from a scholarly dance article written by Anurima Banerjee, in which she describes paratopias of performance in relation to Indian classical dance. The idea is that a paratopia is a place of alterity, one which can exist alongside mainstream culture, and can be both a reflection and a reaction to it, resulting in innovation and synthesis. Banerjee describes modern-day Indian dance performance as creating an ‘alternate’ world, and it made me think about how Indian dance, while perceived as traditional, is constantly defining its identity in a new time and place. Indian classical dances first originated in very unique settings of temples and royal courts, but found themselves thrust onto the modern stage in the mid-twentieth century. They weren’t necessarily created for this environment, but have now become shaped by modern production values and audiences. Contemporary dance practice in the Western world has evolved in a similar way, as a reaction to what existed before, and one sees the parameters of the dance practice evolving with each decade. In a sense, we are all trying to define ourselves in our changing ‘paratopia’ reality.

“The idea is that a paratopia is a place of alterity”

 

The separate works in Paratopia are connected in this way, in that while they depict different parameters of Kathak dance, they have all been created with this vision of a new place and time. They are choreographic works that draw from the essence of Kathak technique, but were created in Canada, with different mentors and collaborators from non-Indian backgrounds. I think it’s a great reflection that the whole notion of what ‘contemporary’ means is changing and being re-interpreted, even though ironically, what people perceive as ‘contemporary’ dance has become quite traditional and solidified. For the new work involving artists trained in other styles such as urban and contemporary dance, we are using Kathak rhythmic and movement language as the choreographic base, but trying to open up more movement possibilities drawing from these different techniques.

 

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DW: You write that “people think of Kathak dance as traditional, but it is very contemporary, and evolves everyday.” What excites you most about the evolution of Kathak dance in your own practice?
BV: There is no reason not to think of Kathak as contemporary – what we identify today as its signature technical qualities were defined in the 20th century, probably the same time frame in which contemporary dance was codified. But because Kathak originates from a very ancient, non-Western culture, people will naturally think of it as traditional. There is also the perception of Indian culture as ‘exotic’ because of the association with mythological characters and Hindu gods and goddesses, and much of the storytelling in Indian classical dances depicts this element.

However, because Kathak choreography is drawn from the language of the tabla drums, it is open to individual interpretation. While dancers learn a certain amount of material from their teachers, they are encouraged to develop command over the rhythmic language and use it to create their own work – it’s not just about pressing ‘play’ on the CD or iPod player! I have been very fortunate to work with an incredible tabla player, Vineet Vyas, and how good your tabla accompanist is can make or break your work as a Kathak dancer. And even though nowadays there is little emphasis on the need for dancers to also have a solid knowledge in music, my vocal music training has aided me greatly in creating music for dance. When I was younger, I was always hampered by the fact that there is little access to music for Indian classical dance, and that led me to create the music for my ‘Tarana’ and ‘Ragas and Rhythms’ CDs, which feature songs that can be choreographed and performed. I’m happy to say that thanks to iTunes, one can find a number of interpretations of my songs by Kathak dancers all over the world (you can find these on YouTube!)

“How good your tabla accompanist is can make or break your work as a Kathak dancer”

 

DW: Your website says “Inspired by The Matrix movies (which were inspired by Indian philosophy), Paratopia combines Kathak rhythms and dance with Urban/Hip Hop beats and choreography.” What was your process for integrating ideas, images or themes from ‘The Matrix’ into dance?

BV: The Matrix is really a starting point for inspiration. The movies are based on the idea of the world as an illusionary place, one that is not real. This comes from the Hindu philosophical concept of ‘Maya,’ in which humans must navigate through an illusionary world. This made me think of the connection to Paratopia, and the idea that we are experiencing an alternate reality that is constantly changing and being displaced, and it is often difficult to determine what is real and unreal. The agents in the Matrix are metaphors of how people are not supposed to stray from homogeneity, and the battle of human life is finding a balance between resistance and harmony. We now live in a globalized, Internet-connected world where ‘homogeneity’ is constantly being questioned and re-interpreted. So the new work will draw from this idea of using a ‘code’ to navigate through an alternate world with different bodies and languages to determine what reality actually can be with co-existing opposition and agreement. You won’t see battling agents in suits or airbending (well maybe a little bit), but rather a dance piece that is based on Kathak and Tabla rhythmic ‘code,’ and drawing from a base of rhythmic beat language one finds in both Kathak and urban dance choreography.

Paratopia

April 23-25, 2015

8:00pm

Harbourfront Centre Theatre

www.danceworks.ca

We don’t need another hero

DanceWorks Co-Works with Stand Up Dance

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Inspired by the Occupy movement and the battle between action and inertia, Hero is an interdisciplinary performance, a communal catharsis and an experiential spectacle. Art can be R&D for society. Hero looks at how we interact with the world as individuals, in couples, and in community. I think we are often good at two out of three. Hero attempts to integrate them all.

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This project is a call, an invitation to experience, action, and new perspective. Through dance duets, solo dance-theatre with audience participation and a bilingual translator, and immersive sonic experience Hero asks the audience to decide where truth lies: heart, head or guts and to use that as a frame through which to make choices about what to stand up for and how to come together.

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Hero is created and performed by Meagan O’Shea, along with composer/choir director Christine Duncan (Celebrated vocalist and co-leader of the Element Choir Project), sound designer Debashis Sinha (Knuckleduster; Dancemakers; Theatre Passe Muraille; Theatre Gargantua), dancers Christine Birch (Skindivers Dance Company; Frog In Hand Dance; Soft Matter/Meryem Alaoui), Nicole Rose Bond (Danny Grossman Dance Theatre, Toronto Dance Theatre, Christopher House’s Rivers & Eleven Accords), Brodie Stevenson (Toronto Dance Theatre, Throwdown Collective), Dora Award Winner Linnea Swan (Road Trip; Bravo!FACT videos Slip, Sahara Sahara, and La Revue) and Dora Award Winner Brendan Wyatt (this time, aldheid/Heidi Strauss; The Dietrich Group; Andrea Nann/Dreamwalker Dance Company; Bouchardanse) and outside eye Andrea Spaziani (Dancemakers TWObyFOUR; Hub 14’s Under a Paper Moon; Toronto Love-In’s PS: We are all here) with Finnish assistant Suvi Kemppainen  (North Karelia College Dance program, Finland), and renowned improvisational group The Element Choir.

We Don’t Need Another Hero

The Theatre Centre

PERFORMANCE DATES (each performance is partially translated into a different language)

Wednesday, April 8, 8pm (French)
Thursday, April 9, 8pm (Finnish/Swedish)
Friday, April 10, 1pm (Japanese)
Friday, April 10, 8pm (French)
Saturday, April 11, 2pm (Hungarian)
Saturday, April 11, 8pm (Tamil)
Sunday, April 12, 2pm (French)

For tickets visit:

Box Office: 416-538-0988
boxoffice@theatrecentre.org

Interview with Forcier/Norman

We spoke with Marie France Forcier and Tracey Norman about their upcoming double bill Forcier/Norman

March 12-14 | 8pm |  Harbourfront Centre Theatre

www.danceworks.ca

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DanceWorks: “The basis for [Norman’s] dance is the energy that exists and transforms between people and its impact on relationships, loss, attraction and decision. The phenomenon of one person’s thoughts or emotions affecting another’s mood, otherwise known as emotional contagion or synchrony, is explored physically.” Tracey, in exploring emotional transference, what were the ways or processes you used to approach it through movement?

“dance is really a communal experience”

 

Tracey Norman: Well, I would say that first of all the interest grew naturally out of working in the studio on past creative processes and becoming aware of the energy shifts and impact we have on one another. As a choreographer, you’re somewhat removed at times from the multitude of sensorial experiences taking place or the changing emotions among a group, but it also gives me a vantage point where I often feel inside/outside of the group and can witness or feel things unfolding between people or in response to what I propose. It’s an interesting space to study group dynamics. Additionally, I’d just come off of creating two duets (Witness and 43°N 79°W), one in which I was working with the observer theory or the affect witnessing has on the other’s experience, and another duet involving the use of our senses to navigate space and relationships. Naturally, I carried over some of the ways of working/researching continuing from where I’d left off with those processes.

The other interesting thing is that over the process of this work, I’ve worked with different dancers and witnessed how tasks and ideas affected people differently and in turn affected the group differently. When we initially began, we played a lot with locating emotion in the body and looked for ways to pass this among the group, largely improvisatory in nature. The dance is really a communal experience and so often we performed tasks in rehearsal that involved the idea of community – for example, I would bring a movement idea to the studio and each dancer would have a chance to work on their own with the movement and then we would share/learn each others’ movements and build phrases from there.

“We played a lot with locating emotion in the body”

 

I love working with stillness or interruptions to movement and having tasks within those and this was often a way to play with checking in with the group. Eye contact is a big part of the dance, but so are other senses – listening, touching and the less tangible ideas of “feeling” connected or disconnected from another. Often warm-ups or play found their way into the choreography – for example, asking them to start and stop in unison without looking at one another as a warm-up has become embedded into sections of the choreography. Or often I would ask them to only go as far apart from each other as they could without losing their feeling of connection/energy or the opposite. Then there were methods of creating material in which the rules were they were literally not allowed to come out of physical contact or creating dances in contact which then were split apart… and what is it like to solo a contact dance. Overall, trying to approach the idea of emotional transference from many different angles and as the dance started to build, looking for ways to highlight what is already in the room through imagery, pacing, sound, etc. For example, I didn’t intend or plan on say Beth (Despres) and Brittany (Duggan) having a tender relationship in the dance or Beth having some sort of quiet leadership or control but that emerged and we ride along with it or highlight it.

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DW: “In continuation with her research on the post-traumatic in choreography, Forcier explores the somatic repercussions of abuse. Suggestive, the works indirectly highlights the rise of trauma culture and our growing desensitization to violence and sexual voyeurism for their entertainment value.” Marie France, what about this topic possess you to continually explore it?

Marie France Forcier: A few years ago now, I started cultivating an appreciation for the aesthetics of discomfort in dance and other art forms. From first manifesting in my preferences for other artists’ work, this appreciation eventually seeped into my choreography; unconsciously at first, and then in response to a growing insistence of dissociative-like imagery and emotional dissonance in my practice. I eventually recognized that these repeating images were involuntary reflections of certain post-traumatic states I had embodied a decade earlier following a series of psychologically traumatic incidents. Curious to know whether I could turn from a passive participant to an active one in these aesthetic drives, I dedicated my master’s thesis (at York University) to the investigation of the post-traumatic lens in the choreographer’s work.

“kinaesthetic recognition is a powerful tool to fight off isolation”

 

The research and the dances works produced, beyond changing my paradigm of choreography and helping me embrace the reality of my post-traumatic life for its artistic potential, prompted several audience members and fellow academics– most of whom were complete strangers– to approach me and share their own experiences of psychological trauma, having recognized part of themselves in the performances. This made me realize two things: that kinaesthetic recognition is a powerful tool to fight off isolation, and that personal violation is far more common than we feel comfortable acknowledging as a society.

Of course, I don’t imagine that I will keep producing work around PTSD forever, but it was important for me to apply what I had gleaned over the course of my academic research to at least one professional process, to see how working with mature performers, in different conditions, may create opportunities for bolder, more impactful outcomes.

“I started cultivating an appreciation for the aesthetics of discomfort in dance and other art forms”

 

Postcard+Front

DW: For both Marie France and Tracey, how do you understand the two pieces intersecting, informing and influencing each other? What do you anticipate for the audience’s experience as a whole?

TN: I don’t think we set out on this production planning to connect the works thematically or create obvious links between the works necessarily. That said, Marie France and I are at similar places in our careers, we’re both working in different ways at this point in our careers than we were earlier on, we share a mentor/outside eye in Julia Sasso, and Marie France was an integral part of the creation of my work for the production as an interpreter/collaborator. Therefore, I believe there are connections and influences we have on each other’s work.

We both create contemporary work and collaborate with our dancers in terms of developing the material, yet our work is quite different and complimentary. I think we’re both exploring elements of the human condition but the tone and environment in each work is clearly different. I feel like there are moments of darkness or desolate images in my work but the overall quality is one of lightness or constant connection, whereas with Marie’s I feel there are moments of absurdity or sadistic humour that momentarily allow you to reflect on the tension in the work. So maybe this is another way the works compliment one another.

“we’re both exploring elements of the human condition but the tone and environment is clearly different”

 

I also think that when you’re involved with a partner on production over a long period of time, you have conversations about the works, view each others’ work-in-progress and in the case of Marie she was a collaborator in creating my work and so there are ways we’ve been influencing and informing each other all along. This is what I love. We’re not so much creating apart from each other and then coming together for the week of production, we’re talking as collaborators do, supporting each other’s processes and discussing how these works might look and feel together.

Overall, I think the audience will feel how these works are almost like two sides of a coin and I think there are likely intersections and implications the works have on one another that I won’t comprehend until I sit in the audience and view the two works beside each other. I think the audience will also experience the fearlessness, intimacy, and commitment of the performers and the holistic integration of the musical compositions and lighting design as integral elements of the production.

“these works are almost like two sides of a coin”

 

MFF: Tracey has pretty much just said it all… I would add that the works are indeed very different, but in a way that I hope will highlight one another’s specificities. The audience will be exposed to abstraction, refinement and movement craft with what goes between, and to implicit imagery, emotional discomfort and perhaps a dose of cognitive dissonance with Scars are All the Rage.

In my opinion, programs that reflect such range are very interesting because they give their audiences a chance to process dance– an abstract and ephemeral medium– by comparison, hence providing greater opportunity for appreciating the nuances and/or intentions inherent to each work.

 

Forcier/Norman

Marie France Forcier : Scars are All the Rage 

Tracey Norman : what goes between

March 12-14

8pm

Harboufront Centre Theatre

www.danceworks.ca