Lua Shayenne Discusses the Creative Process

Lua Shayenne 3 Lua Shayenne 5

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.

Lua Shayenne 4

 

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.

Want to see more from DanceWorks?

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Crazy Smooth in the Press

Did you read the article about Crazy Smooth (Bboyizm founder, choreographer, and dancer) in Now Magazine, written by Glen Sumi?

Crazy Smooth talks about how the 1984 film Breakin’ changed his life and the importance of urban dance and community outreach.

Want to see more from DanceWorks?

Follow us on twitter @DanceWorksTO, friend us on Facebook, and check out our exciting 2013-2014 season.

 

 

Sashar Zarif on food, fundamentals, and favourites

Sama-e-Rast: Dance of Mugham – an extraordinary international collaboration between
Sashar Zarif and the legendary Alim Qasimov from Azerbaijan

December 21st

George Weston Recital Hall
Toronto Centre for the Arts
5040 Yonge St. (north of Sheppard subway)
Tickets: $35, $45, $55, $75, $100 (VIP).
Box Office: 416-250-3708 OR
online at sashardance.com

Dramaturgy & Creative Facilitation: Elizabeth Langley
Lighting: Arun Srinivasan
Costumes: Sashar Zarif

What is your favourite book?  ON IDENTITY by Amin Malouf

Where is your favourite place?  Hmmm, let me see, it is the kind of place that connects to and relates to my core organically, without any extra effort.  SasharSama-e Rast

What do you like to eat on your birthday?  ZERESHKPOLO BA MORGH Here is a link to the recipe: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DAlL2kLB6_8

What music do you enjoy? I like music that is fleeting, like Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah and Mugham music. Mugham is a universal language, not just a musical practice.  It can connect with the world at its core.

What is your guilty pleasure television show?  Should I say it? Of course! I proudly will announce “Golden Girls,” many, many times over.

What style/technique was your first dance lesson?   My first dance lesson was in Gramma style (a lot like Gangnum style, but without the skinny girls and the gyrating).

What profession, other than dance artist, would you like to attempt? For my next life, I would like to be an ergonomist.

What is your work Sama-e-Rast – Dance of Mugham about in five words or less? Human core, A continuum, Centre

 This interview has been edited for content and length.

Anne’s favourite things: Interview with Anne Plamondon, Co-Artistic Director, RUBBERBANDance Group

Interview with Anne Plamondon, Co-Artistic Director, RUBBERBANDance Group

RUBBERBANDance Group performs November 16-17, 2012 at the Fleck Dance Theatre

 

What is your favourite book?

The last book I read that touched me is Courage from Osho.

What is your favourite place? 

In Montreal, I like Flocon for the best coffee in town.  In the rest of the world, I like being close to the ocean in Mexico.

What is your guilty pleasure, television show or website?

Right now, I am really into Mad Men for the amazing cinematography of the show.

What kind of music do you listen to?

Everything!

What style/technique was your first dance lesson?

Jazz.

What profession, other than dance artist, would you like to attempt?

Probably a biologist or someone who spends his time protecting endangered species (especially sea creatures like whales).

What is Gravity of Center about in seven words or less?

Individuality tainted by the need for others

http://www.rubberbandance.com

This interview has been edited for content.

Arrivals and Departures with Lua Shayenne

What is your favourite word?

Love

What is your favourite book?

Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist

Where is your favourite place?

Nowhere and everywhere, I love to travel and get pretty restless staying in one place too long. I loved Dogon Country in Mali, Vienna in Austria, Florence in Italy, Elimina Castle in Ghana, and Cape Breton in Canada.

What do you like to eat on your birthday?

Fruit pie and my mummy’s lemon meringue pie

What music do you listen to? 

World music mainly, like Rokia Traore, Les Freres Guisses and of course, Sade. I adore French rapper Kery James. He’s a poet.

What is your guilty pleasure television show or website?

The best show, you can watch re-runs all the time: The Cosby Show.

What style/technique was your first dance lesson? 

Some sort of jazz … I was so young I don’t know. I just loved it.

What is your piece about in five words or less? 

My production DEPARTURE 00:00 recalls my childhood in Africa and immigrating to Canada.

For more information:  http://www.luashayenne.com/

This interview has been edited for length and content.

Homeward Bound: Shannon Litzenberger talks to DanceWorks

Where is your favourite place?

What can I say, I love the prairies. The big open sky. The horizon that’s calculated in miles instead of blocks. The silence. The endless space that is always so full of potential. It’s the home that shaped who I am.

What music do you listen to? 

My partner is a DJ and it drives him crazy that I’ve never had a good answer to this question! But he tells me that I immediately respond to any kind of music that I’ve ever danced to. Even if I have no idea what the song is called or who wrote it…

What style/technique was your first dance lesson? 

I started in RAD ballet at the Melville Dance Association. I was lucky to have a great teacher (Debbie Karius, who still teaches for the association!) and great training as a kid, despite growing up in small town. I also spent many summers at the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School.

What profession, other than dance artist, would you like to attempt?

I already have a second career as an arts policy specialist / arts activist. I have a great curiosity about the rules and systems that govern how we work in the arts and often see lots of room for improvement! While this work is much more intellectual than it is physical, it somehow helps provide a positive balance for me in terms of how I satisfy a variety of interests. Working in the field of arts policy and advocacy is also a way for me to help improve the working environment for artists. It’s my way of giving back to my community.

What is your piece about in five words or less? Identity, belonging and place

For more information on HOMEbody please visit: http://www.shannonlitzenberger.com/dance/
This interview was edited for content and length.