Mocean's annual choreographic lab CLEaR Forum, Photo by Kevin MacCormack

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Engineers and Architects

The world of contemporary dance is a beautiful open field, where wild flowers grow and the wind can take your breath away.  This is what I love about contemporary art, you can feel the visceral, see the physical and contemplate the intellectual all in one breath, and for the audience you get the same all in one ticket price.

We have experienced that open field this past week with Tedd and it was especially poignant on Day 5 when Tedd described:
"you have to be an engineer and an architect all at the same time
The truth of these words play in my thoughts, even as I sit and write with my morning coffee. If I think about the past week the dancers have transformed into many things, even beyond the scope of the engineer and architect. 

Friday morning the cast flew across the studio floor creating a flurry of wind, like a gale rushing across the open water. The effects of their actions go unnoticed by the performers, because they are busy subdividing like accountants on a mean deadline.

In the afternoon, Rhonda left to get ready for her show with Coleman Lemieux & Compagnie,  (super rad performance by the way), while Ruth-Ellen, Jacinte and Susanne worked as individuals, creating in whole, a smooth and orderly construction of weight and time. Their inner engineer and architect filled the room with a thousand thoughts and images, all through the use of breath and pause. 

When the world premiere hits the stage with Live Art Dance Productions in January we will see it all: engineers, architects, the sculptor, painter, accountants, but this isn't interpretive dance. This is humanity set into motion.

Dancers Jactine Armstrong and Ruth-Ellen Kroll Jackson rehearse Mocean's new work in creation with Tedd Robinson.

Thursday, 17 November 2011

B'y she was packed in

Today was Day 3 in the studio with Tedd Robinson and it was a mighty productive day!

In the Kinesiology world DOMS or Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness was starting to creep in for the the dancers but it was quickly replaced by the choreographic DOMS, =  Day of Many Sections.

The dancers flowed between gliding, balancing, impulsive and impactive gestures of the arms and the legs, emulating and integrating teddliards, teddlettes, timliares and their inner rocking MacIsaacs.

Working in Halifax, brings us closer to home than we expected, on Tuesday (Day 2) Ruth-Ellen, Jacinte, Susanne and Rhonda all pushed aside their inner ballerinas and found their inner step dancers.

The studio is filled with striking imagery, sculptural full-bodied pause, and kinetic firecrackers.  Although we hit that day three hump with saturated brains the dancers were able to push through with flying colours. Their focus and wild fire threw me to my feet with a little jig of joy for their incredible efforts and dancing!!

Monday, 14 November 2011

The Haligonian Welcome

Mocean Dance is back in the studio, as we continue our work with Tedd Robinson, resuming the new commission from our work in September at Lac Leslise, Quebec. 


Tedd arrives to Halifax for the two-week working period, welcomed by the the faint sounds of a celtic hum on CBC and the Barrington St. wind tunnel.  On our first day, we pull out our notes and bring the memory of our previous working session back to the surface.

Little books, twenty feet of thread and Mona Lisa's waiting to be painted, the dancers set out to make new creases in the cloth and feel their own wind as the new imprints are laid. We of course, experiment with gaffers tape -the tool of choice when in a pinch, and we are reminded that some things are better left unsaid.