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

Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Come see Gen Y Perform this weekend!

In The Making

March 3 & 4, 8pm
Neptune Studio Theatre

Witness the stars of the future in this culminating performance of a shared intensive weekend of workshops and lectures bringing together four pre-professional dance companies from the HRM.  Participating companies include Mocean's Gen Y Project The Young Company of Halifax Dance, KiDanCo, Maritime Dance Performance Group and Coastal Dance.
 Co-presentation by Dancer Transition Resource Centre and Halifax Dance.

Tickets $20, $15/students
Available at Neptune Box Office: 429-7070
or on-line @

Dancer Vivika Ballard grounding low
Dancer Kiley Burke falling way back
Gen Y 2012 cast works with Interim Artistic Director Sara Coffin
Flying Low Floor Work

Flying High Partnering Work

Breaking through the Concrete 
choreography by Sara Coffin premieres this weekend!
Performed by HRM's up and coming rising talent Vivika Ballard, Kiley Burke, Amy Campbell, Amanda Clarke, Haley Cooke, Laura Flemming, Liza Hartling, Emily Howes Vallis, Sarah Lake, Rebecca Wolfe.

Mocean's Gen Y Project is graciously supported through the Nova Scotia Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage Cultural Opportunities for Youth Program and the RBC Emerging Artist Program.

Friday, 24 February 2012

thinking of the bigger picture in a small studio

Tomorrow is my last day with the Gen Y dancers with lots to do!

With studio visits from Emerging Costume Designer Nicole Parsons (scheduled to do fittings,) and a visit from Emerging Production Management Collen MacIsaac it is sure to be a busy day, (supported through Cultural Opportunities for Youth).

We are getting ready for the first presentation of our work together at:

'In the Making'
March 3-4, 2012 @ 8pm
Neptune Studio Theatre
Presented by Halifax Dance
Featuring Mocean Dance's Gen Y, The YOung COmpany, 
Maritime Dance Performance Group, KiDanCo, and Coastal Dance Theatre.

Breaking through the Concrete, will make its debut and find its own on stage with the rising talent of the HRM!

Working with a room full of eager energy, willing spirits and the concept of a wide open field, has been both rewarding and informing as a choreographer.

For the Gen Y creation, breaking through the concrete I seem to have been influenced by this special little  video "Back to the Start" created by film-maker Johnny Kelly, which recently has had main stream attention after being aired at the Grammy Awards. 

Working heavily in media, it was refreshing for me to shed my usual conceptual attachment of man and machine. As much as I tried to stay away, subconsciously it crept back in. I often wonder where the next cycle of human advancement and humanity will take us? The development and advancement from the industrial revolution, through to the digital age has definitely changed us forever. We have learned so much for the better and much for the worse. Where will we go next? Are we in the height of the digital age or is this just the first crest of much more. And if it is just a crest, how far will we crash?

Maybe I am over dramatizing (feeding off that teen energy in the room), but you will see these questions at play in the new Gen Y piece in the bodies and in a few bits of grass.

Costume Sketches by Gen Y's Costume Designer Nicole Parsons.

Gen Y and the Emerging Production Personnel Opportunities (Costume Design and Technical Mentorship) is generously supported through the Nova Scotia's Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage Cultural Opportunities for Youth.

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

The human head weights 8lbs, letting go and finding trust

Another posting from inside the Gen Y Studio, a reflection on the creative process, being yourself and building trust. Thanks for sharing to my Gen-Yers!!

In the Gen Y Studio, writing memories as part of the creative process.

Gen y for me has been a real learning experience, even though Sara had been my teacher before Gen y, I felt like I learned more about the constructive process and a different style of modern dance compared to my usual. This year was my first year doing Gen y and being the youngest one there I definitely have had some insecurities about whether or not I’m doing it right or if other people are watching me to make sure I am doing it right. But after a few rehearsals and all of us just getting to know each other better I feel free to get into the movement and really think about what I’m doing instead of being insecure about whether or not someone is criticizing me.

One of the things that I find always helps me during Gen y and all of my other classes is; in my minds eye thinking of all of my distil ends (even my head) either reaching out or relaxing (letting your head go can really be a lot harder then you’d think it is!) Also we do a lot of partner work in Gen y and I haven’t done a lot in the past but the analogies and descriptions Sara uses really help me and my partner understand the movement, or choreography.

Finally in Gen y I have gotten the chance to meet some new people and reconnect with old friends from past shows and productions. I find with dance in general it forces you to get closer faster maybe with totally complete strangers that you have never danced with before! Even though we all only met about 5 or 6 weeks ago we completely can just give each other our weight and trust that we (hopefully!!) will not drop each other! 

Mocean's Gen Y Project is graciously supported through the Nova Scotia Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage Cultural Opportunities for Youth Program and the RBC Emerging Artist Program. 

Friday, 10 February 2012

Mocean Magic most magnificent.

Our in class poet kindly shared her poems for on-line publishing, here is an excerpt for you to enjoy. Thanks Pamela, you make me a happy dancer as well.

Poem for Darryl Tracy
Open Pro classes - Jan-Feb
2012  Halifax Dance
dancin' with darryl.
classic flow, contemporary twists
familiar tendrils from eons ago
sparked with fresh, personal connections with body, mind and energy.
dance in the AND
Meet Gravity
children's hands are becoming racoon like - open open open

dance in the AND
is a gift for the audience to be able to SEE the moves on the beat.
Space, continuity, life within the life of the movement.
never stop moving
yet - live within the spaces too.

Meet Gravity
it's coming UP from the floor, the earth
in the descent, it's not collapsing, disintegrating, giving up
unless that's the choreography.....!
in the descent
join with the gravity - it will definitely be there.
draw from it, it's a sponge that offers back. be there to get it.
i'm's in the AND.

Mocean Magic
most magnificent.

Glide, sweep. snap. brush
carry yourself over the pelvis
demi demi
there's those toes

30 years dissolves and i'm a twenty-something,
energy flows through fresh new limbs
longing melts to delight
with beautiful dancing friends

so much thanks to Darryl and to Mocean.

Pamela Gaines, happy dancer

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Halifax, not so little city with a big heart

We have just finished our third session of offering Open Professional Company Class this season.

This time guest artist Darryl C. Tracy offered his teaching perspective and lead the community classes.

Developing over the season, first led by myself and now with Darryl, it has been so great to witness and take part in this community momentum and a room full of physicality. We are not so tiny as we thought. With record numbers throughout, this has been the first series of professional classes that have paid for themselves. This deserves a small celebration!!

Both with Darryl and I, the  over arching theme has been sharing thoughts from beyond the regular rhythm and mold, infusing new breath and exciting the nervous and vestibular system.

After class today a collection of beautiful
poems inspired by the inner container and outer
expression was shared with the room with excitment
and grace.  Pam brought a tear to my eye, and my
heart took a beat for this inspiring/re-inspiring community.

Pictured above, in class shots with drummer accompanist Andrew Dahms

Monday, 6 February 2012

The Beauty of Deconstruction

A system is beautiful. We feel comfort in the familiarity. There is a sense of reward in hitting the landmarks and fulfilling the code.

But what is the beauty of a system breaking down?
.......Seeing the body adapt trying to hang on to what it knows and simultaneously re-calculating the new.

It is as much a surprise for the dancer recalculating as it is for the witness noticing the breakdown.

Darryl has incredible power. 
Susanne has dark and mysterious eyes.