Mocean kicked off the 2012 season and their Atlantic Canadian tour Sunday night in Wolfville, NS. The company performed Artistic Director Susanne Chui's work entitled, Threnodies as well as Canvas 5x5 by Tedd Robinson.
The remounting period and performance day were my first behind the scenes experiences with Mocean Dance. As a mentee in the Fresh Tracks Program run by Mocean, I had the pleasure of learning the remounted works and traveling with the company for the performance day. The experience in the studio really gave me a behind the scenes look at each of the works. I had seen both works performed early in the year, and had an idea of what I thought each were about. By being there for the remounting process I learned the background and influence behind the movement, which really made a difference when I was dancing the material myself. I also found a whole new experience and level of appreciation when watching both works after working in the studio, especially the ease the dancers showed when ‘handling the canvas' - it's harder than it looks!
On Sunday we found ourselves in Wolfville getting ready for the technical rehearsals. It was a jam packed day, but everyone was ready to make the day a big success. I had the opportunity to hop on stage and fill in during the tech for Canvas 5x5. Any time I have an opportunity to get on stage (even without an audience) I truly treasure it. The other dancers were happy and keen to have me assisting and were great about direction, spacing and canvas handling advice while I was filling in.
A large audience filled the Festival Theatre in Wolfville that night, who rose to their feet after seeing the stunning Canvas 5x5. I had the luck of being offstage during Canvas to assist with handling of props and directing the bag piper. I believe I had the best seat in the house! Not only could I watch the on stage performance, but I was able to observe the dancers as the entered and exited the stage. Even when they were off stage you could feel their connection to each other. It was a truly unique experience. Post show the dancers were treated to a wine reception which gave audience goers a chance to chat with the dancers and express their delights about the show. Many popular comments focused on the wonderful musicians who accompanied the trio of dancers in Threnodies, and also the beautiful imagery and creativity in Canvas 5x5.
Spending time with the Mocean dancers in the studio and on the road was a great learning experience and lots of fun, hopefully it won't be too long until I can do it all over again! One part that I really enjoyed was getting to know all the dancers. I have worked with them all before either as teachers or choreographers, but this experience gave me a chance to know them on a dancing level, as well as a more personal level, which I really enjoyed. All of these Mocean dancers have done so much in their careers already, it's awesome to be a part of a project with them and learn from their experience.
Next stop on the tour: St. John's, Newfoundland to take part in the Festival of New Dance (October 12, 2012)!