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

Friday, 16 August 2013

Balancing Hats on for Mocean, Hats off to the D:MiC Festival!

We had our opening night performance at the Dance: Made in Canada Festival in Toronto and we were received with warm enthusiasm and delight.  It's exiting to be apart of such beautiful dancing on stage at the festival in the T dot!

We are thrilled to be sharing Canvas 5 x 5 with such a striking program curated by dance photographer Cylla von Tiedmann. Performing alongside us at the Betty Oliphant Theatre is an intimate duet by Louis Laberg-Cote and a fierce solo by Lucy Rupert of Blue Ceiling Dance.

Von Tiedmann's cutatorial selection and program notes read with strength and sophistication, seen in both the choreography and performance of all three works.

.... the sublime ability of dancers to tell a narrative through movement, projecting their ideas into the depth of their bodies as much as into emotional and ephemeral worlds. The body  becoming, the brush, the word, the instant of expression....  
- Von Tiedemann 

This time around settling in and warming to the stage has been a breeze and I am sure it has contributed to the stunning performance by our ladies of Mocean Dance.

Helping us transition back to the vast Betty Oliphant stage was supported by "Sarge," Mocean's TD Marcel Boulet who flew in with us to oversee and produce the quickest cue building around, the lovely festival stage manager Jeff Morris, the highly organized and bubbly festival producer Yvonne Ng, and of course all the amazing technical team and support staff.

Touring Canvas 5 x 5 regionally this year, the piece has expanded and contracting, and gone through the wringer of all possible parameters for performance. So now back on the big stage the dancers have felt the ceiling lift and have room to breath and play again, finding a welcomed similarity to our Halifax premiere at the Dunn!

The dancers have a few more steps and a bigger thrust in intent to traverse the broad width of the stage, but they can also feel the support of the space above as they balance their hats.

Our tech run and smooth transition to the vast Betty Olipant theatre

Sarge on site with his fancy new T dot tech boot purchase!

Unable to join us, Tedd has still managed to be with us via his "new choreographer" techniques, on call and receiving reports via texting. The photo below is my text to Tedd keeping him in the loop about the T dot booms and seeing the lighting results.

Comparative techniques in the tech: video below, live lx checking above! 
True to the Maritime mafia style we found a hometown local piper in Toronto to add to our Celtic force.

Piper Rob Noble joined us on stage in Toronto. Taking a quick break from his technician schedule, this Fredericton piper was pleased to pull out his pipes and feel his maritime roots again, a contrast to his normal T dot rhythm.

Bagpiper Rob Nobel goes through the "P Bragh" notes with Susanne

"I have chosen these three choreographers because of their skill, elegance and profound voice. There is simplicity and honesty here, combined with sophistication and intelligence. I sincerely hope you share the enthusiasm for this program."
- Von Tiedemann

We love Dance: Made in Canada!  
Thank you Yvonne for such a great festival! Warm, organized, and stunning programing in every series!


Thursday, 8 August 2013

Out like a Lion!

dance: made in canada/fait au canada
Mocean is pleased to announce our participation in this year's dance: made in canada festival in Toronto, where we'll be presenting Tedd Robinson's masterful Canvas 5 x 5, August 15-17.  Visit the festival producers' website: Princess Productions, to learn more.

You can also be part of the festival from afar by contributing to the festival’s Audience Choice Awards, and then vote for your favorite show -- Mocean Dance of course!

Save the Date: September 14-15 for Burnwater
A major collaborative project that you won't want to miss, Burnwater is shaping up to be a multidisciplinary extravaganza.  In partnership with sound artist Erin Donovan of Hear Here Productions, and Chris Little and Theo Pitsiavas of  lohifi Productions we're creating an outdoor, site-specific work involving percussionists, puppeteers, and blacksmith/sculptor John Little. The performance will take place on Little’s dazzlingly scenic property in East Dover (just outside the city of Halifax), and will feature his monumental sound sculptures, which provide a visual and audio backdrop as dancers Rhonda Baker, Jacinte Armstrong and Susanne Chui weave their magic.  There will be two shows (3-4 PM & 7-8 PM) each day; but spaces are extremely limited, so contact us as soon as possible if you're interested in attending.

On the "set" of Burnwater with Susane Chui, Darcy Gray, Jacinte Armstrong, John Little & Rhonda Baker

New work: body abandoned launched

Closing the season in late June, we were treated to a sneak-peek early into the creation process for our new work body abandoned, created by Artistic Associate Sara Coffin.  This new piece will explore the body's relationship to technology and our sense of self that stretches beyond the skin’s border. Sara was joined by Vancouver-based multimedia designer Andrew Hawryshkewich (thanks to funding by Arts Nova Scotia), who is working with her on the tech side of this complex and fascinating piece.  Dancers working on the project include Rhonda Baker, Jacinte Armstrong, Mocean co-founder Sarah Rozee, and our Fresh Tracks program mentee, Vivika Ballard.  We look forward to its official premiere in Halifax in April, 2014 at the Sir James Dunn Theatre, where it will be unveiled by Live Art Dance Productions (contact them to buy your season subscription ticket -- they're available now!).

Sarah Rozee, Jacinte Armstrong and Rhonda Baker working at Halifax Dance Studios on Sara Coffin's body abandoned

Swell: Contact Improv Workshop

Mocean recently organized and presented a well-attended contact improvisation workshop, which was open to movers of all levels of experience.  They came from near and far to take part in an "eco-poetic" creative learning opportunity, which included an open contact jam.  Internationally acclaimed teachers, artists and improvisers, Chris Aiken and Angie Hauser from Smith College, Massachusetts lead the group from June 20-23. Many heartfelt thanks from Mocean Dance and the community to the Nova Scotia Department of Communities, Culture, and Heritage's Cultural Activities Program, whose support assisted in our workshop presentation; to our venue sponsor, Dance Nova Scotia, who assisted in hosting this great event; and to our generous accommodations hosts Catherine & John Lazier (for billeting Chris, Angie and Ruby!).
To receive notices of our future workshops, company classes, and other opportunities, drop us a line.

Swell Improvisation Workshop in full swing

Rite of Spring Fling! 

Dancers throw their Rite of Spring shadows behind painter Holly Carr's silk panels
Thanks to all who attended our first Rite of Spring Fling! fundraiser on June 8th.  We not only raised funds, we had a lot of fun . . . and we hope you did too! Be sure to check out the event photos on our website.  We couldn't have done it without painter extraordinaire Holly Carr, and the stellar dance artists who generously donated their time and talent: Jacinte Armstrong, Rhonda Baker, Vivika Ballard, Kathleen Doherty, Ruth-Ellen Kroll-Jackson, Sarah Rozee; and musicians Doug Cameron and Tim Crofts.  Poet/spoken word artist Shauntay Grant rounded out the artistic offerings with her incredibly sensuous poetry, and swing band Jack's Cats played us out the door and into the warm spring evening.

Heartfelt thanks also go out to:

Our MC Norma Lee MacLeod, and our hard-working fundraising committee; sponsors: Joan & Jack Craig; corporate sponsors: InnovaCorp; in-kind:, The Coast, Woozles Children's Bookstore; our Cakewalk Ringleader, the inimitable Ben Stone; and DJ Regalia, our soulful in-house DJ.

Silent Auction donors:
Aerobics First
Bishop's Cellar (Kevin Schwenker)
Terry Chisholm
Pam Scott Crace
Adrian Fish
Wally Fraser
The Goatworks African Drums
Human Landscape Dance (Susan Cook)
Jack's Cats
Jane's Next Door
Lakeland Plant World
Larry Hayes & Sharon Nicolle
Live Art Dance Productions
Hydrostone Osteopathy (Elise Vanderborght)
Interface Carpet
Susan Malmstrom
My Mother's Bloomers
Anne Muecke
Neptune Theatre
NSCAD Art Supply Store
Victoria Parker
Lynn Rotin
Snazz (Michele Chui)
Thumpers Salon
You Two Can Tango
Urban Retreat Massage
Marjorie Willison
Woozles Children's Bookstore

And more: Cakewalk donors: Fruition, Gingerbread Haus, Elise Vanderborght, Layers, Judy Fraser, Nancy Bessette; other fun stuff included: Jewelry Table by Sacha Hanarahan, origami station by Nicole Arsenault & Marla McLeod; Spring Forecasts (tarot cards read by) Madame Tabia.  Our Photographer: Martin Grahovski; and the beautiful decorations were created by Susan Warr.

Rite of Spring Fling! at the Dalhousie University Club, June 8

End of Season Thanks

Even as we look forward to our 2013-14 season, we also want to look back at what a fantastic 2012-13 we just had, thanks, in part, to the generosity of our individual donors. 

A big round of applause to:

Margaret & David Fountain
Joan & Jack Craig
David & Colline Perrier
Dr. Thomas & Gloria Chui
Ewa Jachimowicz-Quinn
Maria Jachimowicz
Anne Muecke
Charles Baxter
Larry Hayes & Sharon Nicolle
Donald Sinclair
Fraser & Hoyt
James Rogers
Donna & Dwain Corbin
Pamela Scott Crace
Cassidy Bankson
Sacha Hanarahan
Catherine Lazier
Chris & Dianne Coffin
Barbara Richman
Kam Chung/The Chung Group
Nancy Spencer
L. Robert & Jean Shaw
Marcella Abugov
Dr. Harris & Holly Crooks
Bradford Productions
Kevin Schwenker
Thomas Fitzgerald
Donald Blakeley
Paul Caskey & Elise Vanderborght
Gay Hauser & Stephen Osler
Mr. & Mrs. Carl Yates
Nadine LaRoche

Choreographers' Circle Members:
Catherine Lazier
Alex MacLean
Sue Leblanc

Did you know that the largest expense incurred here at Mocean Dance, by far, is paying dancers to dance?  We are proud to say that it is!  We also contract other artists, such as choreographers, composers, musicians, lighting designers and technicians, costume designers, and more. But we can't do it without you.  Please donate today by clicking the CanadaHelps button above.  Any amount is appreciated, and we are happy to provide you with a charitable receipt.

Photo credits for this emocean newsletter: Header (dancer Rhonda Baker) by Holly Crooks; Rite of Spring Fling! images by Martin Grahovski; all others by Mocean Dance staff & friends

 Out like a Lion!  
A photo capture of our end of season activities

Andrew Hawryshkewich & Sara Coffin working on body abandoned

Jacinte Armstrong on the site of Burnwater (photo by Holly Crooks)

Sara Coffin directs as dancers work on body abandoned

New media technology and dance come together

Silent auction bidders hard at work at Rite of Spring Fling!

Dancer Kathleen Doherty performs at Rite of Spring Fling!

Jacinte Armstrong, Ruth-Ellen Kroll-Jackson perform an excerpt from Lisa Phinney Langley's Beside Myself Gasping at Rite of Spring Fling!

Origami lesson at Rite of Spring Fling!