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

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Oscillating between Strength and Vulnerability

Pushing on we reach, we reach within ourselves and beyond the stretch of our fascia.
We fall, run in circles inside our head and within our canvas of activity.

I feel the resistance of an open porous heart press into me.
My bones stack like a wall and I absorb her power.
We are five. An ensemble of accidents and searching for the unknown. 

Open waters I float, electricity,  and weighted boots


Thick is my home. Rooted, emergent forms of merge and separate. A welcomed meditative trance.

Searching for a clue, taking in the room, I search for the mean white cat but really I imagine that I have slipped inside a Jaque Tati film. For a moment I am French.


The reeds bend, an early season sprinkler. My fascia extends to meet the room.

~ Sara C.

Second Week Post Rehearsal Reflection

Dec. 8th, 2014 - Bennathan creation

first day of the second week and already my calves are burning

running in circles
the ground beneath our feet is not solid
we are pushed around
and slam into ourselves

we have to surprise ourselves
we have to dig deeper
erasing all that we have built up in order to find something essential

i am searching for my essence
it is fleeting
it cannot be held, or figured out, or accomplished

it must be demanded

we are not dancing in space, we are space

i feel powerful and weak
humbled by my own limitations
trying to grasp the ungraspable

how do we move together but not the same
in unison but not identical?

can we move together?
can we (this group) overcome the lines that define us?
can we break down the walls
ride the wind
wings batting, batting, tumbling, falling , crashing into one another

surveying our place
we are held back by invisible fences

our strength is only strong in relation to our vulnerability
how soft can we be?
how strong?

erase, erase, erase

- Susanne Chui

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Widening the moment of action

What ghosts surround you?
What images penetrate your thoughts and pierce your soul?

Floating between the earth and the sky supported by water. Suspended on a liquid bed.
Going through a thick forest and riding a train through the mountains, a journey so profound but fleeting.

Dancers: Sara Coffin, Rhonda Baker, Susanne Chui, Jacinte Armstrong and Gillian Seaward-Boone.

How long can you linger in each moment, arrive at the consequence of each action?

It is day 2 in the studio with Serge. I feel refreshed and feeling alive being on the inside.
I am enjoying discovering the strata between my fascia and flesh.

I feel at home following the sensation of impulse. Feeling the weight of my bones and harnessing the fullness of self speaks to me. I happily erase the lines of any preconceived schema.

I notice myself anticipating each accident and smudging my impulses into one.
I need to practice my printing – my hand writing is illegible. This continually haunts me, so I take this opportunity to practice through the medium of the body.

Widening the moment of action, I strive to arrive in the consequence of every accident. I feel an improvement from yesterday and I am further intrigued by the poetry of our lingering ancestors.

I continue to remind myself not to blur or smudge my edges, but to finish each whisper so that a story of existence can linger.

.... maybe I should unpack my bag so that my transient self can feel grounded. How do you suspend time when you feel time compressed?

It is never to late to practice one's printing.


Monday, 1 December 2014


We are thrilled to welcome Serge Bennathan to Halifax, to begin a new ensemble creation with the company.

This new work in the making is set to premiere in April during our home season mainstage production.  Mark your calendars and get ready to make your way to Dartmouth this spring! We are planning a full force poetic and physical ground swell April 30-May 2, 2015 at Alderney Landing Theatre. 

The new creation includes dance artists Susanne Chui, Sara Coffin, Jacinte Armstrong, Rhonda Baker, and Gillian Seaward-Boone.  We welcome the return of Mocean co-founder Sara Harrigan who will be rehearsal directing during the project.  And finally, we are also pleased to offer support to emerging artist Kathleen Doherty as she understudies the new creation.

As we work this week in the studio, we have also come to realize this creation marks an upsurge within the community; the force of the tides are shifting and we are thrilled to acknowledge a gathering of strength within Mocean and our larger community context.   We are witnessing and experiencing a strength in artistic grounding for each of the individual artists involved in the project, a strength in artistic grounding and a renewed articulate visioning for the company (aptly so as we prepare for the next CC deadline), and a renewed strength in our community activities as a whole. You all better book your flights to Halifax now and join in on our party!

Even before winter has started, there has been comment in the studio that a new thaw and exciting ground swell of people, projects, and activity is circling back around, shaking up the sometimes quiet town of Halifax. 

As we work with Serge, we can't wait to see how the work will unfold. One thing is certain though, we will pass through many layers of our own personal depth and many layers of depth will also be added to our bay.  Halifax is known as a nautical city with the world's deepest natural harbour. You will not want to miss crossing the harbour for our mainstage production this spring, we guarantee that witnessing the seismic shift of emotional depths in performance will be worth your ferry wait.