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

Saturday, 31 January 2015

EMERGE Week 1 Reflection - Sarah Hopkin

"Start with the body and the movement" 

Sara Coffin shared with us. Wise words! I have always begun the creative process with and idea or theme I wanted to explore, boxing myself in. Exploring through movement first and then reflecting on what has emerged has proven to be an effective method this week.

Given the time and nurturing environment, more seems possible than in past creations.

We went into creating movement with the idea of contrasting energy. This led us to explore women's presence on opposite ends of the spectrum; gentile vs. primal.
After stringing everything together on Friday and watching it back, it turns out gentile seems to have been dropped and a psychological struggle has become an evident theme. The material has created a sort of nightmarish feeling.

Now, with our openness to whatever emerges, we are excited to dive into this new found place on Monday. I am looking forward to seeing what turns and discoveries are coming our way! 

I've pasted a part of "The Raven" by Edgar Allan Poe as the poem came to mind when I was thinking about the nightmare theme we uncovered yesterday:

The Raven

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore—
    While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
“’Tis some visitor,” I muttered, “tapping at my chamber door—
            Only this and nothing more.”

    Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December;
And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.
    Eagerly I wished the morrow;—vainly I had sought to borrow
    From my books surcease of sorrow—sorrow for the lost Lenore—
For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore—
            Nameless here for evermore.

    And the silken, sad, uncertain rustling of each purple curtain
Thrilled me—filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;
    So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating
    “’Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door—
Some late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door;—
            This it is and nothing more.”

    Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,
“Sir,” said I, “or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore;
    But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping,
    And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door,
That I scarce was sure I heard you”—here I opened wide the door;—
            Darkness there and nothing more.

    Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing,
Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before;
    But the silence was unbroken, and the stillness gave no token,
    And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, “Lenore?”
This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, “Lenore!”—
            Merely this and nothing more.

    Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning,
Soon again I heard a tapping somewhat louder than before.
    “Surely,” said I, “surely that is something at my window lattice;
      Let me see, then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore—
Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore;—
            ’Tis the wind and nothing more!”

To see full poem:

The Emerge Program is supported by: 
the Province of Nova Scotia through the Department of Communities, Culture & Heritage,
RBC Emerging Artist Foundation and Kinetic Studio.


Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Emerge - Day 2 Conversations

We gather, sit, and share what intrigues us creatively.   This is the log:

-Punk Rock: Sounds raw, the essence of sound is tangible/felt

I am struck by things said the most profoundly are usually with the simplistic approach.

-Slim Twig: I asked this artist I interviewed: Would someone truly know you if they didn't see your work. He argued Artist and Artifact are separate things.
Working towards the third thing.

-Peggy Baker: Simple structure, humanistic, mechanical yet a storyness involved.
-Crystal Pite: Props, Surprise element
-Lady Gaga

-Hofesh Schecter: I would be overwhelmed by all the elements but curious the balance of elements and dance, where does the dance evolve from, where is the uniqueness grounded in all the stuff, how the focus flows (Referencing: Political Mother and other works)

-stripped by stylized movement, rite of spring, ritual like

-Rubber Band Dance Group: combination of urban and contemporary moves, video work,  use of partnering with push and pull (Salso, tension/release)
-following one body part in tension and the rippling the rest of the body

-Intrigued by yesterdays workshop in which we shaped sound and the body with image
-breath drifting in and out, letting the passage be open for the air to flow with no extra force
-and in contrast, how breath effects physical state in the positive most nourishing release and thearically.

-movement that looks classical and straight forward but in one move (or two) it breaks into something else. Connotation is twisted on its head.

-Heidi Strauss, Akram Khan, Pina Bausch, Claude Monet, and Stravinsky

-momentum, propelled

-quentin tarantino (Kill Bill) : colour, jump cuts, music, element of surprise
-David Lynch

-TRANSITION: THE WORD SHOULDN'T EXIST. It's all one strand, sense of flow

-Things that are finished and bold are attractive to the human eye.

-Sensational, Surprise, Provocative, Primal, Metaphor, Relationship

-Virigna Brunell, Heidi Strauss
-Floor work, floorwork with character shoes

-True confidence is: honesty, vulnerability but unafraid of sharing/showing this

-over exposing myself to the feeling of vulnerability instead of running from it

-Elon and Emmanuelle: a video or someone else expressing your inner self.

-tons of chiffon, hanging blowing, scarf on head, wrapped tangled.

-Blending different scales of open-easy to contained-trapped, light to binding accelerates from end of the spectrum to the other.

-I'm interested in the concept of choreographing modern dance to classical/neo-classical music.
Also thought it might be interesting to play with floor work in character shoes.
Something that interests me is the state of false confidence in performance and daily life and what affects it has on us psychologically and at what point does it (if it does) become true confidence

The Emerge Program is supported by: 
the Province of Nova Scotia Department of Communities, Culture & Heritage,
RBC Emerging Artist Foundation and Kinetic Studio. 


Monday, 26 January 2015

If you tend a garden, what new life would emerge

... to dance alongside the delicate and interconnected eco-system of our regional dance landscape?

This week, Mocean Dance had embarked on a new professional development opportunity for emerging dance professionals called Emerge. Despite the snow fall we had this week we are tending the soil of creativity to help contribute and cultivate a rich multi-generational eco-system for professional dance in our region.

The Emerge program offers a three-week paid work period for four young dance professionals and this pilot program is supported by The Nova Scotia Department of Culture, Communities and Heritage and the RBC Emerging Artist Foundation.

The group will have the opportunity to cultivate skill development in choreography, partnering work, interpretive skill, and career management while co-authoring the creation of a new work under the mentorship of Mocean's Artistic Associate, Sara Coffin. The accumulation of the group's studio research and new creation will end in a presentation at the Kinetic Studio's Open Studio Series on February 21 and 22 at DANSpace-on-Grafton.

The inaugural participants this year, selected from a pool of 12 applicants are:

Georgia Skinner                              Olivia Aubrecht

Vivika Ballard                              Sarah Hopkin

Over the next three weeks the Emerge participants will be sharing their thoughts and creative work via the Mocean Blog, so please stay tuned and join us digitally during this exciting creation!

The Emerge Program is supported by: 
the Province of Nova Scotia Department of Communities, Culture & Heritage,
RBC Emerging Artist Foundation and Kinetic Studio.