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

Monday, 30 November 2015

Carving out Just Enough

I am in the studio this month creating a new work for Mocean’s upcoming mainstage production Ordinary Rebels

I am vulnerable, excited, scared and pumped all at once. 

The new work I am creating is a new duet for Mocean dance artist Gillian Seaward-Boone and myself. I am also embarking on new collaborative relationship with composer and fantastic artist in general Brian Riley. Brian is in the studio with us crafting the soundscape for the piece and we are also toying with modular set design ideas together. 

This creative dialogue and new collaborative relationship is fueling me and is very important for the piece and for my own creative practice in general. When I left Vancouver, I left a very special pool of collaborators that I had developed over the fifteen-year stretch that I was out west. Honestly, I still sometimes feel the void of these back pocket resources and important colleagues who have helped develop and support my aesthetic. 

I am also missing the code dialogue that we have generated in working together over the years.. Yet at the same time, it is important for me to create similar ties, develop new conversations and creative new exchanges with potential colleagues and collaborators here in Halifax, the city I have chosen to root in. So I am excited, this new alchemy feels good and is a challenge at the same time.Reasserting what I know and what I value, yet placing the opportunity in front of myself to go down new roads and open new doors. This playground is rich. 

It is a simple gesture to ask colleagues to embark on a new creative project with you, but the nuance of the outcome is profound and detailed in such a way that it is hard to track. 

The dance of many voices forming into one is perhaps one of my favourite aspects of the creative process. 

Curating the show, Susanne and I decided to book Neptune for the intimate nature of this theatre and in doing so we are excited to share the solo, duet, and trio - 1, 2, 3 that we are programming.

Tasked with the job to create the duet, a new work for the production,  I entered the studio curious about the equation of two. I wondered what would happened if I treated the duet as solo and instead create a duet that is not about two people but about the internal and external self. This was my leaping off point. 

Now nine days into the process, I realize I am crafting a physical reality and the mirror of who we want to be. Perhaps I am entertaining a physical interpretation of my present state of mind, a sate of mind that we all experience. Swimming among the questions of; Is this enough? Am I enough?


I wondered if I could extract myself from my own body, what would I tell my present day self? In this play of research, and with the help of my colleague Gillian Seaward-Boone, we are allowing the opportunity for our inner life coach to come alive. ‘Ballet Bob’ from Toronto would coin this as your inner drill Sargent. The relentless nature of the ‘idealistic coach’ is being supported by our super fun loop machine; a dangerous but very entertaining toy to have in the studio with us. 

After nine days, I have the skeleton of a dance piece in front of me and the richness of its potentiality for further crafting is super exciting. I can’t wait to get in the studio again! 


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