coalesce & armour

In 2007 I danced in the BAM premiere of Dense Terrain with New York’s Doug Varone and Dancers. Doug had been working from the Lewis Thomas classic The Lives of a Cell, with a special interest in the essays that focused on interaction among social insects. At about the same time, Montreal visual artist Sylvia Safdie offered me a group of her films as a catalyst for a new dance. The films featured insects, alone and in groups, their actions altered by slowing them down, looping and reversing them, and that footage inspired a trio, coalesce. When Doug suggested armour, a duet from Dense Terrain for my repertoire, I brought it together as a companion piece for coalesce, and commissioned an electro-acoustic score by Toronto composer Debashis Sinha which unites the dances sonically. They premiered in Toronto at the Enwave Theatre in 2010.

coalesce is a complex and unpredictable inquiry into the nature of communication that imagines alternate sensory and movement pathways for eliciting interconnected action. It is danced by three superlative performers: Kate Holden, Sean Ling and Sahara Morimotoarmour pairs me with Bessie Award winning, veteran dancer Larry Hahn in a spare duet that entangles us in a primal act of connection.

The Audio Action Tour format is totally unique and wonderfully engaging. For part one the stage is stripped of all masking and I speak directly with the audience, sharing the inspiration, methods and materials of the choreography through description, slides and film footage. The dancers, dressed in rehearsal clothes, demonstrate aspects of the choreography that reveal stages of exploration, development and refinement. Following a brief pause we present a fully lit and costumed performance. The guided tour of the inner workings of the dances, and the explanations of the deep connections they have to one another, creates a powerful entry point for experiencing and appreciating the performance. coalesce & armour: an audio action tour has been presented in New York, Vancouver, Nanaimo, Calgary, Ottawa, Burlington and Mississauga.


choreography: Peggy Baker

choreography: Doug Varone

original music: Debashis Sinha

lighting design: Marc Parent


original cast

coalesce: Peggy Baker & Larry Hahn 

armour: Kate Holden
             Sean Ling
             Sahara Morimoto


a rare chance to get inside a choreographer’s mind…stunning and haunting…cutting-edge contemporary
— Janet Smith,
… the dancers … move as if sensing the world through their extremities: legs lift and strike out, arms hinge, and hands pincer. It’s evocative, and the performers Sean Ling, Sahara Morimoto and Andrea Nann were beautifully clear and focused, without lending any theatrical overlay to their steps, so you really did get the sense of an alien species.
— Claudia La Rocco, The New York Times
Baker and Hahn are here more like archetypes, elemental and distilled representations of the human need for connection beyond the stereotypical, emotionally overcharged and romantic dance duets we’re used to seeing. They insinuate themselves into each other’s embrace, isolated yet together, driven by forces more mysterious than they can apprehend.
— Michael Crabb, The Toronto Star
Kate Holden, Sean Ling and Sahara Morimoto enact an impulse/reaction pattern in coalesce, where a single shift in movement inexorably leads to new pathways.
— Paula Citron, Globe and Mail


coalesce & armour is available for main stage touring.  Presenters with a password may view the full length video here: 

Bookings and information: Meredith Potter


armour, Toronto, 2015. Photography by Michel Dozois

coalesce, Toronto, 2015. Photography by Michel Dozois

Audio Action Tour, Toronto, 2015. Photography by Michel Dozois