In the fall of 2009 I premiered a dance called move for Nuit Blanche in a quietly lit studio at Canada’s National Ballet School in Toronto. The audience response to the piece was ecstatic, and I was immediately inspired to imagine other situations in which the work could be presented. A powerful community engagement project for a residency, move can be situated beautifully in a wide variety of alternative spaces, performed by members of the local community.
move is as an event for 16 performers, working in pairs, that explores basic dualities of caregiving and also of dance practice: touching and being touched, watching and being witnessed, movement through the body and that same body’s movement through space. It is performed in a cycle of four repetitions, with each episode rotated to use a new front, and with the partners alternating roles. The complete cycle of the work takes 70 minutes.
The sonic environment for move is an electro-acoustic score by Toronto musician and composer, Debashis Sinha. move can be staged in just 17 hours of rehearsal, broken up into five 3-hour sessions and a final 2 hour rehearsal prior to the presentation. It may be performed by dancers, actors, or even martial arts or yoga practitioners. I think of move as a dance installation, which does not require the audience to watch it from beginning to end, but which may draw in observers who choose to stay for part or all of the complete cycle. The presentation requires a performing area of 32′ x 32′ set in a space that allows audience members to circulate and watch from all four sides. move calls up a multitude of ancient and timeless images; earth being plowed, the molding of clay, the kneading of bread, a midwife at work, a storm gathering, the swell of an ocean, the movement of a glacier, the heaving of a continent, the passing of time…
Community presentations of move have been hosted by Brock Centre for the Arts in downtown St. Catharines in their Market Square building (2011), at the Beaverbrook Art Gallery in association with the Fredericton Playhouse (2014), at the Tett Centre for Creativity & Learning in Kingston (2015), at the Husky Oil Great Hall of the Rozsa Centre at the University of Calgary (2016), and at the Art Gallery of Burlington (2018).
Presenters with a password may view the full length video here.
For bookings and information on staging move in your community, contact Meredith Potter.
move, Art Gallery of Burlington, 2018. Photography by Andrew Ryan
move, Kingston, 2015. Photography by Paul Webster
move, Scotiabank Nuit Blanche Toronto, 2009. Photography by Omer Yukseker.