This winter I’m so grateful to have been chosen for an artistic residency at Parkgate Community Centre in North Vancouver, organized by North Van Recreation & Culture.
For the past four weeks I have spent 12 hours a week in a large, bright studio that looks onto the large parking lot for the community centre and library, framed from behind that those impossibly tall evergreens that populate the North Shore.
After a few months full of dancing (and touring) it has been good to fill an empty studio with my ideas, thoughts, and dreams as I investigate my own topic, identity. Part of the reason I chose to explore IDENTITY is because dancing in North Vancouver takes me back to my roots of where I grew up, and opens me up to asking who I am and how my upbringing and everything since has shaped me. I’m taking the mixed pot of my experiences- a vast milieu of dance influences from Vancouver, Quebec, the UK, Europe- and stirring them up, reaching my hand in to see what I can find.
Some of my thoughts as I process the hours I’ve spent in the studio, both alone and with friends and collaborators along the way:
- Movement can be a starting point. (often when I get into the studio I put some music on and see what happens)
- Don’t force it. (when I feel like I’m striving, trying to push through and it feels a bit painful, I leave the idea that I’m working on and take a breather, do something else. Sometimes I come back, sometimes not)
- Working with adults is not like working with children. (HA! I’ve done a lot of teaching, and not a lot of directing adults. This has been both relieving and challenging)
- Relationship is sometimes the most important… what are we dancing for, anyway? To connect with each other, and the world!
- Sometimes it’s good to take a few minutes to talk and think about the task that we’re working on.
- Sometimes talking is unnecessary.
- Come into the studio with preconceived ideas of what you’re going to work on, then be ready to completely abandon them.
As I ruminate on everything I’ve learned, I’m looking forward to taking this research forward into performance in the New Year to see how I can stretch and expand it, take the most interesting parts and sculpt it for the stage.