I finished a week long creative intensive on the circus students at l’Ecole de Cirque in Montreal. It was a rock and roll, fast, throw it out there experience with these highly energized physical specimens. Loved their ‘freakishly’ amazing abilities and youthful enthusiasm. My main goal for the week long intensive was to choreograph to popular music and to fuse dance with the circus arts. The 3 works had to be created quickly and for me had to be accessible and well communicated to any type of viewer. My biggest challenge was not the time limitation but the fact that I was working with inexperienced talent in their formative stage as circus performers. I needed to remind myself that they were not professionals nor were they dancers and we were still within an educational institution. My expectations were lowered on their dancing abilities however my demand for hard work were never compromised. With a few exceptions, the maturity level was very high. I generally ignored or did not use those who were not generous or open to working ‘professionally’.
The results were quite fun. Got most of them ‘dancing’ and managed to make some very interesting work with these folks. It was a hard but satisfying exercise for both the creators and the performers. I tried to get them out of their comfort zone by choreographing dance while still respecting and integrating their particular art forms within each of the 3 works. I highly enjoyed the experience at l’Ecole de Cirque as it confirmed that creation with hungry artists is always satisfying. The kids were great and it was a blast to discover other possibilities of moving. It was damn fun and can’t wait to see a copy of the video.
My international travels as a dancer has allowed me to taste some of the culinary offerings the world has to offer. One of the most memorable tours was when I travelled to San Sebastien, Spain in between show dates. My palette could not get enough of the fine culinary creations in this small Basque city situated just south of France. With its’ fine affordable but great eating establishments, pinxos (tapas), wine, and beaches, I could only equate my time in San Sebastien as heaven on earth. I can still taste the beautiful ocean in every bite of the mussels that we tossed back with the vast amounts of wine and cider chasing down our throats. We were in a little hole in the wall of a eating establishment that was jammed packed with happy noisy people standing in a sea of shells from the discarded mussels… it was pure hedonistic pleasure.
When one is so in love with one’s own odor, one can’t perceive or recognize the stink that is imposed on others. Sometimes when an idea is clear in ones head, it does not mean that the idea is clear for others. Often the conceptual does not reflect the reality of the product. Never assume the obvious and never disrespect the intelligence of your audience.
Been in the studio working as a dancer with Louise Bédard. Will be performing tomorrow night at Le Theatre la Verdure in Parc Lafontaine, Montréal. An open outdoor theatre will be a wonderful setting for a night out in this city. I’ll be one of the old guys on stage jumping up and down. Come see us and tell me if I still have the chops or not to be dancing… and yes be honest. Whether you like the work or not, it is me that I’m interested about. (just kidding)
Summer has finally arrived (August 13th), it has been a long time coming. However fall is just around the corner and that is coming in faster than I want it to. There is just so much to do and yet there is not enough time or money to do it. Doing some research on future projects and ideas. All is a stage of unknown at the moment. Ahh how to control it all.
Tell me how!
Well the 2009 Festival TransAmerique in Montréal, Canada has ended. I managed to see only 4 shows at the festival, a couple of free events, and participated in a couple of OFF-TA events because it was rather pricey. The paid shows that were officially in the festival were interesting works however none were amazing or great. All four had the problem of being too long, an unwillingness to edit, self-indulgent and the inability to avoid being pretentiously self-conscious. I kept saying to myself, “would someone just have little dramatic craftsmanship here Please!” The images presented in all of the shows were often beautiful or even powerful however they were always hammered into us until it became insignificant and boring. I began believing that these choreographers are trying so hard to show off their ingenuity or cleverness that it backfires on them. Sometimes less is better.
The most successful work were the ones that took itself much less seriously. Sylvain Emard’s Le Grand Continental’s mass choreographic exercise with everyday folks dancing in the street and the collective Piquant during the OFF were highlights.
I don’t know… perhaps I am looking at and for things differently now in dance.