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This is my new piece Bloodletting and Other Pleasant Things with Toronto’s Dancemakers. This work is inspired by stumbling upon the venomous hateful comments in internet forums. By being ‘anonymous’, many people are for some reason able to spew their frustrations and anger in the most vile manner. Perhaps it is with this outlet to purge, people are then able to engage as a member of society in a civilized manner. What is with all the hate?
Well goddamn, I think I’ve got a piece after two weeks of work here in Toronto! As with my past works, I’m again exploring a dark and intense place. The point of departure of this creation was to explore the states of rage, rants, anger, brutality in society and how it affects our psyche. There is no denying the fact that I’m pushing the limits in this creation with Dancemakers; it is disturbing, offensive, brutal but in the end I hope it leaves the viewer feeling reflective rather than destroyed. After the showing on Friday afternoon, I believe no one was indifferent to the work or to the dancers’ performance. Some people approached me afterwards and told me how much it moved them, hit them in the gut, and how it left them feeling stunned. There were many who just avoided me, some skipped around the subject of the piece and out of courtesy mentioned certain images that they liked. In reality, the in your face tactic of the piece either captured or turned off the viewer. Some didn’t know how to react to the aggressive nature of the dance and perhaps was not prepared to have their senses assaulted on a Friday afternoon. After watching it with a public, it became obvious where things can be tightened, defined, changed, or even reworked. Overall however, I believe this creation was a huge success in many ways. I was able to explore and push beyond the safety zone because of one thing only; the trust of the dancers. The dancers were so fierce and so willing to go to this place with me and that was the reason why we were able to achieve this with only just 2 weeks of work. Thank you to the generosity of Benjamin Kamino, Kate Hiliard, Kate Holden, Steeve Paquet, Clinton Draper, the dancers of Dancemakers, you rock and it was a privilege to create with you. Thank you, thank you, thank you.