Seeing is Believing!
It is mid-August, writing back to this blog. Summer heat has arrived in Vancouver after a long, wet June. Since I last wrote in May, we returned from a successful national tour of Orientik/Portrait. I was thrilled to meet some impeccable Asian individuals, movers and shakers in communities such as Montreal, Fredericton, Toronto and Winnipeg. Each has striven to value and persevere Asian heritage perspectives and celebrations; overcoming struggles to do so in their respective cities in this country.
For me, the highlight of this recent tour across the nation was seeing the differing phases of generational and cultural backgrounds that are developing and progressing to be visible in the growing populations and pockets of Canada’s diverse landscape and meeting those involved. Sharing my creative work with these communities has been an eye opener; connecting to the individuals, knowing their stories, voices and contributions for survival and visibility from an ethnic and minority perspective.
I was determined to bring Orientik back to the road and tour in celebration of Asian Heritage Month as part of our 10th anniversary season despite struggles with deeply felt economic crisis brought on by the continued cut backs to arts funding from the BC government. Audiences across the country were full and receptive to the production making this a very worthwhile endeavour. Sharing the dance with such wide and warm audiences clearly shows the arts are appreciated and needed as much as ever in the other territories of Canada.
In July our visiting artist, Martin Inthamoussu returned to Vancouver and joined me in two days of five extravagant shows featuring dance and live music provided by the amazing ion zoo as part of the 22nd Dancing on the Edge Festival. Once again I've regained my faith in improvisational work; the ion zoo musical ensemble was tenacious and engaged sensibly with the dancers. For the first time in performance mode I was together with Martin, journeying to an unknown, intensely felt, sometimes ridiculously funny and poignant vignette of raw music and dancing. Live in Strathcona brought us all together to a new performance perspective, discovering and experiencing a potentially portable touring work for the future. Kudos to the 2010 DOTE festival which continues to survival, (and hold its torch as the longest running dance festival on the West Coast!), all amidst economic adversity and low attendee support even from its own dance community.
With July coming to an end, the last two weeks were spent in the studio with Martin; working on a new piece entitled Expose, a choreographic research and creation process triggered through the premises of EXPOSE versus IMPOSE.
The research has been philosophical, theoretical and physical. In the act of performance, or merely in a daily state of simple human gesture, exposing and imposing are back to back forces that can be an intent and an emotional trigger. Exposing reveals a force, complex and transmissible human connections, easily transporting, imposed meaning. In dance, the passing and disappearing of movements are expose, expressing a range of meaning that easily transports an immediate or lasting imposed meaning and confrontation.
Expose is visible. Impose is physiological. Are the two inseparable? In the exposed world we live in, how much do we truly reveal, or that in revealing actually hide truths and reality? Expose will continue its journey and eventually complete its finality next spring at the Dance Centre in Vancouver.
On the home front, Co.ERASGA is delighted to welcome aboard Jason Queck during our 10th anniversary season. He is positioned as our new General Manager, finding re-fresh way into the company's daily operational system. Over the years operational and administrative management has continued to challenge, defy and define itself in the changing course and economic climate of any non-profit sector, creating its own creative learning grooves, sensitive and changeable.
In the weeks to come, I enter the next creative phases of SHADOW MACHINE, a work that I've longed to bring to life again since it was first put the public in 2000. The multi-media work will mark and complete our 10th anniversary season this fall and is presented in partnership with the new W2 Community Media Arts.
This summer in between all these activities, I had a break, a few days to breath, a chance to meander in a city the hearth of antiquity, Rome. In a crowded room, forced to be silent inside the Vatican’s Sistine Chapel, a pause, a gaze and contemplation of Michelangelo and Botticelli’s masterworks.
Art is Splendour, Seeing is Believing!