Liens et Lieux VIII
Last weekend I had the pleasure of performing in Liens et Lieux VIII at the Théatre Gesù in Montreal. The performance was curated by Johanne Gour, artisitc director of Liens et lieux, danse contemporaine marginale.
For the event, I performed my solo America, the video of which is already posted on my blog but which can also be viewed here. To surmise the weekend in a word, I would say it was a success. A review of the show can be read at bloodyunderated.net. (It is written in French but the author commends my piece. He also complements Johanne Gour’s work and her knack for bringing eclectic groups of choreographers together.)
The performance was particularly exciting for me because it was my first time performing in Canada in about 4 years! I couldn’t help but note the irony that for my first performance at home I was dancing “America.” As a Canadian living in the States, I am often met with the opinion of “well, you’re pretty much American.” Although I am well aware of the vast cultural similarities between the U.S. and Canada, I believe that our political cultures is one of the key differences that set us apart. Dancing a piece with political undertones in my home country led me to some soul searching that made for a unique performance experience.
Dancing “America” on a Canadian stage felt different. During this performance, rather than channeling Ginsberg who wrote his poem not only an observer, but as a participant of American culture, I was forced to confront my own relationship to America. A particularly poignant moment of the performance occurred when Ginsberg states, “It occurs to me I am America, I am talking to myself again.” The idea of belonging to a nation, reminded me of the particular context I found myself in. Living in America, a citizen of Canada, performing for Canadians about America from the perspective of a Canadian living in America… I felt a longing for Ginsberg’s sense of country, and it brought a new perspective to the search for understanding and inclusiveness that Ginsberg’s poem describes. Rather than dancing “America” as a social commentary, on Dec 1st I danced as an individual between two homes trying to define her own sense of belonging.
Stay tuned, I hope to post a video of the performance in the coming weeks.
A second review of the performance recently came out and can be read here.