may26xpace

                                                                                                                                                                                             We make sense of our experience by telling stories about it. The performance piece I attended last night played with our  impulse to attach narrative to everything. It did this with lightness, intelligence and  humour.

My daughter and I had dutifully brought our headphones and plugged them into one of the four monitors placed in the corners of the performance area. Each monitor played a different spoken narrative that played as two dancers moved. At the end of the story, the audience shifted places and moved to the next monitor for a new narrative and a repetition of the same movement. How we weave meaning into the overlapping of words and action became a very conscious experience, often funny, sometimes very moving.

I spoke with one of the writers, Caylie Staples, after the show. She said each writer watched the choreography once and then wrote while it was repeated. So often, dancers choreograph to text; reversing the process created a new relationship between the two which I found interesting. It gave the choreography an autonomy and a sense of spaciousness that felt very free. 

Leaving the gallery, we walked into the night along Queen Street. I thought of the stories that have become embedded in me, weary soundtracks to fresh experience. And I thought of how some of these anthems are lifting off of me, leaving space between them and pure experience. This is one of the effects of Yoga practice. I witness the same thing in the birthing women I accompany. We have so many tales embedded in the pain we feel. During labour, our songs have the opportunity to rise up from our anatomy and leave us free to be in what is brand new and full of life.

The show, called Draft Four, was conceived and choreographed by Alicia Grant and Cara Spooner. It runs two more nights, this evening and tomorow at 8:00pm. Admission is free. Bring your headphones!

XPACE Cultural Centre
58 Ossington Ave M6J 2Y7
www.xpace.info | 416.849.2864
Tues – Sat 12 – 6PM

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