East Coast artists make an interdisciplinary connection between the art of the moving body and that of blacksmith work in Burnwater: Alchemy.
Created by musician Erin Donovan of Hear Here Productions (Mahone Bay) and dance artist Susanne Chui of Mocean Dance (Halifax), Burnwater: Alchemy is an interactive performance and installation featuring dancer Rhonda Baker and percussionist Doug Cameron.
The idea for the piece came when Donovan and Chui discovered Nova Scotia blacksmith John Little’s iron sound sculptures, and in 2013 they created an outdoor show on Little’s land.
Now, presented by the Osprey Arts Centre, the duo take the audience indoors for a unique journey through sculpture, sound, poetry and movement.
“We’ve created an experience where the viewer is immersed and their senses and intellect are engaged in many ways,” says Chui to The Dance Current. “There are things to see, touch, and hear, opportunities for reflection, moments to be alone and together.”
Donovan says the experience of disciplines is so blurred and overlapping that she sometimes forgot her own discipline. “I’m originally a percussionist. I’m very far from that reality in this process.”
Burnwater: Alchemy is the second phase of the Burnwater series. “We are designing an interactive installation version of this show,” says Donovan. Burnwater: Arrival will use locative media, projections and live performance and will be presented in 2018.
Most dance artists and presenters must negotiate the tension between creating work that meets their artistic goals, that is accessible to their community and that provides the fiscal support required to live as an artist and to run a company. Emma Doran speaks with artists, organizations and presenters across the country to discuss who they envision their audience, how they are seeking to reach those individuals and what constitutes meaningful engagement with them.