How do we learn about others? How do we introduce ourselves to those we meet? Two contemporary dancers with experience in improvisation met online and decided to dance their introduction. Performers Michael Demski and Kyra Jean Green make first contact in front of the lens of Toronto-based filmmaker Jonathan Lawley.
Set to “Deep End” by Lexy Panterra and Rob James, Lawley’s film captures the nerves and curiosity of a blind first date. With their eyes closed and backs to each other, moments of anticipation are felt through escaped smiles and hestitant reaches. Eventually the two dancers transform trepidation into togetherness by finding familiar pathways and points of connection, letting their training and intuition guide them.
Green is a Montréal-based artist and graduate of The Juilliard School in New York City. She has presented work at The Center of Performance Research in Brooklyn, NY, choreographed on Hubbard Street II and is currently working as assistant choreographer, teacher and dancer with Les 7 Doigts de la Main. In August 2016, Green was one of eight choreographers selected to present work for Copenhagen’s Choreographic Competition, and was winner of Prix Coup de Coeur du Public at Festival Quartiers Danses. Les 7 Doigts de la Main will perform their work Cuisine & Confessions July 7-8, 2017 at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa, Ontario.
Demski has performed with Santee Smith and Kaha:wi Dance Theatre in The Honouring and trained at the Toronto Film School Acting Program.
Lawley studied at The Toronto Dance Theatre before pursuing film. In 2015, he co-founded Hello Video, which allows him to mix his knowledge of movement with his skill behind the camera. Lawley is currently working towards a new creation with The Chimera Project. The project was devised by Donna Hilsinger, artistic director of the Algoma Fall Festival and is guided by Shirley Horn, Chancellor of Algoma University and Missanabie Cree First Nation Chief, with Arik Pipestream, a hoop dance artist of the Tsuu T’ina Nation. The work will be presented in Toronto in 2017.
How do we learn, retain and remember dance? What happens when a dancer forgets well-known choreography? How can we improve our recall for movement sequences? Carolyn Hebert spoke with diverse dance professionals about memory and the verbal cues, mental imagery and bodily experiences that shape their memory.