This article was originally published in the Summer 2022 print issue.
The need for expression can’t always be satisfied by a single medium. This truth is well-known to multidisciplinary artists and proven every day by the blending and juxtapositions we see in works across Canada’s creative landscape.
With each cross-pollination, the landscape grows richer; the more access points we give to audiences, the more we are able to understand one another.
How does your dance practice feel? Where does creativity live in your day-to-day life? The Dance Current asked artists to create images – some digitally, some with paint or photography – that express their answers to questions like these. The result is the following garden of work by Francesca Chudnoff, sarah koekkoek, Michaela Gerussi, Lauren Runions and Naishi Wang.
By Lauren Runions
I welcome the frost as a sign of passing. Pressing my hands into the grasses, meeting my temperature with theirs as an exchange and process of being-with. The action involves cupping and placing my hands, slowly forming a spiral – the labyrinth. I instinctually depress my hands, alternating between different parts (the outside of my hand, two fingers, just my pinky) as my body reads the cold.
The sun keeps the frost alive. It is morning and the light begins to shift. A warmth enters where there was once shadow, hosting the entropy of our new co-composition.
Lauren Runions (she/they) is a dance artist, choreographer and facilitator based in Tkaronto.
By Francesca Chudnoff
For the past few months, I’ve been teaching myself 3D sculpting and building 3D models on my iPad in Nomad. Working in 3D has been a great lesson in patience and has pushed me to take the time to observe and shape my work from all angles (literally). It’s become a space for me to blend character, mood, lighting, texture, perspective and form. Playing with these elements is an extension of my instudio dance process. The floating/ falling bodies are loosely inspired by Zu Zhen’s In Just a Blink of an Eye. The palette and aesthetics of the image draw inspiration from Y2K cybercore and anime.
Francesca Chudnoff, also known as Franz (she/they), is a Tkaronto-based multidisciplinary artist.
By sarah koekkoek
The artist, interested in exploring mediums beyond that of her own body, has birthed what is known as kombucha leather. This is a bio leather made of a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast. Once dried, the leather can be used to make clothing, shoes or even a book cover.
Caring for and cultivating a more than human collaborator has been a tender practice. Patience, failure, precision, trust and timing all play vital roles in the process. These portraits are the first test shots of this human to more than human collaboration. Future iterations include experimenting with different photographic printing practices and growing a large-scale piece of leather that will be featured in an installation performance. Working with this more than human collaborator is my way of bringing and utilizing the ideas of a circular economy to the field of dance and performance art.
sarah koekkoek is an ecology-focused movement artist and educator based in Tkaronto.
Map of Connection
By Naishi Wang
In this bodily experienced work, I was inspired by the Chinese poet Hu Xudong’s poem ARPOADOR. I attempt to question the relationship between linguistic images and live bodily emotions. Through this transformation, my body performs on paper, swimming from one box to another.
Naishi Wang is an independent dance artist based in Toronto.
By Michaela Gerussi
These images come from a performance work entitled the force of gravity is more palpable on some days than on others. The work emerged out of my yearlong interdisciplinary MFA research that looked at the intersection of affect, the nervous system and self-regulation within my process-oriented dance-making practice. My research considered the complex and mutable nature with which we sense ourselves and included poetic writing and image-making in its methodology. Producing images such as this one became an important way of rendering visible my felt sensations, impressions and ideas. As I worked with them, they fed back into my physical practice and later became important touchstones for my performance.
Michaela Gerussi is a Canadian dance artist based between Tkaronto and London, U.K.