This last rehearsal was just before heading to Ottawa for the
Canada Dance Festival
June 13, 2012
National Arts Centre Studio Theatre at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa.
Sadly the founder of Winnipeg’s Contemporary Dancers, Rachel Browne, passed away in her sleep on June 9th 2012 while attending the Canada Dance Festival.
The dancers were devastated by the news but pulled it all together like pros and went on to Ottawa to perform for a crowd that was full of love and respect for Rachel and all she had given to the arts.
‘Resonating with the complexityand fury of love’
Uptown Magazine ‡
Elizabeth Smart authored the critically acclaimed By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept (1945), one of the most highly regarded pieces of poetic prose ever written. Staring down the punishing expectations for women in the first half of the last century, Elizabeth side-stepped convention to demand a place in life’s grand adventure. Born into a prominent family within an unpopulated and undeveloped new country, she shirked the burgeoning class system that sought to claim her. The stirrings of artistic self expression preoccupied Elizabeth’s childhood but the Canadian literary lens had not yet begun to take shape. There was as of yet, no place for her. Elizabeth’s urgent pursuit of a muse was fueled by the need to loosen the grip of an over-controlling mother who intended to define and choreograph her future. Smart’s determination to embrace her own experience was charted by an impractical roadmap that directed this bohemian unwed mother of four to devour life unbridled and without apology.
‘extraordinary, heart-stopping fusion
of movement and text’
Winnipeg Free Press ‡
97 Positions of the Heart probes the inner workings of this compelling Canadian writer. WCD’s artistic director and choreographer Brent Lott celebrates Elizabeth Smart’s intensely lived quest for self-actualization. The story unfolds against the backdrop of Smart’s childhood, a tumultuous romantic pairing with English writer, George Barker, and the experience of motherhood. Smart aimed to discover a new literary language that stepped beyond the established tenets of storytelling. Staying true to this pioneering spirit, Lott joins forces with poet Jaik Josephson to traverse a new creative territory. The result is a piece dripping with metaphoric image, that loyal to Smart’s vision, dares to speak a truth about life in the social margins. Josephson explores Elizabeth’s rapturous existence by constructing a vocabulary based on the interplay of poetry and Lott’s movement. The dancers use spoken word as a vehicle to reveal Elizabeth’s story. The narrative is a conversation that is sometimes directed toward George, sometimes toward Elizabeth’s mother, and at other times, seemingly, toward the audience. The effect of this shifting voice is both mysterious and provocative.
Choreographer: Brent Lott Writer/Poet: Jaik Josephson Performers: Sarah Roche, Johanna Riley, Kristin Haight, Lise McMillan, Mark Medrano and Emma Rose. Understudy: Kayla Henry Dramaturge: Debbie Patterson Vocal Coach: Sara Clefstad Original Music: Shirley Grierson, Tim Church Music Engineer & Producer: William Grierson Lighting & Set Design: Dean Cowieson Costume Design & Construction: Norma Lachance