YFCP Artist Impressions – Bassano del Grappa, Italy
This August participants of the Yulanda M. Faris Choreographers Program (YFCP) jetted off on the second leg of their experience to the beautiful city of Bassano del Grappa, Italy. Awaiting them was Operaestate’s B-Motion Festival, an annual multidisciplinary festival that fills the city of Bassano del Grappa with dance, music and theatre. Once the Festival began, YFCP artists Vanessa Goodman, Justine A. Chambers, and Daina Ashbee, took part in dance shows, workshops, panel discussions, and meetings with various dance dancemakers – all while immersed in the lively and engaged arts community in Bassano del Grappa with Italy’s magnificent landscape as their backdrop.
Here are some of their impressions:
Bassano del Grappa is a beautiful small town in Italy, surrounded by magical healing mountains and a cold and fast moving river. There is a real sense of relaxation throughout the town, with cobble stone streets mostly, you feel safe walking in the middle of street in the town centre.
Bassano del Grappa is amazing because its community seems to be genuinely engaged in the arts. In my opinion, Operaestate has done a brilliant job of promoting dance, movement and the arts in this town. I have never seen such an excited, engaged, present and generous audience. Standing ovations, loud cheers and genuine love for dance and dance makers made this festival, B-Motion, stand out.
My highlights were:
The long walks from the town centre back to the hotel with my iPod, brainstorming whilst containing the dance inside of myself.
Seeing the Dance Makers group members who have become friends over the past few months (I met the group and taught them a workshop in Paris in March, and then again in July 2017). They are inspiring individuals.
I have created a visual log of the time I spent in Italy at the B-Motion Festival for the Yulanda M. Faris Program. Afterwards, I spent three days seeing the pavilions at the Venice Biennale.
While there I mostly captured time commuting to and from Bassano as our days were incredibly full while at the festival with shows, workshops, panels and meetings. It was stimulating to be in that environment while also surrounded by the serene landscapes and beautiful architecture. What struck me the most while in Bassano was a sense of history. Performances inhabited unique spaces while also using traditional theatres. In the smaller performance venues, the proximity to the performers was much more intimate which got me quite excited about scale and perspective.
As I am moving back into the theatre shortly to continue working on "Wells Hill" (which will premiere during Dance In Vancouver in November with presenting partners SFUW and Dance House), I am excited to take my experiences of being an audience member at Canada Dance Festival and B-motion and apply it to my work. Watching, listening and absorbing over 25 works during these condensed periods of time has given me much to think, especially concerning my practice and artistic interests.
One question that keeps coming up for me is how we prepare our audience to take in what we are offering? How we invite them into our world and how do we make them a part of the experience?
Justine A. Chambers
Bassano del Grappa, Italy
1 train from Venice to Bassano
1 dark chocolate and pistachio gelato
1 performance about nothing by Luke Baio and Dominik Grünbühel
1 group of emerging dance makers
1 group of established dance makers
1 panel discussion about and by audiences
1 brain storming workshop about communication - derailed by artist's critique of dance's presentation/creation structures
1 YFCP program meeting
1 serving of squid ink pasta with tuna, tomato and capers
1 directive to turn an opinion into a question
1 group audience massage courtesy of the work R.OSA by Silvia Grabaudi
2 pre-show lemonades
2 lunch dates at Cafe Libri with Vanessa
2 dramaturgical sessions
3 morning river visits with my son
3 friends from Montreal
3 costume changes on stage in Two Playful Pink by Yasmeen Godder
3 candles for a second birthday
3-6 curtain calls per performance
6 introductions to YFCP European partners
30 degrees Celsius
31 mosquito bites at dusk
750 GB of roaming
37.2 trillion cells moved by the incessant and spellbinding turning of Alessandro Sciarroni
17 hours of travel home