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Dance Artists Jenna Berlyn, Adrian de Leeuw and Luciana D’Anunciação discuss the works they have been developing during the fall 2020 session of 12 Minutes Max, supported by facilitators Barbara Bourget and Paras Terezakis. These works can be seen in a Zoom studio showing on November 10 at 6pm PST.
Marcell’s Lament is a solo in progress. I wondered about the different approaches for creating movement phrases for various contexts such as a performance or a class. I tried to start from a place of movement generation without any intentions. It felt like working backwards. Connotations and meaning showed up inside the movement phrase. Characters, setting and story emerged. Now the piece is floating in a place of delusion and unclarity, as are the characters living inside of it. Marcell, a washed up seaman, lives out his imagined memories of a lost love. What is reality and what is just a dream?
Adrian de Leeuw
In the process of rehearsing for 12 Minutes Max, I have been generating a choreographic score, a set of guidelines keeping each performance similar to the last but allowing for unpredictable events to occur. I want to keep the appearance of a fully formed choreographic piece but maintain the alertness and awareness of improvised movement. The dancers follow rules that decide what to do in response to events, who fills certain roles and what to do with the props. This score also extends beyond the performance, it includes video footage of previous performances projected onto the wall. The thought process behind this is to provide the audience with two simultaneous performances of the same piece. Perhaps this will increase how much can be seen in one viewing, perhaps it will decrease it. I think the most significant effect it will have is in proving that this dance is real, imperfect and subject to change. Multiple iterations will be seen beside each other, showing that this particular performance may be the only time that this version is performed.
In the midst of the quarantine, when everything was shut down, the streets around the globe were completely empty and the fear of the unknown took over, I started taking Frevo dance classes online with a teacher in Brazil. Frevo is a dance that belongs to the streets during the Carnaval parades from my hometown, Recife. Somehow that image of me dancing alone at my Vancouver apartment – perfecting the dance steps while imagining the excitement of the live band, the crowd, the heat, the chaos, and the wholehearted joy of it all – felt more like resistance than absurdity. After the classes, I would always feel more alive, more connected to myself and open the world.
The challenge I am giving myself to work for 12 Minutes Max is how to translate this paradoxical image, which contains both the joy of Carnaval and the fear of the unknown into a choreography. I am taking as a starting point the traditional frevo steps and then dismembering them, distorting them and finding interconnections with a contemporary dancing body.
For that, I am working remotely with my frevo teacher, Inaê Silva, who has been injecting amazing energy and insights of frevo tradition and history into this project. Also, I am taking this an opportunity to work with two Brazilian musicians that I admire, Marcelo Campello and Hugo Medeiros to add a noisy and contemporary composition for this process.
Tuesday November 10, 2020 | 6pm PST
Free Admission, registration required
Photos: Jenna Berlyn: Mika Manning, TDC; Adrian de Leeuw: Madeleine Gilbert and Miakanese Manning by Adrian Deleeuw; Luciana D’Anunciação