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Hailey’s Blog October 28th, 2013 Edition – The Interplay Between

Part of the mentorship with Karen involves the interplay between community engagement and professional choreography. I asked for the latter of the two as it is important to me to develop the two together. Having recently completed a degree in Anthropology from UBC, and before then having trained at the School of Toronto Dance Theatre professional training program, I have experienced the two practices as more or less separate. The work now is how to marry the two into a sustainable practice gives to the community and continues to feed me. 

In the spring I participated in a choreographic lab that consisted of two phases, one of creative exploration and the other of solidifying choices and doing a formal showing. The project is called Project CPR and is led by Claire French. 

I asked Karen to come see the showing at the beginning of September. We met about a week later to discuss the work.

She asked me questions and gave me feedback, but never to sway me to make work like hers. I had the feeling of being asked questions that I hadn't personally thought of asking myself while in the process.

She spoke of access points into the piece. She asked me to ask myself what I am actually seeing when in rehearsal, rather than imposing my own story upon the work. This stuck with me the most, as I think that I let that sort of perception slip the further I got into the research process. I picture myself doing a practice of blinking and resetting my interpretations in the next permutation of the choreography.

Come November, once my toe is fully healed, I will be working with Kara Nolte and Sean Marshall Jr. I believe that dancing in the work as well as directing it will shed light onto what is happening physically, mentally, conceptually, and visually. Karen will come into the space as an outside eye.