Solo From Chaos
National Arts Centre
Dance In Canada Conference, Ottawa, 1982
Performed by: Karen Jamieson (Rimmer)
Music composed and performed by: Ahmed Hassan
Costume design and realization: Karen Jamieson
The original name of this work was Solo from Coming Out of Chaos as the piece was a response or commentary on a long and difficult and chaotic process of creative collaboration that resulted in a group work Coming Out of Chaos. This work toured across Canada to the National Arts Centre, to Quebec City and to Montreal. The dancers were Jennifer Mascall, Peter Bingham, Ahmed Hassan, Lola McLaughlin, Peter Ryan, Barbara Bourget, and Savannah Walling. Coming Out of Chaos was a pivotal work for me and for the group. The group with the exception of Savannah Walling went on to form the original EDAM and I left Terminal City Dance to form a company of my own.
In the work Solo from Chaos I was interested in finding a spatial expression for the idea of descent and ascent. I was looking for ways to create a sense of a layered universe that the dancer traveled through on her descent, and a physical language to differentiate the different levels or stages of the descent. The use of the ladder was a practical way to convey the sense that the work was taking place in the vertical dimension. The other was the use of spirals – huge spirals that sucked the dancer down, spirals that shot her back up. The use of breath was central to the work with its inside out and outside in focus.
Monday June 28, 1982
“But Karen (Jamieson) Rimmer’s solo from Coming Out of Chaos – unrecognizable and far better than the version Terminal City dance Research recently toured – provided the richest performance of the evening, a gut-wrenching solo whose simple score by Ahmed Hassa gave the dance a consistent edge of suspense.”
Stephen Godfrey, The Globe and Mail
Karen (Jamieson) Rimmer’s Coming Out of Chaos…“This solo developed from her group dance of the same title, a gripping tour do force. At times (Jamieson) Rimmer is a creature of the void convulsing in terror, other times the floor appears to respond like a partner to her contact falls and rolls. Throughout she is enveloped by the vocal pyrotechnics of Ahmed Hassan.”
By Holly Small
“An evening of consistently interesting and generally tightly crafted dances, one work does stand out. (Jamieson) Rimmer’s own Solo form Coming Out of Chaos is a brilliant piece that seems somehow to create a fusion between movement, breath and internal states of mind.” By Susan Mertens Vancouver Sun
“…Coming Out of Chaos. One of (Jamieson) Rimmer’s best known works, it is also a solo performance extracted from an hour-long piece she originally choreographed last year for a company of seven.
Stark, elemental, raw – Coming Out of Chaos is a perfect consolidation of Rimmer’s driving singlemindedness, her incorrigible belief in the inseparability of mind and body, and her fascination with the part of life which human beings have no control over.
The visceral percussions of Rimmer’s co-worker Ahmed Hassan round out the elemental energy of the piece.
Powerful, honest, refreshingly unpresumptuous, Rimmer’s innovative work is ironically, classical enough to stand the test of time.
One gets the uneasy feeling Karen Rimmer has somehow experienced it all – birth, death, pain, joy, sorrow – and yet is wise enough to leave us searching for our own personal truths and answers.”
By Glenda Bartosh