A year and a half ago, I was dreaming of producing a full-length show with political and environmental themes. I jotted down ideas, I listened to music and I talked about it ceaselessly to anyone who would listen. The journey since then has been incredible.
With the help of Kinetic Studio I choreographed a solo for Kathleen Doherty. What would become the opening scene was showcased at the Open Studio Series in November 2014. My father asked after seeing the show: “I wonder what will become of the character?” And so the character I dreamed up, a little aloof of world issues very intensely concerned with their own “first world” problems, was brought on a journey.
I’m not quite sure where the idea of wearing gas masks came from. These notions often come to you from past influences. I can tell you that Tank Girl is one of my absolute favourite movies for its’ humorous and resourceful take on a post apocalyptic world.
And so Doherty’s character is approached by a community of people wearing gas masks, are they from the future? A dream? Are they a prophecy?
Either way they adorn masks to protect themselves from the toxins seeping from everywhere. Lately I’ve noticed toxins and the notion of an increasingly toxic world popping up in the concerns of my own life, in the media, and especially the international community.
Toxins don’t come merely in the form of pollutants, they seep into our minds through prejudice, fear and disconnect.
With polarized political views coming to a head in The United States this idea of toxicity becomes very real to me. My how these toxic particulates can spread in the form of violence, greed, anger, energy.
Consistently interested in the micro versus macro models of reality I turned back to my own life for a solution to all of this toxicity. The key word? Community. Finding those human moments in life once again. “Taking it all in”. Spending time with loved ones and spreading a tenderness that resonates from one person to the next.
The experience of working with the talented dancers involved has manifested this communal feeling. (Art and reality are sometimes interchangeable). Our rehearsals are continually built on respect, love and admiration for each other creating wholeness in our own small community within the dance community within the Halifax community and so-on.
I wish to invite you on this journey that is Toxicity and hope that you’ll find the joy we did in creating it.
Reserve your $10 tickets at: firstname.lastname@example.org