On Wednesday, November 21, at 12pm, Dasein Dance Theatre brings their evocative work to the University Centre Courtyard, University of Guelph. Guelph Dance asks choreographer Lacey Smith how she developed the three pieces she is excerpting for this CSA Nooner, how she adapted them to perform in the Courtyard, and what’s up next for Dasein.
Lacey: The pieces we’re presenting for the CSA Nooner were all developed at different times between 2007 and 2012. Each work has a life of its own and began with very different themes and questions in mind. By revisiting each of these works in preparation for this show I have begun to recognize a unifying quality emerge. A very strong sense of yearning is pulling through each of these works in various forms. In Unframed Portraits the three women yearn to be heard and felt. In my solo, Unsettled Dust, I yearn for a lost loved one and in Emergence there is a paradoxical yearning for closeness/comfort and for independence. As an artist it is refreshing to see that the sensation/emotion/experience of one idea can be explored in so many ways and reminds me how simple and complex we humans are.
Hannah Goldberg, Whitney Mah and Brandy Ostrosser perform Emergence. Photo: Lacey Smith
At first the thought of performing these works in the University Centre made me think of all the potential problems with a space like this (the noise of a busy area, the hard floor surface). Then I realized that this would be a good learning experience and challenge as a performer and choreographer. Instead of the audience entering the performers’ space—as happens in a traditional theatre setting—we (the performers) will be entering into the audience’s space, an intriguing twist for performance artists.
I chose to remount these works in their original state and not alter them for this space. The audience will see the works as I have seen them throughout the creation and rehearsal periods, intimately and free of elements such as lighting. Although I haven’t changed the choreography, I’ve been observing the pieces from three sides, as they will be seen at the University. We’ve tried to consider our spacing more three dimensionally and have considered the range of our energy and experience within the work to prepare for this performance environment.
Sandra McCulloch performs Unframed Portraits. Photo: David Hou
Dance provides infinite possibilities to explore and dig into what we experience in our lives here on this earth. Dance provides a never-ending opportunity to learn and share in a community of passionate and giving people and evokes things that are entwined deeply in our Being. When I dance I am experiencing life with my whole self in that moment.
We will also be performing Emergence at Dance Ontario’s DanceWeekend in January. Following, we will be presenting, FLUX 2013, a full evening of work by Andrea Nann and Lacey Smith in London on March 23rd at Palace Theatre.
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Lacey Smith is the founder and artistic director of Dasein Dance Theatre in London, Ontario, where she began her journey in dance over twenty-five years ago. After completing a BFA (Hons.) in Performance Dance at Ryerson University, Lacey created works for Dance Ontario’s Creative Partnership and Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montreal’s First National Choreographic Competition. She is currently working on the creation of Eunoia with Fujiwara Dance Inventions in Toronto. She is an associate artist with pounds per square inch performance, under the direction of Gerry Trentham. In London, Lacey has produced two full-evening dance productions and frequently teaches and creates work for local youth. She is a co-founder of London Dance Collective, where she teaches open community classes and facilitates workshops. In 2011, she began a mentorship program for young dancers.