Rural space makes me anxious and yet here we are
It is good to be open and allow other things to enact new things on your process, life, choreography, and otherwise
But I can’t conceptualise in the rural space because it makes me angry
The air is cleaner but I already feel I can’t breathe any better and I just want to sit with that
Is it safe to make work around/against/interrogating/questioning nationalism right now?
The United States is so young and it felt evident when crossing that border
Feeling like you shouldn’t or don’t belong is another kind of terrorism that no one wants to talk about
Crossing the border, I am reminded why I continue to make choreography
For some reason I cannot make anymore blog posts, so this one will have to be the one that explains it all.
I am a slow thinker and because I process everything with my whole body and all at once, I need time to think before I can formulate my words and write about my experiences. Sometimes I’m not sure about myself as an author of my own experience, so I need time to rest in that.
Vermont is really beautiful and sometimes pictures are better than words to tell us all something we do/don’t know.
Here are some images.
Our time in Vermont was eventful, fruitful, full-on. Now that I have left and am on my way back to the UK, I can see our experience there with a wider lens.
It was tense at times. We were forced to negotiate with our work in ways we wouldn’t have had we stayed in the city. We had to look at ourselves and we had to look at our work. We had to look at our work, unfinished, but already layered with so much meaning. We had to watch and be in close corners with supporters of a government that we both find abhorrent, violent, misogynistic, and racist.
We had to say, does our work speak to these kinds of people? Can it? Will it? Will we? We worried about our safety. One has to understand that making art under hostile regimes and climates can endanger lives. We decided that our work was not in the state to be shown in this environment. We felt sad and disheartened by that. Maybe when it’s done.#
We did make a lot of progress. We stared at flowers. We tried to get those around us to understand our position and our methodologies for making choreography (something unseen by VPL and the surrounding community). We made cases. It was tense, but I think we all learned immensely.
We even got an apology from the Director for the image of Blackface in our rehearsal space. I felt traumatised watching that and knowing how violence continues against certain bodies in the United States. I felt scared but we got an apology.
We drove back to Montreal. We crossed the border late at night and got to Montreal in time to have pasta. Wounded by our experience in Vermont but stronger in our resolve to continue to make the relevant work we are making. We will also continue to interrogate the intersection between our politics of love and our desire to cross and create solidarity irregardless of borders and barriers.
Thank you VPL for everything.
MEET OLIVIER BERTRAND, DIRECTOR OF THEATRE LA CHAPELLE
our work is going to live here next year for two weeks. many thanks to everyone, studio 303 (especially miriam ginestier), vpl (sara coffey), theatre la chapelle (olivier bertrand) and everyone we encountered on the beginnings of our new work process. The support from a-n has been so welcome and has sparked something exciting in my career and development as an artist. Eternally grateful.