2004 Project

Location: CENAB, Collège de naturopathie bionomiste, Frelighsburg, Eastern Townships, Québec

Objective:

Find a new place to work. We meet Vicky Tansy who lives over the next mountain. The CENAB can take us for the next two years. Since none of us live in the province of Québec, we all arrive here "new". We begin to work on the second day after we settle into our respective quarters, some in the guest house, others in the main building, an old barn transformed into a studio and living spaces, others in the sugar shack in the woods and others chose to camp.

Bringing last year's work into a new physical space with structural beams protruding into the space actually provides us with the added challenge of "designing" the work. A sense of the outside emerges. From the balcony window, we see Mount Pinnacle, a sacred mountain for the locals. We work with a symphony of bird sounds, children playing, wild wind and thunderstorms galore.

Method:

We want to build with last year's material and beyond it. We name the Scroll, the Gesture Bank, the texts, new interviews, new songs. We raise the bar. We question the meaning of words commonly used in the making of theatre. What is "repetition", "rehearsal", "directing"? We step back. Much silence is necessary to unearth the ingrained habits of our language. Instead we re -petition. Petition again the person to begin where it all began, again and again. We return, always, to the Authentic Movement Guidelines. They haunt us and guide us.

We bring forward new text, movement images which seem to have a higher "frequency" that we can all see. Something about pertinence and knowing it in our bones. Some stories are too big for one person to hold. Much collective work, much pod work, breaking out, going out in doubles exploring the outside and its relationship to the text and the images forming. The amount of material we are creating is stupendous. It is recorded with all possible means, manual and electronic. We create a new piece. A text called "She Was": a spoken meditation of who Cassandra was and who she might be today. We all know now that the work will take the shape of a performance- "to make apparent". Please go to ARTICLES on the web site and read "Making Sense, Getting Through". While working, we notice that we are being observed by two young children (9 and 6 years old). They are the first individuals to witness our work from the "outside". They ask questions... thank goodness! This conversation is now part of our work. Please read the "Child's Eye View" in the ARTICLES menu on the web site.

Activities:

When not working, which extends late into the evening, we enjoy our evening meal with much abandon. Since we each have to cook only once during our entire stay, we make a big event of it, probably too much, probably will need to re-assess this bounty for next year. We film some swimmers in the pond, we film dancers in the fields. we follow our whimsical noses and keep an eagle eye of the film stock. We are collecting with new instincts, a new Ariadne's Thread.

One of us is starting to pull away from the work. Our focus gets sharpened by this. We don't know yet that she will not be with us the next year. And maybe we do. The work will be as strong as the ones who are willing to work. Will alone, however, does not suffice. The questions are getting harder to answer. Several people get sick. We add chlorophyll to our drinking water and that seems to keep this odd flu at bay. We ask what each person is willing to commit to during the year before we gather again next August. We respect each person's capacity. There is no competition. The work calls and we learn to listen and act upon it.

Participants:

Judith Koltai, Treena Stubel, Sarah Hayward, Gayle Murphy, Joan Maclean, Val Campbell, Louise Walker, Gerry Trentham, François Grisé, Lisa Beley, Valerie Buhagiar, Leslie French, Cindy Block, Sharon Feder, Kathryn Weiler, Monique Léger.