Jan. 17, 2013 - Issue #900: The ongoing musical evolution of Hannah Georgas
Hereafter / Visual Splice
"Life's been pretty crazy recently. I had a baby, he's six months old now—and I've been living between Edmonton and Calgary (where she teaches at U of C). I've also been in the middle of a creation, which is huge for dance makers. It's almost like having two babies at the same time," Alvarado says, with a casual charm that makes one wonder why one doesn't also have babies, make creations and live in two places all at once.
Hereafter, which Alvarado created in Calgary as part of a dance lab last year, has now found its way into the Prairie Dance Circuit. Four dancers will take the stage with the piece this weekend, which The Globe and Mail's Paula Citron had a chance to see at this past Fall's Fluid Festival, describing the work as "hypnotic," among other things.
"Hereafter is a poignant kaleidoscope of loss, as connections are made and then broken. If this work doesn't find a shelf life, meaning tours across the country, there is no justice," Citron wrote.
"I named it Hereafter because I get the feeling when I see the dancers moving through the piece that they're sort of orbiting around each other ... It also kind of reminds me of the hereafter, as in they're not in this world, or they're transitioning from this world to the next," Alvarado explains.
"I've been working in a very collaborative way, so what's coming out of the dancers' experiences is what is shaping that theme. The theme I started with was that the simple act of entering a space depends on leaving another, and what is that minute change that happens in a person in that moment? I started to work a little bit bigger and asking the dancers about their experiences about leaving a place and entering somewhere new, or leaving someone, or going somewhere new. So my themes became bigger. I started to explore migration, birth, death—anything to do with entering somewhere new."
All the while, she had to find different ways to work—her regular creative process was flummoxed by certain biological realities.
"When I went to the lab I was eight-months pregnant, so I couldn't exactly jump in and be like, 'OK, five-six-seven-eight!' I was able to make one movement section myself—a short movement section—then I couldn't move any more. I was just gigantic, so I had to find different ways of creating a full work, with one movement phrase and then a whole a lot of collaboration. So, in fact, being pregnant forced me to find new ways of working. It was a blessing in disguise—a gigantic disguise," she laughs.
"I really like what happened with Hereafter," she adds. "And I can say that because generally one's very critical of their own work. Very often I've felt like 'Ahh, I never want to see that again,' but this one I feel really good about. I think becoming a mother has helped me be a lot less obsessive about what I do and make quick decisions, that really helped the work. So I'm excited about this piece. I hope it will have a future."
As part of the Prairie Dance Circuit, Hereafter plays with Mile Zero Dance's Gerry Morita and her new work, Visual Splice. The piece is an interdisciplinary exploration using movement, light and interactive sound. Collaborators with Morita on Visual Splice include electro-acoustic composer Shawn Pinchbeck and analog film projectionist Patrick Arès-Pilon.
Fri, Jan 18; Sat, Jan 19 (8 pm)
Timms Centre for the Arts, $20 – $35
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