Oct. 10, 2012 - Issue #886: Typhoon Judy
In 2009, Montreal-based choreographer Tedi Tafel embarked on a rather unique creative journey. The goal was to create a dance piece for each month of the calendar year and present each in a different location. Logistics aside, it took almost three years to get the whole Calendar Project presented—and not one of the spaces it took place in was a conventional stage. In her development phase, Tafel also created video installations to compliment a number of the site-specific performances.
Which brings us to October, one-twelfth of Tafel's project, being presented by Mile Zero Dance this week in Edmonton. Featuring soloist Lin Snelling, October will take place in a living room—someone's real, live living room (read: space is extremely limited for these eight performances, so tickets must be booked ahead—the address of the house will be disclosed at the time of reservation). The original incarnation of October happened in Tafel's own living room in Montréal.
"October is a time when we start to spend more time indoors. It felt like a more interior time of year for me. I also wanted it to be really intimate. I wanted the performance to be really close to the audience, so a house felt right," Tafel says, describing that her process for creating the piece began when she stayed for months in a small house in the Laurentian forest north of Montréal.
"When I stayed in the forest I stayed in a cabin with a large window, and I watched the season transform through this window. So from an interior space, looking out onto the forest was a theme."
The 35-minute show features a woman exploring her own sort of story in the living room. It's not a linear narrative per se, but more of an emotional exploration of the character's isolation and view of the changing world outside. The soloist is backdropped by a window that shows projected images of a forest changing over seasons, along with a dense, haunting soundscape.
"I feel that it's a piece that speaks about memory and desire and the layers of this woman," Tafel says. "In fall you're watching all this transformation and the leaves falling and this kind of sense of dying down—and your psyche gets effected by this environment. And that's one of the beautiful things about spending time with nature: weather and the seasons are always with us, we are aware of cycles and and letting go and all that stuff about return. That effected me very strongly."
Tafel is also acutely aware of the condensed nature of the space and the audience's real proximity to the performance, and that was a point she wanted to hammer on with October. The result is a kind of relentless montage of movement, imagery and sound that is constantly changing throughout.
"There's a feeling of privilege when you're one of a dozen people in a room receiving something. Some people are intimidated by it, they might prefer to be in the dark in the back in their own intimacy watching something, but that's not to say that's the only way you can be intimate with an audience."
Until Sat, Oct 13 (two shows nightly: 7:30 pm & 8:45 pm)
Secret location (address will be disclosed upon reservation of ticket), $15 – $20
Call or email for reservations: 780.424.1573,
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