Dancing on the Edge Festival

Thank you to everyone who came out to see performances at this year’s festival. I had the great pleasure of performing at the Firehall Arts Centre as part of EDGE One in Here on the Ground, a collaboration between Body Narratives Collective and Sarah Chase

In the duet Here on the Ground, we discover the unusual friendship shared between Julia and Meghan through the lens of their aerial dancing exploits, new motherhood, family name confusion, Platypus mating rituals, and ultimately the love and loss inherent in family cycles.

Choreographer: Sarah Chase
Dancers: Julia Carr & Meghan Goodman

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Plank Magazine review By Lawrence Kelson reads:

“‘Here on the Ground’, choreographed by Sarah Chase and performed by Meghan Goodman and Julia Carr was a physical theatre piece about the unusual real life friendship of the two dancers. With simple stage props, recorded music, spoken word and simple but elegant movement built around an invented visual sign language this piece charmed and captivated from the start. Goodman and Carr’s warm, open, and likeable characters shone through with clarity and grace as their stories unfolded before us. It was a performance that encapsulated something very real, current, and fresh, and was delivered with incredible clarity. This was a hugely appealing dance piece that moved its audience with its relatable naturalness and simplicity.”

and the Georgia Straight review by Alexander Varty reads:

“Two out of three aren’t bad.

Actually, two out of three are superb, although the third is only intermittently interesting. We’ll take those odds.

 The 2016 edition of the annual Dancing on the Edge festival (which runs to July 16) got off to a wonderfully warm start withHere on the Ground, choreographed by Body Narratives Collective and Sarah Chase. It’s a quietly sophisticated meditation on time masquerading as a sweet look at the friendship shared by dancers Julia Carr and Meghan Goodman, the collective’s founders, and it works beautifully on both levels.

At its simplest, it’s about two women who have much in common despite their very different backgrounds. Carr, tall and blond and Nordic, is the daughter of a successful gastroenterologist. Goodman, short and dark and Jewish, has to cope with a father who, technically speaking, is a manager in the family business, but who, with his guitars and books and vinyl, is an unfulfilled artist and dreamer. But both dancers have recently given birth to sons, and both share an easy intimacy as well as the kind of sunny optimism that beams off the stage.

There’s a funny bit about platypuses and a dreamlike image of a river made from a single blue rope. There’s a lot of illuminating discussion of Goodman and Carr’s work with the Aeriosa aerial dance troupe, and a funny display of the suitcase-full of togs and gear each carries on their excursions with child. There’s not a lot of outwardly impressive dance in this text-driven work, but there are a lot of finely honed gestures taken from everyday movement and then delivered, perfectly, at hyperspeed. And there’s a single, heartbreaking moment in which Carr reveals that her dad will never meet her baby, because he died 11 years before his grandson was born.

Poignant and lovely, Here on the Ground held the audience’s attention for all of its 28 minutes.”

And joined Aeriosa again for the first time since my son was born in:

Pseudotsuga – Earth to Sky

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Aeriosa Dance Society | Julia Taffe

Aeriosa’s new site work is an interspecies collaboration between vertical dancers, musicians and a beautiful grove of tall trees in Stanley Park. No need to choose between art and nature on a lovely summer afternoon.

Choreographer: Julia Taffe
Live Music: Lan Tung & Jonathan Bernard

The Georgia Straight’s Janet Smith writes:

Aeriosa flies hypnotically high at Dancing on the Edge

“Tourists looked rightfully awed when they stumbled upon Aeriosa’s treetop performances in Stanley Park, part of the Dancing on the Edge festival this week.

It was one of those uniquely Vancouver experiences where nature, art, and world cultures meshed in surprising ways. Aerial dancers, suspended from the heights of a grove of old evergreens, moved like animated totem creatures to the mesmerizing sounds of Lan Tung’s erhu and fellow Orchid Ensemble Jonathan Bernard’s drums.

The show was called Pseudotsuga—Earth to Sky, named for a genus of conifers that includes B.C.’s Douglas firs. And there was a definite feeling of sacred rite to the piece—a communing with nature that found the eight dancers, in their harnesses, clinging sculpturally to the trunks amid the rustling branches. In the work—choreographed by Julia Taffe, who has moved from downtown concrete structures to more natural settings over recent year—the performers sometimes gripped the bark upside-down like tree frogs, hung off the trees at 90 degrees, and interwrapped  themselves between the trunks like snakes.

The best vantage point was lying on the needle-carpeted ground below them, staring skyward at the moving forms. The show carried on Dancing on the Edge’s long tradition of site-specific work, commendably engaging the public in the art form in new—and highly unexpected—ways. The sizable all-ages crowd seemed hypnotized by the slow and meditative creation.”

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