The Ghost Writing Dance
*click the photos for a closer look
* all photos here are stills from footage shot by Renée Lear
HATCH, Harbourfront Centre (Toronto)
Dancer and Writer:
Aimée Dawn Robinson
Outside Eye and Dance Dramaturg:
HATCH Curator and Co-Dramaturg to the piece:
In April 2016, I completed a HATCH residency at Harbourfront Centre for my dance and writing and video work The Ghost Writing Dance.
Prioritizing embodied, feminist ways and records, The Ghost Writing Dance is part of a larger dance, writing and video experiment which complicates and questions layers of representation and self-representation in text and memory in live performance.
A 45-minute video of writing scrolls upwards from the stage towards the sky. The writing is material I created during and alongside my dance, writing, research and archive project A Body of Memory. A mix of poetry, prose, philosophy, descriptions of memories.
Here's the opening lines:
"Don’t fake it baby, lay the real thing on me.
I am the record. You are the record. Dance is the secret.
Memory is made to challenge loss. Forgetting inverts, eases, capsizes; the other side of memory. The body surges with both, dance is the space between.
On the morning of the performance I wake up too early...
While dancing this piece, I wear semi-concealed earbuds and a tiny clip-on audio player. I'm listening to a score. The score varies from each performance of the piece. This score is not shared with the audience, nor played through the speakers. It's not named in a program. Only I hear it, and only I know its' nature.
This private score has a kind of inverse relationship my to series mother drift dances to the songs in her head.
During the HATCH residency, I stayed in an old haunt of mine on Hanlan's Island. How marvelous to be back on the shore of Lake Ontario at the Gibraltar Point arts centre again. Everyday I arrived for work at the theatre exhilarated from biking too fast to the ferry in variable April-in-Toronto weather. It was a brilliant balance to working indoors in theatre.
The theatre was dark and red and safe. Familiar and restorative. I'm grateful to HATCH, Evan Webber and the Harbourfront team for the residency.
Further information and a video from
HATCH online here.