Worlds collide as two choreographers from opposite ends of Canada – veteran Ottawa dance icon Tedd Robinson and young contemporary Vancouver trailblazer Josh Martin – create two new works for the eclectic trio of Anne Cooper, Ziyian Kwan and Ron Stewart with things near & far, premiering at the Firehall Arts Centre, Dec. 3 to 6. This bold and unusual meeting of generations, ideas and interdisciplinary innovation is completed with original music by electroaccoustic Quebec composer Charles Quevillon and Vancouver’s Stefan Smulovitz, with lighting by renowned designer James Proudfoot.
Over the course of three decades, all three Isadora Award winning interpreters have danced together in various pairings for a plethora of choreographers. For the very first time, things near & far brings Cooper, Kwan and Stewart together to share the same stage with new works that they have commissioned by two of Canada’s most celebrated dance authors, Josh Martin and Tedd Robinson, whose choreography is emblematic of their respective generations.
For Josh Martin, it is this eventual coming together, and the performers’ experiences before it, that has inspired his piece entitled, ‘Dwelling’. The work is about both the accumulation and dissipation of what has come before, exploring the past works and bodies these artists have each inhabited in their expansive careers thus far – some together, some apart – triggering a shared state of recall in one another, and infusing the movement of this eclectic dance. These memories are woven together to build a poignant intersection of people and histories, forming the here and now, before again moving outward.
Martin’s trio is paired with a piece choreographed by the internationally renowned Tedd Robinson who harks from a different generation, with a dance career spanning four decades. Robinson whose work is infused with Zen Buddhist philosophy, was recently awarded the 2014 Walter Carsen Prize for his contribution to dance in Canada. His trio, also named ‘Dwelling’, asserts community, co-operation and the individual as concerns. “Of course the investigation touches on these things, but most of what occurs during the work is interesting activity building a quiet communion between these three beautiful performers,” says Robinson.