A dance event in two parts: Re-emergence and Re-engagement in September 2021 and Re-connection in the fall of 2022. We collaborated with Throwdown Collective and the Haliburton Sculpture Forest for this project.
From September 13-18, 2021 dance artists Brian Solomon, Noriko Yamamoto, Phylicia Browne-Charles, Madeline Friel and Throwdown Collective (Mairéad Filgate, Brodie Stevenson and Irvin Chow) spent a week in a solo and group creative dance residency in the Haliburton Sculpture Forest. These selected artists were invited to take an existing work or idea—perhaps halted by the pandemic—and to re-engage, re-configure, and adapt it to the outdoor environment, exploring it through a new lens.
In the fall of 2022 the dancers and choreographers will reconvene for a community event to view the film documenting this experience, perform their work live and talk about their experience and their work. (depending on pandemic restrictions).
Toronto-based Throwdown Collective is an award-winning contemporary dance company that supports the collaborative creative pursuits of founders Zhenya Cerneacov, Mairéad Filgate and Brodie Stevenson. The Collective’s first three site-specific works, originally commissioned for Toronto's Dusk Dances Festival, went on to tour throughout Canada and beyond, including the 85th Anniversary Celebration of Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, MA and Fall for Dance North at the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts. Their first full-length evening of stage works, presented by DanceWorks (TO) received two Dora Mavor Moore Awards for Outstanding Choreography and a total of eight nominations. Throwdown Collective enjoys a long-standing relationship with Dance Happens Here Haliburton and the Haliburton community. They created two full-length works as artists-in-residence at the Sculpture Forest (2018, 2019), and a short film commissioned by DH3 during the COVID-19 lockdown. They are thrilled to be returning to Haliburton for another exciting project.
We asked the Throwdown Collective to invite four dancers/choreographers, Brian Solomon, Anishinaabe dance artist, Noriko Yamamoto, Japanese-Canadian mime/dance artist and two emerging dance artists Phylicia Browne-Charles and Madeline Friel to spend a week in solo creative dance residency in the Haliburton Sculpture Forest in September 2021.
These selected artists have been invited to take an existing work or idea—perhaps halted by the pandemic—and to re-engage, re-configure, and adapt it to the outdoor environment, exploring it through a new lens.
Coming a year and a half after most creative rehearsals and performances were halted, this creative time in Haliburton will offer artists an open week of personal reflection, re-emergence into creative life post-pandemic, and a gentle entry back into artistic social exchange.
The dance artists resided in Haliburton with seven days to think, create, and experiment, inspired by the beautiful forest surroundings, the changing colour of the leaves and the sculptures nestled along the trails. Community members and visitors were invited to wander through the Sculpture Forest and observe the artists in their process.
The Sculpture Forest attracts a culturally diverse group of visitors of all ages from the GTA and throughout the region. It is also a favourite place to walk for local residents, within walking distance of three local schools and adjacent to the Haliburton School of Art + Design.
A casual meet and greet for artists and community members was organized at the end of the week, as well as informal events for participating artists to gather, socialize, and exchange ideas.
The objective of the week was to offer artists a supportive and nurturing space and opportunity to re-ignite their creativity and spark artistic exchange after a tumultuous time. The focus was on process with no expectation of a final product.
Throughout the week the process was documented on film including short interviews with participating artists. This film will be presented along with live dance performances and artists talks in the fall of 2022.