“I use the dancers to help find a way into the work.”
Distinguished Toronto-based dance artist, Darryl Tracy, is returning as a choreographer for GBD’s annual student performance, UNLEASHED. Darryl has choreographed for several of Canada’s leading dance artists and schools and is a senior faculty member at The School of Toronto Dance Theatre, where he has most recently created the work, “Standing this midnight on gray cement.” Darryl is also working on a new duet entitled, “Don me now,” for Winnipeg-based contemporary dance artists, Rebecca Sawdon and Lise MacMillan.
In this interview, Darryl shares his choreographic approach, hopes for GBD students, and insight into his new creation for UNLEASHED 2019.
“I also want them to galvanize all that they are learning at GBD in a performative experience.”
As a returning UNLEASHED choreographer, how does your approach and experience this year compare to last time?
I work closely with the dancers and always approach a new creation as a collaboration. I use the dancers to help find a way into the work. For this reason, the work will have a unique voice. My work has also changed in its scope and focus. Artistically, I am responding more to current sociopolitical issues and technological trends. I try to establish work that questions how humans are moving in certain directions due to what is happening in the world. My work is not necessarily political but poses questions and states of energy.
What would you like GBD students to take away from their experience working with you?
I want them to be intricately involved in the creative process and find a way to have their artistic voices present. I also want them to galvanize all that they are learning at GBD in a performative experience.
What can we expect from your UNLEASHED 2019 piece?
I usually try and propose something into the process and, by involving the dancers, facilitate a way for the work to also speak to us. I try to get to know the dancers a bit. With this work, I am interested in how sometimes people, and groups of people, can fold into themselves when provoked or restricted. Something seems to keep happening to us as a group (the dancers and I). We always seem to be challenged by time: time restrictions, missing team members, catching up, winding down and winding up again. This folding and unfolding of what appears like the ‘zero hour’ and race against time is thematic of how life is in general. This circus of time is something we are investigating as an initial theme. Who knows where the process will take us?
Darryl Tracy’s new creation features the following GBD dancers:
Come see them in UNLEASHED 2019 at Toronto’s Betty Oliphant Theatre on April 5 & 6. Tickets on sale soon.
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