Crimson Coast Dance is excited to present “A Song of Years” as a part of Fall Connections at the Port Theatre.
Wed Nov 16th @ 7:30 pm
“A Song of Years” (2022) is a poem in motion acknowledging the cycle of life. It evokes the unwrapping of our past to reveal our presence in the present moment. It offers a metaphor of the aging body dancing as it is now, letting go of what once was, sharing a lifetime of embodied memories. Through explorations of functional movement, the use of balance to create visual beauty and performative tension, and his commitment to sharing tangible and intangible archives, Tedd Robinson invested the creative process with a unique sensitivity that weaves itself into the choreography. Our collaboration on this work with Tedd was completed just before his untimely death. We know he would wish for you to experience your own story with this work, drawn from the poetic metaphor of your own life.
Choreographed by: Tedd Robinson
Performed by: Genevieve Johnson, Holly Bright
Original Score by: Charles Quevillon
Lighting Design: John Carter
Choreographer, Performer, Artistic Consultant, Mentor
Tedd Robinson was best known for his idiosyncratic solo dance works, including the Chalmers Award winning Rokudo : six destinies in three steps. Robinson’s choreography juxtaposed spiritually controlled movement with unexpected moments of sly, subtle humour. Born in Ottawa, Tedd Robinson graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from York University, and studied at The School of The Toronto Dance Theatre and with eminent British visual theatre artist Lindsay Kemp. He first rose to prominence as artistic director of Contemporary Dancers in Winnipeg (1984-1990), where he created highly theatrical ensemble works. He returned to Ottawa in 1990 to pursue a solo career and study with Peter Boneham at Le Groupe Dance Lab, and became firmly established as a choreographer, mentor and solo artist. His collaborators have included artists such as Margie Gillis, Louise Lecavalier, Ame Henderson, Angie Cheng, and composer/performer Charles Quevillon. Robinson was artistic director of 10 Gates Dancing Inc., a non-profit company formed in 1998 to promote the development and performance of contemporary dance creations. Between 2005 and 2012, he took up residence in the Pontiac, Québec and established La B.A.R.N., an intimate venue for creation and performance, which hosted over 40 artists.
His work was influenced by his six years of study as a monk in the Hakukaze soto zen monastery, Ottawa. He was awarded the Walter Carsen Prize for Excellence in the Performing Arts, and was an Associate Dance Artist of the National Arts Centre.
Tedd Robinson passed away on August 27, 2022 at the age of 69. As a younger man, he had dreamed of being a rock star. He went on to shake up the Canadian dance world with his unforgettable works, and to share his remarkable and generous spirit with generations of artists.
Holly Bright’s professional dance career began in 1986. She is a movement educator, producer, dancer, choreographer and instigator. She holds a BA in Dance, a BSc in Human Physiology, Laban/Bartenieff Movement Analysis certification and is licensed to teach GYROTONIC® and GYROKINESIS® Movement practice. Holly is the founder and current director of Crimson Coast Dance Society, an organization that supports contemporary dance in Nanaimo, BC. www.crimsoncoastdance.org
In 2010 Holly was recognized by the City of Nanaimo with the Excellence in Culture Award for her contribution to the cultural fabric of the city. Her youth program, Body Talk, was nominated for the 2015 Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce Award for Cultural Vitality – The Arts, She received the 2017 Canada Council / Saidye Bronfman Family’s John Hobday Award for excellence and accomplishment in Arts Management and to revitalize her career through the exploration of developing meaningful relationships with Indigenous people as well as curation, criticism and dramaturgy.
She has worked with musical theatre directors, choreographers and companies including; Margie Gillis, Genevieve Johnson, Susanna Hood, Judith Adams, Jeremy Tow, Senta Driver, Hanya Holm, Agnes de Mille, Nina Weiner, Maureen Fleming-Odo, Lynne Taylor Corbett, Helen Myers, Chick Snipper, Kokoro Dance, Judith Marcuse, Lee Eisler, Deborah Dunn, Judith Garay, Jennifer Mascall and Cheryl Prophet.
Geneviève Johnson has performed since 1995 in more than 50 productions as a dancer, actor, and/or choreographer in Nanaimo, Montreal, and Toronto. In 1999, after practicing Butoh in Canada, she went to Japan to study with founders of the genre. She completed an interdisciplinary PhD in 2008 from University of Quebec in Montreal, investigating the plural body in her practice, interweaving dance, theatre, and poetry to establish new ways to create, perform, and train.
Since 2006, she has collaborated with artist Holly Bright, using her creative language of poetry in motion – Landscape Under Skin Theatre; visible through her contributions to and performance in The Sun and the Moon project (created in 2018) and remounted with great success at the Vancouver International Dance Festival and Crimson Coast Dance, February and April 2022, and in the process to become a screendance.
Geneviève is now developing further her passion for creating dance on film through Vancouver Island University Digital Media Studies and mentoring with visual artist/filmmaker Evann Siebens. Geneviève has been invited to be part of “Body Fluid” exhibit, with her work “Threading Side By Side” a durational-performance film-installation, mixing solo dance performance, filmmaking and community engagement at the Comox Valley Art Gallery, February to April 2023. This work continues her exploration of the fluid, transformative, and connective states of the human body in movement with others and the environment.
John Carter, lighting designer: As Production Manager for the Shadbolt Centre for the Arts, John was instrumental in encouraging dance production and design in the Vancouver area. He has designed lights for many Canadian Dance companies and has acted as Lighting Director for several dance festivals including Chutzpah, Dancing on the Edge and for Crimson Coast Dance Society since its inception on Vancouver Island. He now occasionally teaches at Vancouver Island University, provides career guidance for youth interested in lighting through Crimson Coast Dance’s Body Talk Program and enjoys life on the Island with his wife Shelley.
Charles Quevillon (b.1989) is a composer/performer born in Montreal (QC) and now working in Helsinki (FI). He has a master in composition from the Conservatoire de Musique de Montréal (Prize with Distinction).
Collaborations are central to his artistic practice. He has worked ten years with choreographer Tedd Robinson on 25 projects, some of which (ex: TRUST) he co-authored and performed in as a musician/dancer across Canada’s most prestigious dance festivals (FTA, VIDF, CDF, FND). This collaboration culminated in 2018 when they co-authored a 1-hour opera/ballet titled Love and Other Things presented at the NAC. The composition of this opera started with a three months CALQ residency in Tokyo Wonder Site(JP), where Charles also studied butoh dancing with Yoshito Ohno and practiced zen meditation in Soto temples.
His holistic and multidisciplinary approach to composition has brought him to work internationally with ensemble and musicians that are redefining music performance like Defunensemble (FI), Sound initiative ensemble (FR), the duet Altra Voce (QC), Kollectiv Totem (CH) and Émilie Girard-Charest (QC). He also collaborates with Finnish visual artist Maija Tammi. They have presented together The 1m3 of Human Experiment in Kiasma Theater and Meidän Festivaali and collaborated on the exhibition Immortal’s Birthday presented in Forum Box, Helsinki (FI) in 2020.
Apart from composing, performing and creating unique sound designs for award-winning films, dance and theatre productions, Charles Quevillon is now pursuing a doctorate and teaching at Uniarts Helsinki, Sibelius Academy (FI). This artistic research project, funded by SSRCH, focuses on the symbolic use of electronic music technologies and the ritualization of music performance.