“For me, this poem captures something essential about the utter emptiness of loss – whether that is the loss of identity brought on by dementia or the loss of a loved one to death – and of how that empty space can in fact offer an opening for illumination.” ~ Peggy Baker
A Story Dance by Sarah Chase and Peggy Baker, performed by the illustrious, Peggy Baker.
May 29th, 2022, 7:30pm, Malaspina Theatre at VIU
Movement Class: May 28, 10:00am at 139 Bastion Street, Harbour Dance Studios
Produced by Crimson Coast Dance
Poetry is central to this work. It begins, “There are many ways to kneel and kiss the ground – Rumi”.
The grace bestowed upon us as we move through life and death with a loved one and in particular, death as uninvited, lingering guest, arrives with humility. Peggy walked her husband, Ahmed Hassan, through an aggressive form of Multiple Sclerosis. Ahmed died in 2011. Peggy found this poem in Nine Gates: Entering the Mind of Poetry by Jane Hirschfield. It became a primary reference for helping distill
and clarify the text she was preparing to offer Sarah Chase, master of Story Dances and in order to bring this important journey forward as a way to recognize the importance of the conversation through performing arts. One of many deeply affecting poems encountered in this book was by the 13th century Japanese Zen master Eihei Dogen:
in midnight water
no waves, no wind
the empty boat
is flooded with moonlight
“For me [Peggy], this poem captures something essential about the utter emptiness of loss – whether that is the loss of identity brought on by dementia or the loss of a loved one to death – and of how that empty space can in fact offer an opening for illumination. Despite being central to the human condition, conversations around disability, caregiving and death can be exceedingly difficult to enter into. I hope
that my performance of this work opens space for those conversations – with all of their complications, significance, unavoidable sadness – among audience members, their friends and families.
unmoored is a text and movement work choreographed and directed by a masterful creator, Sarah Chase, for a 67 year old woman, Peggy Baker, with a rich history as a celebrated and medaled dancer. The audience will encounter a beautifully constructed work shared with generosity and grounded in a lifetime of performing.”
movement session with Peggy Baker, Saturday, May 28, 10:00am to 11:30, 139 Bastion Street, Harbour Dance Studios
In this 90-minute session, participants will learn a potent and eloquent series of gestures that address the body, the senses and the world around us. Working with a sequence of 5 gestures for the right hand and 6 for the left, we will learn to perform both sequences simultaneously. As the gestures cycle to pair up differently each time, new poetic associations arise.
This technique of cross-patterned gestures is the invention of choreographer Sarah Chase, and is used in several different forms within unmoored.
Information and tickets: 250.716.3230
Support the MS Walk
Join us for unmoored, and also consider joining one of the MS Walks organized across the country (including Duncan, BC), happening on the same day!
From Peggy: “Nanaimo’s MS Walk contributes to efforts across the country to advance research, treatment, and resources for all those affected by multiple sclerosis. When we come together to throw our support behind this cause, the impact can be life-changing.”