Technical Residencies, September 2020

In January 2020, we sent out a call to dance artists in need of support with their various projects. This was a fantastic way for us to learn about what people are working on and in what ways New Works can adequately support the community. Through this program we’ve been supporting three artists/collectives so far: TWObigsteps collective, Erika Mitsuhashi and Avery Smith. You can find out more about them and their projects here:

One way we’ve supported these artists is by offering each of them two-day technical residencies at the Waterfront Theatre on Granville Island during the week of September 21-27, 2020.

More about the residencies:

Two photos taken by Belen Garcia

The technical residency at Waterfront Theatre allowed time to explore lighting and staging aspects that generally aren’t considered until the end of a process. I had the opportunity to see what my self-choreographed solo would look like on stage and consider some artistic shifts before the premiere, May 28 & 29, 2021. Creating work during a pandemic means that processes move slowly. This time to breathe gives me space to thoughtfully execute ideas. This residency reduced the pressure to create a final piece and supported the creative exploration, which is integral to any performance.

— Marissa Wong, TWObigsteps Collective

“My residency at Waterfront Theatre gave me the time and resources to experiment with building a strong visual stage world for my choreography to live inside. Working with lighting felt like stepping inside a whole new medium, one that inspired me to build a responsive relationship between performer and environment. Playing with bold and vibrant lighting choices, I researched ways for an ever-shifting character to internalize their environment, and for this to have tangible effects on my movement.” — –– Avery Smith

Two photos of Avery Smith were taken by Mika Manning

“During my short residency at The Waterfront Theatre, I was able to experiment with my trusted and multi-talented collaborator Daniel O’Shea on some continued research into expanding the notion of choreography beyond the body. I have been enamoured with approaching human and non-living bodies as equal players in performance, and attempting to animates light, video, reflective surfaces, sculpture, and the space itself to reveal movement in unexpected places. We entered our time with a few ideas and were able to follow our curiosities as we built an installation environment, which was so fruitful and… FUN. Inside of the light and video installation, I had time to play and discover where the potential for movement was. We will take the experimentation forward into future projects with distant timelines. ” — Erika Mitsuhashi