Dance can tell a story in a very visual way. In crafting a new piece of contemporary dance, award- winning choreographers Aria Evans, Allison Cummings, Nickeshia Garrick and Karen Kaeja found topics that provide plenty of material.
Precarious is an “exploration of death’s inevitability,” and celebrates “femme resilience and creativity.” The results of their exploration are onstage next month at The Registry Theatre.
Tara Butler, the executive director of Dust and Soul Dance, the company presenting Precarious, commissioned the choreographers to create new works for the program. She is also dancing in the show, where she’ll be joined by Evans and Garrick.
“My initial idea for this program was to feature these powerful femme creators specifically because of their individual strength and resilience. They have all been a great inspiration to me (most of them for decades) and as we recover from the pandemic this sense of support as well as the overwhelming need to survive and thrive has been a focus,” she said.
Butler says the initial name for the show was “Resilience,” but this changed as the work developed.
“There seemed to be much discussion about how we survive and the precarious nature of being resilient or even the precarious nature of being. Every day we experience small losses. Moments good and bad are fleeting, time passes quickly, events dissolve into memory. Are all of these experiences preparing us for the next, or for the inevitable?” said Butler, who began her dance career with The National Ballet of Canada after graduating from the National Ballet School, and was the principal dancer for Canada’s Ballet Jörgen for 16 years.
The show includes three solos and one duet, including “Dead Ends” performed and choreographed by Evans, “To My Past……..” choreographed and performed by Garrick. Butler herself will be performing a solo “Now that I’m Gone,” created by Cummings. She will also be performing a duet with Nickeshia Garrick which was created by Kaeja, who also created the original music for the performance.
Rehearsals for the duet began in November 2021, and the show has had several phases of creation, says Butler. The solo works have been in progress since August 2022.
Funding for the creation and presentation of Precarious comes from The Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council and The Region of Waterloo Arts Fund.
Butler said she feels the production is important for the community.
“I believe that this performance will offer multiple perspectives and leave the audience with a sense of hope and comfort that we are in this together,” she said. “Dance is a profound art form which can express that which words cannot. These powerhouse performers will leave a lasting emotional imprint on the viewer.”
The Dust and Soul Dance presentation of Precarious will be at The Registry Theatre in Kitchener on June 16 and 17. Show time each night is 7:30 p.m., with a running time of 75 minutes. A short intermission is part of each evening. Tickets are $20, available online at www.registrytheatre.com.