On February 12 and 13, Propeller Dance took to the GCTC Studio for two sold-out shows and the first public showcase of their GCTC residency. FUSE, presented by GCTC, featured three works-in-progress.
The first piece, As We Go, was a collaboratively-created duet by Renata Soutter and Nathalie, set to the music of Bach, performed by cellist Brandon Wilkie. We were excited to welcome Natalie for her first appearance with us. Natalie took a class taught by Renata and Liz Winkelaar in 2014, which rekindled her dance spirit and led to Renata inviting her to co-create this duet. Through exploration they began to build a dance out of the innovative and beautiful lines that Natalie and her crutches provide. As We Go will be further developed next year.
The second work, I Need You, was the first of Propeller’s collaborations with musician Jesse Stewart. His inclusive approach to music making is a great match for us, as are his interests in adaptive music technologies for persons with disabilities and his open mind to music sources and subtleties. This work included iPads that the dancers interacted with throughout the piece.
The final work, Scratching the Surface, featured music composed by Larry Graves and performed by Toronto band DRUMHAND. Shara has been introducing Propeller’s dancers to new movement vocabulary informed by Ga and Malinke dance from Ghana and Mali, West Africa. It has been a more technical way of working for the company, and has challenged the group physically and also musically. Shara enjoyed the challenge of creating inclusive movement informed by her studies, and this work-in-progress is the result of this recent experiment in movement!