Do You Know?.....Sylvie Bouchard....of course you do.
Sylvie Bouchard has had an impressive and diverse career so far and to add to that spectrum of work she is part of Denise Fujiwara's EUNOIA, premiering March 19-22 at Harbourfront Centre's Enwave Theatre as part of World Stage.
Sylvie is originally from Montreal and came to Toronto to train at the School of Toronto Dance Theatre in 1983. Her career has spanned so many things, we can't mention them all here but a few include:co-founding CORPUS, creating Dusk Dances and launching Bouchard Danse as well as dancing for Kaeja d'Dance, Winnipeg Contemporary Dancers, Dancemakers, Susie Burpee, Sashar Zarif and Roger Sinha.
Here is Sylvie's perspective on EUNOIA.
What were your first impressions or thoughts about EUNOIA the poem and the dance project when you first got involved in Denise's process?
With Eunoia, I plunged in such unknown territories with speaking text, especially this absolutely beautiful but difficult text, for me, because English is my second language. I felt frustrated at times and wanted to speak French because it is easier for me to make sense of words and poetry in my own mother tongue. The poetic and playful way Denise made us use our bodies with the poems was extremely challenging, but at the same time felt so freeing, full of discoveries, surprises, details and new possibilities.
What is the greatest challenge of your role in the project?
In the piece, we often have to quickly and radically change who and what we are on stage, how we engage with one another, how we set-up our body and mind, how we connect with the audience. These transitions are challenging and demand a lot of focus, commitment and practice. But perhaps the greatest challenge for me is that you can't try to be a "good dancer" in this work, you rather have to do the tasks as skillfully as possible, and be as present, open and committed as you can with those tasks.
Do you have a favourite poem from Eunoia?
Fishing till twilight, I sit, drifting in this birch skiff......
I absolutely love this story and the vivid imagery that comes with it. To me, it is a story of survival, with images of fishing, a sinking ship, and swirling waters, but to me, it also parallels times when you feel like you are drowning inside, when an internal tempest makes you sink.
What has been your relationship or experience with words-and-dance in the past?
None. I have always been interested in a somewhat theatrical approach to dance, but I have never spoken text on stage before. Eunoia is my first.... The training we got with Gerry Trentham and Cindy Block was incredibly thorough and thoughtful, I could not have asked for a better way to delve into speaking text on stage!
How do you think the 4 year process of Eunoia will inform or influence your own work in the future?
Working with Denise has already informed and influenced my own practice both as a dancer and choreographer. It is very powerful work, and relentless at teaching you about performance, about your habits as a performer and about openess. I became aware, for instance, that the element of air was always very present in my work, and I also often apply some of the exercises we do in Denise's process to prepare for other performances.
choreographed by Denise Fujiwara
March 19-22 at 8pm
part of Harbourfront's World Stage 2014