Peter Chin: Cultivating a global view, building a dance centre

INTERVIEW WITH PETER CHIN OCTOBER 2019
written and compiled by Lucy Rupert


Peter Chin at Pre Rup temple while making dance film (2020)

Peter Chin, artistic director of Tribal Crackling Wind, dancer, choreographer and multidisciplinary artist, has been splitting his time between Canada and Cambodia for many years. Currently he is developing a new performance work “Trillionth I”, with dancers and musicians from Cambodia, Canada, Mexico and Italy. “Trillionth I” embodies subtle influences of community hopes and fears to reveal the universal energy between us all, and the healing that is possible through transmission of that energy in live performance. Last summer Tribal Crackling Wind performed excerpts in Allen Gardens and in the fall, performed excerpts of the work in a presenters’ showcase at Fall For Dance North, and as part of Nuit Blanche, outside the Royal Ontario Museum.

Although “Trillionth I" lost its planned trajectory due to the global pandemic, the work continues to deepen and take on new resonance in a time that has very dramatically shown us how simply and utterly we are all connected across the planet.

Peter and I sat down for this interview in October of 2019, just before he left for an extended stay in Cambodia – to build a new dance centre there, to develop “Trillionth I” with the Cambodian dancers before a planned session of work with the Toronto-based dancers back in Toronto in March 2020.

***
Lucy: You have been working in Cambodia for over a decade now! How did you get connected to Cambodia and these dancers? And why are you compelled to work with them? And also, this amazing centre you are creating, this beautiful possibility: why is all of this happening and how did it come to be?

Big questions, but I’m sure they have lots of depth and texture to them.

rainbow at NKK Centre garden

Peter: Yes, they really do; they could lead to many offshoots. I think the way I would begin to answer would be more globally than specifically about Cambodia. It’s not only my relationship to Cambodia. I am thinking of a global or world vision. Cambodia happens to be the culture via which I have most been able to understand a process of expansion from what I was, to something that involved a respectful, careful approach towards another culture and history. I feel humbled and privileged to find an openness there to include me, and through many devoted years of living in this relationship with another culture, I truly am experiencing a process of acculturation.

This submission to that process has led to discerning some fundamental strands of the human condition in state of transformation, by being first confronted with (an often pleasurable) destabilization and state of being different, and not being able to rely on being recognized and understood in a familiar and habitual way.  Ultimately then, coming to terms with being an outsider in the process of moving towards being part of this other paradigm, really guided by the emotions of love, attraction, respect and curiosity.

Peter Chin at Ta Phrom Temple (2020)

Of course, I am a Canadian dance artist, but these days it’s hard to imagine that I am only a Canadian artist; I believe that I am a global citizen, with concerns that are transnational, planetary, human beyond only nationality, and so, if I am that global citizen, then I am certainly a global artist.

My vision artistically is about more than my western upbringing -- I was brought up and educated in Jamaica and Toronto. I was attracted to Asia because I’m ethnically Chinese and so there was exploration that had to happen there. That destiny towards Asia was very compelling. In 1990 I travelled and began research in South East Asia and East Asia, and finally, that all led to going to Cambodia for the first time in 2003 on an instinct that there was something there for me culturally, emotionally, and artistically.

Lucy: Was there something that triggered that instinct?

Peter: Yes. There were instinctual things that I couldn’t put to words and there were things I could explain like my interest generally in South East Asia, which already included research in almost all SE Asian countries by 2003, except Cambodia. I guess Cambodia and I were saving our first encounter until I had some understanding of the region first.

The paramount inspiration for going to Cambodia was the compelling story of how the arts were recognized as essential and fundamental to the continuation of the Khmer culture, and therefore the performing arts were urgently resuscitated after the war ended in the late seventies. This process faced difficult odds since up to 90% of artists were murdered or died of starvation during the war, and so much repertoire had been lost. What that has come to mean to me, as an artist in the west inquiring about the value the arts and creativity hold within Canadian society at large, was that there was a profound and often dark lesson or example in recent Cambodian history that was utterly engrossing and undeniable.

We grapple with the meaning of the arts sometimes, and lament that people in general don’t feel connected to it, don’t value creativity both in the political sphere and societally. But here’s a story of people who fought to bring it back from the brink, who missed it in their souls and knew the ultimate value of it - what was embodied of their souls in those art forms. That was so compelling to me, and so I went there and I wasn’t disappointed, let’s say.

You can go there with a romanticized predilection, which given the history, and being a westerner there, can happen easily. I have self-observed how I regulated my responses to the whole phenomenon so as to get over any excess romance about my situation there as efficiently and quickly as possible. I think that that has helped me to come into contact sooner, with fundamental elements of the country and the culture which have engendered a longevity of interest and a sustained excitement of knowing and feeling there. Fifteen years have now passed without ever having had a year absent from Cambodia. This was completely unplanned.

Peter Chin at Angkor Temple

So yes, there was something - that feeling of destiny with Cambodia, and now, I’m investing my future into a dance centre there. It’s something for me, yes, but I’ve got to say that now in my 57th year, looking at a new phase of life, it has to be about sharing, and service. I believe it now, this principle which asserts that service (and sharing) is happiness. It is reassuring to feel that in my gut as true, beyond an intellectual acceptance of it.

Because I have a relationship that’s 15 years old with Cambodia, with Cambodians and with artists especially, this big project will be a way of contributing to the artistic milieu there, in order to facilitate a continuing flourishing of the contemporary dance movement there, which is only about 10 years old. The dance studio and sleeping quarters will be offered for dance research residencies to the worldwide dance community with priority given to Cambodians and Canadians, in a beautiful countryside setting, close to wildlife reserves and the famous Angkor temples.

Who’s going to say no to that?

Lucy: I’ve been investigating the intersection of art and science for the last couple of years and  writing about their common underpinnings. I think one commonality is that you could take away any commercial value to both art and science and they would still persevere because it’s propelled by human curiosity and a desire to actually describe the reality -- the greater reality but also our personal, political, cultural reality. There’s something magnificent about that. It’s just awful that it takes horrible events such as the Khmer Rouge purge or the Cultural Revolution in China to really recognize this more broadly.

When I was working on my MA in history, I learned about the strategic bombing of libraries and archives in Sarajevo during the Balkan wars in the 90s, in order to wipe out, not just the people, but the records of their existence. Their novels, history books, their poetry and art and records of policy and governance. Their cultural history would be gone and that is what survives time beyond human memory.

Yugoslavians who had emigrated before or during the war, started communicating through the internet, trying to rebuild what they could of the libraries and archives out of their personal libraries and copies of various relevant documents that they had.

Peter: That’s an interesting parallel, and it’s a too often repeated strategy of violence and domination. And of course, it’s even more tragic when the campaign of annihilation is directed at the people themselves, because they are the living libraries and repositories of accumulated knowledge and culture. How viscerally painful it is to contemplate these things.

What’s invested in those pieces of paper in those libraries; it’s our soul. It’s not simply the pieces of paper or trying to fit the fragments back together. It’s what’s imbued in those papers, the paper is the material object, but there is something invisible there. That’s what my work “Transmission of the Invisible” was about.

Transmission of the Invisible photo Cylla von Tiedemann

Lucy: I was just going to say that!

Peter: Yes, it was about the transmission of that intangible essence. We are those libraries.

Lucy: And that fabric or piece of paper embodied the invisible thing. It holds its power.

Peter: Exactly.

Lucy: So back to your arts centre.  Where is it? Do you own the land? Is there a building in existence? Or are you building something?

Peter: The land has been acquired; that’s great. The whole project is still in process. Especially since I haven’t started to fundraise. It’s an independent project but it will grow. There will be other stakeholders in the future.


two views on NKK construction 

The perimeter wall has been put up and the land has been prepared, and some trees planted that won’t be in the way of future construction. It’s been filled in so that it doesn’t flood. The land was formerly a rice field where flooding was welcome. The location is lovely, beside a beautiful heritage lotus pond and on top of a natural aquifer. We dug a well and tested the water and it is drinkable, right out of the ground!

Lucy: What luck!

Peter: I’ve never had a well before!

I can’t take for granted getting clean, living water from the ground is a gift! It’s called NKK Dance Centre, which is an acronym for “Neang Kong Kental”. That means “the lady of the round resting mat”. That is the name of the guardian land spirit there, as was reported by the Khmer co-founder/partner of the centre, after she revealed herself to him in a dream. 

Lucy: Beautiful.

the lotus pond

Peter: The belief in nature spirits is relatively common in Cambodia, especially outside of the larger metropolitan centre of Phnom Penh. The culture is about 90% Buddhist, and the layers underneath this include Hinduism, which locally finds its apotheosis, I suppose, in the Vishnu temple of Angkor Wat. And layered underneath the Hindu-Buddhist roots is an ancient indigenous animistic and ancestor-worship belief system that is inalienably aligned to the natural cycles and phenomena of the place.

Lucy: Does that land spirit’s name refer to anything about the known topography or history of the land?

Peter: The full name of the spirit dedicatee is ‘Neang Kong Kental Beng Mealea”. At the time of finding out the name, we didn’t know why her name included Beng Mealea.  A year later we realized is best translated as ‘lotus pond’. So awesome!

The lotus pond on the land is clearly part of her and now our shared realm, and it is a feature on the landscape that perhaps has been there for hundreds of years, perhaps since the Angkor empire days. This pond and most water features in the area are protected by the archaeological authorities as possibly being a part of the ancient Angkorian irrigation and waterway management system more than a thousand years ago. The round resting mat in her name is a reed mat, which is traditionally produced in the area by local artisans. The water hyacinth reeds grow in water, usually beside the lotus plants, in the same watery environment. I just made that connection now - interesting!

Before the workers began to dig into the land and alter the natural state of the place, they said “we have to have a ceremony” to ask for permission and blessings from the land so that everything would go in a good way. I understand that this is a matter of course in practically all construction projects in Cambodia.

NKK dance centre offering ceremony before beginning construction

Lucy: What’s being built first?

Peter: There will be a big studio with a wooden floor, on a raised base of columns about a metre off the ground, in order to have the floor have a fair amount of give. We don’t need a sprung floor, but this wooden floor will be perfect for contemporary dance. We are going to cover it with marley. It will be the largest marley covered dance floor in Cambodia, and only one of a handful, I believe.

The guest house and the studio will reflect elements and principles of the vernacular Khmer architecture, but updated, modernized and custom-designed. This design decision was unquestionable, coming from a mindset that is respectful and appreciative of what is local; at once wanting to be a part of what is around and at the same time, wishing to stand out as something that looks forward.

There will be a deck overlooking the lotus pond which has fish. People often come to fish there, and now dance residency participants can go fishing when they are not creating 
dance!


Farming neighbours of NKK and rural ambiance (2019)

NKK co-founder Rasy Hul beside window under construction

Lucy: Is it within a city’s limits or outside?

Peter: It is within the Siem Reap area close to where the Angkor temples are. From the city centre it’s about a 10-15 minute drive. It’s special to be in this very rich archaeological zone, with so much antiquity all around, and so accessible. Also, it is just outside of the town limits, in a vegetable growing area, close to southeast Asia’s largest lake, and therefore the habitat of many birds and other wild life. It’s wonderful.

Lucy: How big is Siem Reap?

Peter: It’s really a town, around 130,000 people. For a small town, it nevertheless has all these amenities and a sophisticated food scene because of tourism. Some people think that they don’t like Siem Reap because of the tourism, believing that the authentic Khmer culture is compromised by catering to foreigners, but you could drive for 7 minutes and be in the countryside, where you would probably only see the local agrarian people, and see a lifestyle and a landscape that hasn’t changed much at all over hundreds of years. That’s why I love to be there. It’s very bucolic. Cows and haystacks, rice fields and palm trees.

The dance centre has that advantage of being around the countryside and this rich area.

Lucy: Like a Cambodian Jacob’s Pillow?

Peter: Ha. Yes. I’ve only walked through Jacob’s Pillow – I used to have a friend there. It is beautiful.

Lucy: Arts centres in rich landscapes really are a thing worldwide. These beautiful retreats into art are so important. I’m nature girl – not like rafting or mountaineering – but I grew up doing retreats into nature with my parents – birdwatching and habitat assessment. And now twenty-five years into my career as an artist and never have I been into these meccas of dance in landscape like Banff or Jacob’s Pillow!

Peter: Dance in landscape, yes……

Lucy: But dance in landscape makes sense, as the origin of dance for humans is likely responses to our observations of the universe. Stories to interpret the natural events around us, told through the body.

NKK under construction


NKK co-founder Rasy Hul with surrounding rural ambience

What will be the primary purposes of your centre?

Peter: The centre will be for me to do my work, but moreover it will be the first dedicated contemporary dance space for the public ever in Cambodia. The contemporary dance movement in Cambodian is exciting. They’ve had an interesting and rapid evolution over the last ten years or so. I find it a very dynamic and evolving-before-our-eyes kind of thing, not just dance, but the arts in general in Cambodia.

Lucy: You must have been part of that.

Peter: Well…yes, I’m privileged to be able to say that I have been part of that and have been embraced as a part of it, to my great honour and sense of gratitude. I am so happy to have that warm feeling of affection and belonging. It’s not to be underestimated. I could say that it is, in a way, everything.

Lucy: How would you characterize contemporary dance in Cambodia? I don’t want to ask what it looks like because I think of contemporary dance as being a mindset not a style, but certainly contemporary dance is going to look different or have different inherent characteristics depending on the cultural traditions that have come before it in any given part of the world.

Peter: It’s my pleasure and my mission to talk about what contemporary dance is, in the context of what you just said, in a place like Cambodia. Because of course, we from the west have a predisposition towards a settled picture of what contemporary or modern dance is.  It has been wonderful for me to be immersed for such a substantial period of time that I begin to see what contemporary dance is on its own terms in Cambodia, without automatically applying comparisons or standards from my western understanding of the term or genre.

To me, that has been one of the gifts I’ve received from my education in places like Cambodia. It’s still unrolling in the work and my associations with artists there, how we work together, what we learn from each other, what we share.


dancers and musicians of Trillionth I in rehearsal 
Toronto, 2019

With contemporary dance in Cambodia, something very salient is that all of the practitioners have a classical and traditional training. Their practice as contemporary artists has been based in their traditional knowledge, and the dynamism of the friction resulting from actions and choices departing from their classical backgrounds, or even from working closely within the classical framework but in new ways. They have made the transition from what they knew classically and traditionally in their bodies and intellects, towards their own contemporary direction and knowledge. I find that interesting.

That’s not to say that there hasn’t been any western influence, recently and also historically! There has been. Cambodian classical dance in particular has been on the international stage since the beginning of the last century, (enjoying considerable renown, with famous fans, in France for instance, from Auguste Rodin to Charles De Gaulle). These experiences of internationalism and cultural exchange since the beginning of the last century until now, from the point of view of the Cambodians, has had an impact on the evolutionary trajectory of how they regard their dance and other cultural expressions.  

That’s of course a bigger discussion, but what’s important here is that there has been internationalism from the perspective of Cambodia itself for a long time. They have had their own notions of what internationalism means coming from their point of view of looking out and welcoming in. In the west, again, we are often predisposed to think of internationalism as coming from our western example, into which fit these other non-western countries, always within a pre-imposed paradigm that centralizes the western value system.

Concerning contemporary dance artists in Cambodia, in the last ten years, I think that from the beginning, they have been grounded in an examination of their own culture as at least a starting point to express the present. At the same time, as the young people in the last 15 years plugged into communications media, they have been exposed and influenced by contemporary artistic expression from many cultural points on the globe.

The contemporary dance artists in Cambodia have also had substantial direct experiences working with prominent artists from all over the world, often touring abroad with contemporary dance projects. They have enjoyed a widening, global understanding of dance art, and how what they do uniquely as Cambodian practitioners, fits into the phenomena worldwide, or even influences other non-Cambodian artists. They know for instance that Peter Chin, a Jamaican-Canadian dance artist, has been profoundly influenced by Cambodian dance and dancers. They are humbled and very animated by that, and other examples of international artists who are inspired by them and their art.  

It has been a relief and a sustenance to me to comprehend that ‘contemporary, avant-garde or experimental art is certainly not confined to the western example.

Lucy: We, in the west I mean, definitely need more exposure to non-western contemporary and experimental art. Such exposure might help break up the residual primitivist lenses through which Westerners sometimes view art from the rest of the world. 

The concurrent timeline of rebuilding classical dance and the emergence of contemporary dance in Cambodia is quite a unique thing.

Thinking of the trajectory of the 20th century dance in the West where it was ballet ballet ballet then rebellion against ballet that started the modern forms which then became classical forms in themselves in way. That rejection of classical form that became its own thing as modern dance, is now being rejected in some ways, as contemporary movement becomes less formal, or less codified, and more global. 

It seems like a natural process that has happened in many art forms all over the world, but I wonder if in Cambodia they haven’t had this cycle of rejection-formation because both are re-emerging together…but maybe it’s also too soon to know? That process took almost a century in North America.

Peter: It’s interesting in the Cambodian context. It’s so young --it’s 10 or 15 years old this contemporary dance movement. As far as breaking away from classical tradition in order to assert a new one: I think it did and does exist.

You know, in the 80’s and 90’s there was such an urge to bring back what was lost, by the 10% of artists who were still around -- 90% were lost!  The situation was dire and grave. So, the kind of response that came from these artists was focused on bringing back the form and the essence to younger generations. In the meantime, here were these young people coming through the academies in this extraordinary ambiance, many born after the war, who were connected to the rest of the world in new and compelling ways. They were already interested in being expressive in new ways. This, combined with their devotion to the mission at hand, and the rigours of the classical ethos, resulted, I think, in a really dynamic artistic depth.


dance artists of Trillionth I performing at the Fall for Dance North International Presenters Showcase 2019 photos: SV Photography


Lucy: You could and can see anything from around the world – dance, art, music, social movements…..Classical/traditional and experimental/contemporary….

Peter: Yes. They wanted to explore being creative in other ways, in addition to their classical training. When new proposals were made to the old masters, their response was horror and consternation because they felt that they hadn’t yet finished their mission of bringing the traditions back. There was a clash…understandably. But as the classical forms got re-established it eased. You will talk to young people now and even in their lifetimes they can attest to the evolution of the mind-set. The masters are accepting of it now, but it was a gradual, often highly conflictive process of change.

A lot has happened in a very short time. So, the trajectory you just talked about that took almost a century…

Lucy: ….has happened in Cambodia in less than two generations. I wonder if it has something to do with the speed of technology and sharing in a certain sense. Things that would take 200 years to develop just don’t take that long now.

It would seem that there is not a lot of critical writing about Cambodian dance, and a lot of what is out there is written, with good intentions, by Westerners. Do you see contemporary discourse about the arts also developing in Cambodia?

Peter: Actually, in regard to writing about Khmer dance, there is a book that features many Cambodians writing about dance since the end of the war, Beyond the Apsara: Celebrating Dance in Cambodia, edited by Stephanie Burridge and Fred Frumberg, published by Routledge. I was honoured to be asked to write a chapter for it, contemplating my experience creating ‘Transmission of the Invisible’. But the preponderance of voices in the book are Khmer!

Lucy: I will try to track that one down.

So what’s happening first when you get to Cambodia?

Peter: I’ve got a dance centre to build, girl.

Lucy: Just that little thing. And then you hit the beaches right?

Peter: No…I’m from Jamaica, and I’ve had enough beach time for another life time (smiling). But seriously…I have a bunch of things. There’s festival called Arts For Peace and it’s about everything we’ve talked about, it’s about the old and the new. It’s being produced by Cambodia Living Arts, an important arts organization. There will be 14 days of presentations, symposia, shows. I’ll be attending that and networking for future presentation for “Trillionth I”. Now that there are contemporary performances coming up, we -- I say we because I’m honoured to be part of that community now – we need to build consortiums of people who are going to be able to present, collectively, the new dance. And also I’ll be doing something in Indonesia, based on megalithic art. There’s a group of people doing performance in megalithic sites.

Peter Chin at Bayon temple making dance film (2020)

Sumatra Indonesia Megalithic Festival

Note: all of these activities were able to happen despite the pandemic. Cambodia maintained low case numbers of COVID-19 and kept those cases contained. At the time of publishing Cambodia reported 197 cases (7 in the Siem Reap province), 140 recovered and 0 deaths. Unfortunately, Peter’s work in Canada was cancelled – a technical residency at Harbourfront and mentoring work for Kickstart (CanAsian Festival).

Peter remains in Cambodia, building his centre, making beautiful movement films (Check out his work included:  WATCH HERE

Lucy: I’m curious about how you work with your dancers. It’s very personal, but you always seem to have an approach that both transcends and embraces the group you’re working with. I find this impressive. As a choreographer I’m always questioning: do I have the tools to work with my dancers in a way that is satisfying to them? Am I giving them what they need or want?

Peter: You have set the bar very high. That’s not typical. Choreographers often see dancers 1 through 7 and they are there to execute a certain vision. That way of working doesn’t interest me.

Over the years, I have become more and more interested in the souls on stage and in the studio, how they deploy their talents and training to create transcendent moments that have the capability to move us in the audience, but more importantly to move energy that begins to transform us in ways that really address ultimate questions of existence. Ya know, just that little old thing…So I have found that I enter a studio with no idea of what I will do, but with a general feeling, and from what might sound vague, there emerges movement and intentions and connections that seem to want to live through this person in this time and space.

I know that sounds entirely airy-fairy, but what evolves from those initial moments in a process, purely by intuition and openness to what wants to be, turns into something that is very, very specific, and often daunting for the dancer, not necessarily in a technical way, but in a integration-kind-of way, where the inner dance/intention/meditation, has to happen in precise ways with what is being executed on the outside.

Transmission of the Invisible's first beginnings with Phon Sopheap and Yim Savann
in Cambodia (2006)

Lucy: What you ask of your dancers is not necessarily something they’re trained to do. It takes time for the instructions or ideas to sink into the dancers. It’s the layer of embodiment or energy. Having watched some of the “Trillionth I” rehearsals and having assisted with “Transmission of the Invisible” back in 2009, I’ve seen when the dancers get overwhelmed by the number of details – they are physical details but ones that aren’t exactly quantifiable. 

I felt that overwhelm when I started working with Denise Fujiwara. I’d come in ready to show her all the stuff I could do and she’d watch and say that’s great, but stop that, and stop that, and stop that. At first I was left doing nothing. It took me a while to trust that there was a lot of something in the “nothing” I was doing. And then, Denise would ask for the layers within that nothing. Physically and mentally exacting in a whole different way. It’s how you move the energy rather than what the form of the movement is.

I’ve seen the dancers change over time with you in that way. The small energetic details you give.  Like [in rehearsal for “Trillionth I” in September] when you were showing Jake (Ramos) how to get out of the chair. It was a master class in direction.

Peter: Yes, and he finally got it after a lot of trials and repetition.

Lucy: But it wasn’t a physical or technical instruction you demonstrated for him, it had to do with moving the energy.

Peter: Yes Lucy, you’re right, those things are often so difficult to convey to a dancer, especially when they have very dynamic way of moving already that is their wonderful gift, but sometimes a gift which makes it harder to discover different, small interior shifts in energy to achieve a certain quality of movement. I was glad to see the change in him. He really did get it beautifully.

Lucy: He did. I remember giving notes to one of your dancers when I assisted you with “Transmission of the Invisible” in 2009 -- it was someone new to the cast, learning a role for the remount. You had given me about 8 notes for a small passage of choreography and as I approached the dancer, it was clear they were overwhelmed and in that moment that I realized you knew they could do it. So I said that to the dancer: Peter is giving these 8 things to you because he sees that it’s possible for you to do them.

I’m not sure it helped in the moment, but I hope it did. As a dancer who is super self-critical, I tend to go really negative any time I get a note. I always feel them as corrections and get disheartened by my own self-criticism. Assisting you definitely helped me later, when I was back to being someone else’s dancer, to take a note as a new possibility, not as a criticism.  Margie Gillis refers to it as discernment rather than criticism.

Peter: It’s a generous way of choreographing, that eschews the old school model I believe…

Lucy: It’s both very personal and very selfless at the same time. We’re not taught to work with that duality, we’re taught to be very present, but that often focuses on “me! What is my body doing? what is every single little bit of it doing?” Analyzing rather than letting things happen and being aware…

Peter: I’m glad you were there to mediate between me and the dancers. Belatedly thanks!

Lucy: I don’t know if I overstepped my bounds then [during “Transmission of the Invisible” rehearsal], but it seemed so obvious to me in the moment that they needed to hear it and that it was true.

Peter: I don’t underestimate the power of that mentality in training – the hard physical, technical analysis, but I have to say to dancers caught in that thinking: ‘I’m sorry, that’s not how I’m working. It’s just me. We’re here in this moment together.’

Lucy: In a lot of places now, big institutional thinking is reshaping. Certain behaviours and approaches will no longer be tolerated. And there’s a new generation of artists who are saying “no, I won’t be treated this way” or “I won’t work from a place of fear”. There’s got to be a change in pedagogy to answer and encourage this….

Peter: …and philosophy and human respect.

Lucy: The youth right now make me hopeful. They are not going to put all us old people against the wall. They just want change.

Peter: It’s time. It’s the time. There’s a shift happening. Yes.

Lucy: This folds into other things we’re talking about. Shaking things up and shaking loose these world views that are inherently biased.

Peter: It’s painful though.

Lucy: It’s got to be.

Peter: It has to be.

Lucy: This is a weird quote from Nigel Lythgoe – who created So You Think You Can Dance. I remember hearing him say to a dancer on the show “if you want to grow you’ve got to get uncomfortable.”

Peter: In that popular forum? Yay! Exactly.

Lucy: So, go build that dance centre. We’ll miss you. Send us pictures.

Peter: I’m just going on a trip. I’ll be back.

environs of the NKK centre



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We hope Peter can return to us soon, and safely.








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