May 10, 11, 12, 2012 at the NAC Studio at Canada’s National Art Centre in Ottawa
Heart as Arena is a multimedia work for five performers, explores ideas of receptivity, transmission and the secret language of electricity that animates heart, mind and muscle.
Low-watt radio transmitters broadcast a fragile stream of love songs, snatches of static, and the deep silence of space. A constellation of radios hovers above the dancers, creating a living array of sound. The transmissions create a physical soundscape that is constantly acted on and disrupted by the slipping frequencies and electrical fields created by the dancers’ moving bodies. Bellini’s Norma, the canonical opera of desire, love and loss, acts as the emotional centre of the piece, emerging and disappearing throughout the piece like a distant station heard on late night radio.
This choreography explores the heart as an arena of electrical and emotional force fields; the attraction and repulsion of bodies in motion; physically demanding expressions of need and want; the electrical interplay at the base of our emotions; the firing and silencing of the very neurons that create our experiences of falling in or out of love.
The work features performers Sarah Doucet (Toronto), Shay Kuebler (Vancouver), Amber Funk Barton (Vancouver), Masaharu Imazu (Montreal/Japan) and Dana Gingras (Vancouver/Montreal). Creative collaborators include sound artist Anna Friz (Chicago), lighting artist Mikko Hynninen (Finland), dramaturge Ruth Little (England), with additional dramaturgy by Daniel Canty (Montreal).