David Albert-Toth – Commission

HALVES 

I remember the first time we all met with David. He was to give our class an interpretation workshop for a week during our summer intensive at l’École de danse contemporaine de Montréal. It was just before we started our third year. Everything he was talking about was said in a very lively, intense, sensitive way. He was talking about how to find within ourselves the inspiration to share our intention, so that it’s very personal, very true. He was talking about the way to really get through to your audience with that inspiration, to make them feel what you feel. We were all ready to get involved with our dance practice in that sort of  way, but I remember being scared as hell to make myself that vulnerable. I’m pretty sure I was not the only one. And honestly, it’s precisely that scary, but oh-so-true, way to look at ourselves being so deeply involved in the practice that made us want to work with him again later on. 

The idea to ask him for a choreographic commission came to us right after a rehearsal we were having together. We were day dreaming about applying to l’École de danse contemporaine de Montréal’s Sofia Borella grant. They grant it to graduates that want to get involved in the community through a dance project. We thought that it could be great to get experienced members from the dance community to work with us recently graduated dancers, to present something for an uninitiated audience. Getting everyone involved, you know?

We ended up getting that grant. 

Here we are now. 

Our project was to get David to choreograph on us, sure, but there was also another purpose to our mission. We went through all the creative process with him working towards a common goal to first present this piece to some very important people to us. My mother is the executive director for a literacy organism that works with the less fortunate. Newcomers can there learn how to speak french, people who did not get the chance to pursue school, learn how to read, write and calculate. Since most of them unfortunately don’t have the means to get to see shows a lot, we wanted to get them to see what our very own contemporary dance was about. So all five of us took a little trip to the South Shore of Montreal to meet with the group. We got them to experience a little bit of our daily dance work through a workshop (very soft and adapted to them) and we showed them a presentation of the piece we’ve been working on. We got them retroactively talking about how they felt during the workshop and the show. Some of them are still in the learning process to get to speak French and/or English, but their comments were very felt and on point. They were also able to link some of the exercises from the workshop to what they saw in the piece. That we were very proud of. 

It obviously showed us that the language of the body can get through any spoken language barrier. 

I’ll just drop our teaser video here, so that you have an idea of what we will present to you in April.