Photo of Jason Martin and Janelle Hacault by Kyra Jean Green
I started researching the theme of falling in and out of intimacy in relationships with dancers, Brett Owen and Alexandra Winters through the Young Lungs Dance Exchange research series in Winnipeg, December 2015. Back then, it was building momentum and showing me how rich the content was. The feedback after a public showing was incredibly encouraging and generated more subjects for exploration. Escape, isolation, regret, and vulnerability were just some of what people both saw and felt. When I create, I start from personal experience and then work to make something more universal. Having been married for over 5 years and having trauma rock that relationship, this piece has roots deep in my personal life. That said, it's been a very challenging process. Perhaps this was a dangerous endeavor, perhaps it was necessary. But more and more I'm finding that nothing is binary nor packed nicely in separate categories. Life and art are one.
Collaborating with Jason has been both enriching and difficult. Like all relationships, collaboration requires transparency, compromise, commitment, and relentless honesty. In creation, this collaboration has been a reflection of the seasons in which we all encounter when in a relationship. So we use it. We live it. Jason wanted this to be a piece where we truly live on stage, where we experience every moment as if it's our own. And it is. In rehearsal and on stage, we are figuring out how our distinct and different approaches and personalities can work to create one cohesive voice. This is our story.
Personally, it's caused me to not only reflect on my own marriage but also on my artistic journey. I've realized that I can trust more. Trust in the process, trust in my partner, trust in myself. Although this may very well be the most demanding process I've ever gone through personally and artistically, I can say that it's one that has greatly developed me as an artist and a woman. To sum it up, I leave you with a quote by Theodore Roosevelt who said, "Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty... I have never in my life envied a human being who led an easy life. I have envied a great many people who led difficult lives and led them well." I believe this to be true for me in my deepest relationships, my passions, and my purpose