Mairéad Filgate


On adaptability:

My intent has been to create a malleable structure that can change and mold to context, space, and circumstance. I am interested in creating for outdoor and unconventional spaces and I want the choreography to adapt to the architectural features of the present space.

I also want to be able to perform in theatre spaces if the opportunity arises, as it did in this case. It’s my intention to utilize the Pia Bouman space creatively. How that manifests remains to be seen – we will rehearse in the space for a week and see what we can do.

The idea of malleability also relates to logistics of money and schedules, two dreaded parts of art making. The work is a series of vignettes made with the thought that we can mix and match parts as needed, if people aren’t available, for example, or there isn’t enough money. Already this isn’t so simple. The present financial situation is such that we probably should have performed a duet or trio but of course I want everyone. Meredith Thompson and Yvonne Ng are also part of this work and process but other commitments prevented them from being part of the performances. It’s great that we can still continue and it’s good to test this idea out, but still I wish they were here.

The work is meant to be finished but I’m not sure I ever feel that sense of completion. And in this case in particular the work you see will be different in its next form because of the above factors. This leads me to challenges in titling the work. I’m thinking of titling the sections, like songs on an album that may or may not appear each time we perform.



I saw Rosas perform the other night, an hour long of pure, joyful dancing to the music of Coltrane. I felt such relief to see this purity of movement and a sense of release, that dance is enough. I have always adored big, dynamic movement and I keep finding myself creating small detail and subtly these days. Funny. Other things I’m interested in:  - starting from a simple, practical, movement vocabulary (hand in pocket, touch of face, walking) – the dancers: they are special, all distinguished, nuanced performers – intimacy between performers and sharing this with the audience – feeling, memory, dreams: how to create a surreal moment, a sense of escape…

From some research my dear friend Marie-Claire Forté has been working on:

Peter Boneham: “I believe in choreography. It’s not just the hours in the day in the studio, it’s the twenty-four hours a day that you live with your questions and desires.”

I love these 24-hours of imagination and ruminating and dreaming. I remember talking to Bill about being an artist: to walk through life slowly, contemplating trees, beauty, collecting images, allowing visions to come. I try to cultivate this, becoming an artist more deeply in the ways I travel through and relate to the world. It’s so much less about a particular work, much more about a way of being in the world. But then the choreography can – if we’re lucky – be a magic container to catch a sublime moment.




Photos: Stills taken from video by John Lauener

1. Bill Coleman & Johanna Bergfelt

2. Marie Lambin-Gagnon & Dan Wild

3. Bill Coleman, Johanna Bergfelt, Marie Lambin-Gagnon, Dan Wild, Meredith Thompson