The Chimera Project Dance Theatre to Present Two World Premieres In Double Bill UNCLEARING

Performances will take place on April 5 & 6, 2024.

By: Feb. 27, 2024
The Chimera Project Dance Theatre to Present Two World Premieres In Double Bill UNCLEARING
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The Chimera Project Dance Theatre to Present Two World Premieres In Double Bill UNCLEARING The Chimera Project Dance Theatre will present Unclearing, a striking double bill featuring two world premieres at Harbourfront Centre Theatre, April 5 & 6, 2024. Co-created by choreographer Sophie Dow, and composer and musician Laura Reznek, Agrimony walks the edge between evocative live concert and embodied contemporary dance. Agrimony examines our desperate search for authenticity within a society that forces us to mask our truest selves. Choreographed by Chimera founding Artistic Director Malgorzata Nowacka-May, Soft is an athletically-charged collision between the dissonance of life's mundane, daily tasks and the raw, instinctual fear that holds us back from realizing our greatest potential. Soft features an original score by composer Eric Cadesky.

“After primarily focusing on touring productions for audiences of all ages over the last decade, The Chimera Project Dance Theatre is thrilled to be bringing its signature, electrifying contemporary dance performance to mainstage Toronto audiences this April in Soft, and to introduce a rising choreographic voice, Sophie Dow, in an evening of two world premieres,” says Nowacka-May. “Developed by three powerhouse female creators, and featuring a roster of multinational artists from Toronto and Vancouver, Unclearing asks us to explore the transcendent journey of dismantling – narratives, masks, boredom, fear – in order to connect with our true selves and the richness of the world around us.”

Deeply rooted in the artistic collaboration between Dow and Reznek, Agrimony is based on Reznek's 2021 full-length indie pop album of the same name, which evolved from their joint creative project in 2018. Inspired by the small yellow flower agrimony, often used in plant medicine for healing, the work investigates the restorative power of removing the masks that have built up over time from trauma, fear, conformity, and disconnection.

Agrimony features four dance artists in intricate masks, with live musical accompaniment by Reznek on vocals, piano, violin and guitar, and Jonah Ocean on cello, guitar, and background vocals. Informed by Reznek's lyrical score, Dow's graceful, yet highly kinetic, choreography references inquisitive, theatrical gestures, coupled with contemporary clown and mask work.

The double bill will also present the premiere of Nowacka-May's Soft, a visionary work featuring eight dancers, with dramaturgy input from Toronto's Karen Kaeja. A searing summons on the futility of modern-day life that shrinks our consciousness from the expansive physical world to the all too familiar virtual screen, Nowacka-May uses this work as a commentary on the monotony of daily life, encouraging a reconnection with the wisdom of animalistic intuition found within our own bodies. With contemporary and ballet influences, Nowacka-May's conceptual choreography moves between unexpected states.

Dow is a Treaty 1-born artist with Michif/Assiniboine + French/Ukrainian roots. She is a multidisciplinary creative with a degree in Dance Performance and Choreography from York University. She is an artistic associate of O.Dela Arts, The Chimera Project Dance Theatre, and V'ni Dansi/The Louis Riel Métis Dancers; residency coordinator at Dance West Network; fire spinner with Ember Arts Fire Society; and musician with The Honeycomb Flyers, as well as a freelance dancer, choreographer, and sound designer. As a dancer, she has worked with Olivia C. Davies, Kaha:wi Dance Theatre, Kaeja d'Dance, and Jeannette Kotowich, among others.

Currently based in the UK, Reznek is a composer and musician. She composes music for theatre and dance, and is a recording artist with numerous albums and EPs. She released her full-length album, Agrimony, through Birthday Cake Media in 2021.

As Founding Artistic Director of The Chimera Project Dance Theatre, Nowacka-May has created more than 30 critically acclaimed dance works for the company. Her work has been showcased at the Canada Dance Festival, Dancing on the Edge Festival, DanceWorks Mainstage Series, and Dance Victoria. From 2015-2018, she created works seen across Canada for Ballet Jörgen. Chimera's Company Bhas supported 33 emerging dance artists since 2010 and featured more than 200 dance artists at Harbourfront Centre Theatre for more than five years, producing Chimera's FRESH BLOOD Festival.

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