Double Bill: Sara does a Solo & YES | SCPA Review
Sara does a Solo
Sara Porter enters the stage wearing a red and white checkered shirt, black pants, and red boots. She begins by sharing that she was first introduced to dance at the age of nine. Due to the earnest quality of movements, she found no appeal in it until her late teenage years. She goes on to say that she is the author of Peter in Process: Peter Boneham’s Sixty Years in Dance, and that she is the mother of three kids. After this introduction, the line between fact and fiction is blurred. Her monologue begins with a series of phrases that explore her relationship to dance: “I had been a dancer” … “Should have been a dancer” … “But having been a dancer”… “I am a dancer.” These final words trigger a series of free flow movements that release the inside out, unrestricted, to explore the range of the large kinesphere.
Early in the piece, Porter states that she will avoid talking and dancing at the same time as she questions how the words and movements go together. Yet, this work is all about the concurrence of text and movement. Porter shares a realization with the audience – it is helpful to read yourself as “fact” and “fiction”. Emphasizing the importance of this idea, she takes off and places her red boots one by one, to the sound of those two words. Undressing her attire as a means of letting go of the “fact”, she undergoes a transformation on stage as she enters her first fictional character – a girl in a red, floor length gown. She moves through space in an indirect way, seeing more options of movements as her reliance on improvisation becomes greater. Porter states that the key to improvisation is “1. Start before you are ready and 2. Don’t start before you are ready.” Her movements exhibiting bound flow, stronger weight effort, and sudden timing as she explores the movement possibilities with the vast array of props available at her fingertips. A mix of dance, storytelling, and visual design, this piece is a reminder of the value of being connected to your inner creative state.
Linnea Swan’s work is centered around the 1965 No Manifesto written by Yvonne Rainer. Swan begin her performance with ‘Trio A’: an influential work that aims to strip away the unwanted drama and present the body as the core dance object. She boldly brings attention to the audience alienating tendencies exhibited by dancers, and her frustrations with “hearing people say yes to no.” Swan takes the audience on a wild journey as she addresses each of the phrases of the Manifesto. After each witty enactment of the phrases, the accompanying digital narrative voice says NO! The words “no to moving”, paralyze the dancer in her tracks. Her feet parallel, right arm bent in front of her body, as if an invisible force has grabbed her wrist. Her hand begins to tremble, the sensation spreads to the rest of her body, and Swan is encompassed by hysteria of ‘No’. It is here that she exemplifies her own manifesto – the Yes Manifesto. “Yes to virtuosity, Yes to thoughtfulness, Yes to visceral!” This work aims to empower the Yes, and discover the meaning it has for each soul. It is a reminder that power lies within.
Stephanie Jurkova is pursuing a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance at the University of Calgary. She is a two-time Western Canadian Latin Champion and Canadian Latin Championship Finalist.