Saturday, October 22, 2011

Arriving

I have recently made a new solo. It is called Finding the Way from Everything to Nothing and was my response to a commission from the Dance Centre and the Canadian Music Centre, in which they paired me up with electro-acoustic composer Barry Truax. Initially annoyed with the music, entitled Sequence of an Earlier Heaven and based on the trigrams of the I Ching, I have come to be grateful for its rigorous beauty. I made a ritual out of ritual objects, Daoist and otherwise - Yarrow sticks, Joss sticks, Spirit paper and tobacco in the form of cigarettes. It was a ritual of arrival. A negotiation between the diasporaic history - with all the ruptures contained within it - I carry in my body and the colonial history - with all the ruptures contained within it - embedded in this land.























On hundreds of pieces of Spirit paper, the money one would burn as as offering to the ancestors so that they may shop in the after life, I wrote:

To my ancestors
and to the ancestors of the
Skwxwù7mesh,
the Tsliel-waututh,
the Xwméthkwiyem,
on whose territory
I dance.

I threw these objects onto the floor, into the air, and danced in the landscape that they made.
I received many positive responses.
But it didn't really matter.
I felt an incredible clarity and lightness after the performances - a rare thing as one usually crashes after the adrenaline.
I felt light because I had been dancing for non-humans and I knew deep in my body that they had received it.