Queuing requires bodily self-containment, demands synchronicity with others and inculcates a detached, disciplinary sense of space. Queues demonstrate social and spatial etiquette. Of course, there are billions of people around the world who are genuinely confused by our devotion to neatly lining up. Not to worry, we offer line-up training at the Canadian School of Protocol and Etiquette (London, Ont.) as queues offer us reason, certainty, authority, a sense of direction. Stanchions aim to prevent dangerous densities from building up. Or do they?
From: Deanna Peters
To: Lara Abadir
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and the artists you are working with?
I’m Lara Abadir, an MFA graduate (SFU), originally from Antwerp, Belgium. My creative practice combines contemporary dance/theatre/video/installations. At times I work with just one or perhaps two of these mediums, other times I carefully fuse all of the above in a hybrid spectacle.
My collaborators are Stefan Smulovitz, Catherine Falkner and Luis G. Canton.
Stefan is a composer, violist, and laptop artist who has actively been composing scores for Vancouver’s leading performing arts companies for the last 16 yrs.
Catherine is an interdisciplinary performer who mashes together comedy, grotesque, vaudeville and stand-up.
Luis is a versatile dance/theatre artist born in Yucatan, Mexico. He is currently working in the development of his own multidisciplinary class he calls Eclecto-retrodance, inspired by themes he was most drawn to during trips to Europe, South East Asia and North and Central America. Eclecto-retrodance reflects a collective of cultural experiences in those places.
Why these people/this group?
Stefan has often been seen performing live, with other musicians or in movement with dancers. Recently, he has felt the need to further explore his stage presence, though this time solely through the means of his own body. As a result, we decided Stefan shouldn’t be the main composer, so he could better focus on his physical performance. Him and and I ended up co-creating the score to this piece prior to the devising process. I collected the vocal fragments and YouTube clips we could source from and Stefan drew from his database of recorded sounds; we put the whole lot together into what I tend to refer to, in my work, as the ‘soundtrack’.
Catherine is a superb actress with an incredible sense for comedy. I have worked with her before and it was so refreshingly easy, playful and yet mature. I knew this piece would have comical elements to it as the subject of crowd control and queuing inherently makes me wanna giggle, or scream. We needed an actor with Catherine's dramatic range to indulge in both extremes.
Having worked with Luis before, I knew he’d be a perfect fit for a piece that combines theatre and movement (a.k.a. dance). Luis is a fearless performer with an intensity and urgency that come with a compelling complexity. As Luis and I both are from abroad, we often discuss the array of cultural differences we encounter and/or assimilate during our residency in Vancouver. This piece has been a great platform to further investigate ideas around cultural norm and conformity.
How are you working? You mentioned that the soundtrack sets the score a bit...
Yes that’s right. The soundtrack was pre-created to serve as our rehearsal guide and template. It holds the dramaturgical structure in place by connecting micro scenes through sound associations and narrative arcs.
Are you in the room together, working individually or...?
We have been devising the piece with all four of us in the room. We then alternate in the role of the ‘outside eye', so we all get the chance to see it and give our thoughts and corrections to the group. Admittedly, this isn’t the easiest process, but it feels real good to avoid hierarchy in the room by shifting back and forth between performing and creating, being watched and watching.