Ria Girard - Moving Day With Crystal Pite @ Q7Friday, May 20, 2016
|Ria Girard - May 2016|
Arts Umbrella Senior Dance Company dancer Ria Girard
This is my third year participating in the choreographic mentorship with Crystal Pite and it has consistently been one of the most pivotal periods of each year. Of course, part of it is receiving guidance and insight from one of today’s world-renowned choreographers. But it is also an incredible way to unite each class. There is no better way to build a team than creating art together, and putting on your own show.
Last year I was one of the choreographers, and since then I have gained a tremendous amount of respect for anyone who puts themselves in that position. A choreographer is probably the most vulnerable person in a studio. Trying to articulate your imagination to a full room of people (in this case your own peers) can be paralyzing. Never mind the logistics of the actual physicality - as Crystal once said during our rehearsals “It is amazing what dancers can do in my head!”.
This dilemma calls for a tremendous amount of encouragement, respect, and trust in one another. It is crucial that as dancers we support the choreographer's creativity; it is a time when we forget about judgement and be inspired by each other. When seeing the beauty and depth that has evolved over the past few months in our peers’ work, we learn to respect anyone who is choreographing - regardless of their years of experience or what kind of relationship we have with them. Through this experience we learn how to communicate and understand each other on such a profound level. The trust that is developed in each other as dancers, choreographers, and artists in general elevates both our work and our companionship.
|The Three Musketeers - Charlie Prince, Albert Galindo, Tristan Ghostkeeper & Ria Girard - May 2015|
I look at all those Arts Umbrella dancers and I am jealous of their shared companionship and the fact that they are mentored. Information and skills are transferred from one generation to another.
For me this never happened except once and my career in photography was all about learning on my own and having to put my finger in the fire to find out that fire burns.
In March 1996 I had the good fortune to photograph a dazzling young ballerina called Crystal Pite. She had performed her piece Moving Day for Ballet BC. She was on her way to join William Forsythe’s Frankfurt Ballet. The Georgia Straight had hired me to photograph her. I remember that my pictures took no longer than 15 minutes but that my makeup artist took at least 30 to do Pite’s extraordinary mouth.
I find it most amazing that here I am, an old man, but still present and that I will be watching more of this transfer. I do believe that these young dancers do not take it all in stride. The essay above by Ria Girard is ample proof.