“Who is This: Bodies, Fields, and Strangers: A Meeting”
Dance Artists from coast to coast were asked to perform a score: talk to a subject, a stranger or close, 4 times for 1 hour. Make a dance. This zoom meeting presented the results. With dance artists: Avery Smith (Vancouver), Jamie Robinson (Vancouver), Mairi Greig (Toronto), and Jacinte Armstrong (Halifax). Hosted/concocted by Kristen Lewis (Victoria/Vancouver).
Towards the Animal: Work-in-Progress. June 16, 2021. On Zoom. Performances by Avery Smith (wombscore, continued), Kristen Lewis (Turtle-Island), and the Thursday Group (Ancient Heart & others).
“When tracing the space between umbilicus and vestibular, I became overly aware of my tongue and the potential for articulation (spatially and vocally) that the tongue has inside the mouth. This awareness of my tongue connected me to my own sense of authority. An authority and ability to speak and articulate my own experience.”–Avery Smith, text generated from practicing the wombscore.
“I now feel a level of familiarity when carving out wombs and diving into those spaces. This task pretty reliably evokes a thick movement quality. It is bound and constantly humming. It feels as if all body parts are existing at a low idle and are obediently waiting to be called to action.” –Avery Smith, text generated from wombscore.
International Dance Day Show 2021: Into the Unknown (Walking Backwards). April 29. 8pm PST. On Zoom. With Avery Smith (‘wombscore’) and Lucas Wilson-Bilbro (‘voice’).
2020 Select Covid Creations
The Trauma and Justice of Improvisation. Film. With Sara Ramshaw (conception) & Kristen Lewis (performance). International Institute for Critical Studies in Improvisation Global ImprovFest August 2020.
“The Cove.” Durational Performance research and film series with Dr. Emile Fromet de Rosnay and/at The Cove.
Falling. Film. Loumille Metros & Nell & The Voice & Kristen. October-November 2020.
Love. Choreographic Film. Lucas Wilson-Bilbro, Olivia Fauland (performers, filmographers, creation) & Kristen (facilitation).
Entangled, Undone, Air. Poem and Film. Jelena Markovich (text) & Kristen Lewis (performance).
Select 2019 Creations
“Attuning to Precarity: Crisis, Collaboration and the Possibility of Improvisation”
June 22, 2019, Vancouver B.C. @ Western Front, as part of Agile Futures: Approaching Improvisation (International Institute for Critical Studies in Improvisation & the TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival). Collaboration with Dr. Sara Ramshaw. https://front.bc.ca/events/colloquium-international-institute-for-critical-studies-in-improvisation/
“The Justice and Trauma of Improvisation”
June 08, 2019, Victoria, B.C. @ “Summer of Theory”: Experimental Theory Symposium @ the University of Victoria, Victoria, B.C. Hosted by Dr. Emile Fromet de Rosnay
Engaging with a text written by Jacques Derrida and performed onstage alongside free jazz saxophonist Ornette Coleman at the La Villette jazz festival in Paris on 1 July 1997 – and later published in English as Play: The First Name – this performance uses spoken word and dance improvisation to explore the justice and trauma of improvisation. On the one hand, improvisation self-consciously engages with tradition and convention, enabling resistance to past oppression and injustice. Justice as improvisation, thereby, opens up possibilities for new ways of being together in society, both locally and at the global level. However, as evidenced by the pain Derrida experienced when booed off the stage at La Villette, improvisation is also always traumatic: any first appearance of the ‘not yet recognised’ unsettles and destabalises our current knowledge and understanding of the world. Nothing can prepare us for the arrival of the wholly new. Here, we attempt to unpack this dual nature of improvisation through embodied arts-based practice.
Collaboration with Dr. Sara Ramshaw.
“Improvisation in Precarious Times: Crisis, Collaboration, and Creating Ethical Communities”
June 05, 2019, Vancouver, B.C. @ Canadian Law and Society Association Annual Conference, Peter A. Allard School of Law. Collaboration with Dr. Sara Ramshaw and Julie Lassonde. https://www.congress2019.ca/associations/229
This collaboration between a legal academic, performance artist, and dance artist interrogates how responsive arts-based improvisatory practices can produce and nurture legal spaces that are truly welcoming of and attentive to the voices of individuals and communities experiencing difficulties in the present precarity of contemporary Canadian society
June 03, Vancouver, B.C.. @ Engaging Community: Critical Studies in Improvisation, Congress of the Humanities 2019
Co-presentation and performance with Dr. Sara Ramshaw on law, justice, dance, and improvisation, as part of the Critical Studies in Improvisation showcase.
March 7-30, 2019. “Body & Law: A Genealogy” Micro-performances for Directed Research project at the University of Victoria Faculty of Law, supervised by Dr. Gillian Calder. University of Victoria, Victoria, B.C. By invitation. Please contact to be added to list. Victoria and Vancouver performances available. email@example.com
March 04, 2019. “Reimagining justice: Art, law and social change,” at Ideafest, University of Victoria, B.C.; dance improvisation; co-presentation with Dr. Sara Ramshaw and other faculty and community members of the University of Victoria Faculty of Law https://www.uvic.ca/ideafest/events/events/law.html
March 23, Law, Culture, and Humanities Conference, Ottawa, ONT. “Dance Me to the End of Law” Dance Improvisation/Lecture with Dr. Sara Ramshaw (law professor and critical improvisation scholar) and Julie Lassonde (performance artist and lawyer).“http://lawculturehumanities.com/overviewP
–Feb. 23rd: Cultural, Social, and Political Thought Graduate Student Conference, “World Without Us,” at the University of Victoria, “(Can I live) With or Without You: The Dancing Body as Other”, Hybrid Paper Presentation/Dance Class/Performance https://www.uvic.ca/interdisciplinary/cspt/home/conference/index.php
“Three Experiments in Developing Written and Unwritten Laws”, co-presentation/dance improvisation with Dr. Sara Ramshaw Julie Lassonde: Sept. 20, 2018. Osgoode Hall Law School, Toronto. Sept. 22, Performing the WorldConference, New York City
“Marine Venus II” Dance Improvisation with Halifax-based dance artist Jacinte Armstrong, November 2018, Dalhousie University, Halifax, N.S.
“A lost Gestural History of Family Law,” Solo Lecture/Dance Performance Oct. 30, 2018, University of Victoria Faculty of Law, Victoria, B.C. In partial fulfilment of requirements for Dr. Ramshaw’s Family Law class. With guest appearance by the Bikers Against Child Abuse.