The first event ever produced by Public Energy, back when it was known as Peterborough New Dance (PND), was Debra Brown’s Apogée. Apogée was an original work commissioned by the CanDance Network, Canada’s national network of dance presenters that included PND as a founding member.
This performance was the culmination of a relationship between Debra Brown and Peterborough that began in 1987, the year she brought her dance-on-parallel-bars to Artspace’s new dance series. Yes, Debra (she was known as Debbie then) had toured with a full set of gymnastic parallel bars for that show, but this time she had grander plans that involved a full size trampoline. By 1994 Brown had spent a lot of time as the choreographer for Cirque de Soleil (their first choreographer ever I believe) and now she wanted to get back to her modern dance roots. Doing Apogée was a way to do that.
Although it was supported by commissioning funds from the national CanDance Network, Apogée was very much a made in Peterborough project: it was initiated out of conversations between myself and Debra; we presented a work in progress version of Apogée with Artspace in 1993; and we contributed the designer: Peterborough resident Jerrard Smith, whose other major dance work was the famous Blue Snake by Robert desRosiers.
Debra’s other collaborators on Apogée were: dancers Alisoun Payne and Alain Gauthier (Debra also danced a minor role); composer Petit Pierre Laurendeau, singer Chantal Girard, musicians Jennifer Langton and Parijata Charbonneau (also a Peterborough artist) and lighting designer Patrick Matheson. Valerie Dean and Don Rieder were assistants to the choreographer.
– Bill Kimball