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Sarah Chase: Portraits

Sarah ChaseFebruary 6 & 7, 2004
Market Hall Theatre
    
Choreography by Sarah Chase
Music by Bill Brennan

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Sarah Chase
PORTRAITS

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movement & text - Sarah Chase
music - Bill Brennan
lighting design - Hans Meijer
set design - Tine Van Aershot


Toronto-based choreographer Sarah Chase tells intriguing tales with movement, music and the spoken word. Like storytellers working without a script, drawing only on deeply held memories, Sarah and musician Bill Brennan give performances that change every time they take the stage. visit Sarah Chase's website

Friday, February 6 and Saturday, February 7, 8 pm
Market Hall Theatre (336 George St. N.)


Sarah Chase has spent many years telling people stories from her life and her family history. She became fascinated by the stories people were telling her in return. In every life certain patterns repeat themselves, time seems to spiral and circle. She wondered, "Could you make a map of a person's life?" She began to think about the nature and power of portraits.

When working in Belgium, she was struck by the Old Master paintings: portraits of people who sat surrounded by rabbits, trees, mountains, magical beasts - symbols that represent both their dreams and their history. She realized she would like to try to create deep and layered portraits of both a person and their home.

During the summer of 2001 in Salzburg she investigated people's homes in their absence. Looking at their books, music, objects, colours, photos, etc., together with a musician and a visual artist, she created an evening of stories and movement that reflected the people she imagined lived in such a home.

During the next year, Sarah Chase investigated the lives of nine people in Germany, Belgium, Switzerland and Canada; all were living, breathing individuals who collaborated closely with her. Similar to the way Flemish portrait painters drew out an individual's experiences and history onto canvas, Sarah will was able to draw the lives of these people with movement and story - each person is integral to the process. In Sarah's own words: "I investigate the symbols, patterns and stories that spiral through other peoples' lives. The work is made as a series of portraits which reveal a tapestry of memories, dreams, family histories, living conditions, idiosyncratic passions, etc. The movement, music and scenography is created as a canvas on which to hang the stories of the different individuals." Whereas portraits of the dead can only be speculative, these portraits rely on the active participation of the subjects, and through the process she invents, Sarah Chase creates a tapestry woven from their life stories. Her creations are works criss-crossed by memories - the memory of her childhood, her parents and her grand-parents, which she unveils to the audience in confidence. Linked almost in indissolubly to the gestures, the spoken word takes up almost as much space as the dance that follows its moods, all the while retaining its own language.

"I do of course interpret people's memories. But I never make anything up. I don't add imaginary stories about these people. I tell things as they are told me, but in my own words. Telling each other stories is something that is gradually disappearing from our lives. Before television people sat around the fire to tell stories. It was also quite normal that history should be passed down orally. It is shocking to see how much of this tradition was lost during the last century. I like that fact that Portraits emaphasizes this."
~ from People no longer tell each other stories, an interview with Sarah Chase by Sally De Kunst in De Morgen, 18th December 2002

About Sarah Chase
Toronto-based dancer-choreographer Sarah Chase tells intriguing tales with movement, music and the spoken word. Her work has been presented across Europe and Canada. As an interpreter, she has worked with choreographers Benoit Lachambre, Alexander Baervoets and most recently, Raimund Hoghe. Her own choreography muzz, Lamont Earth Observatory and a small room, has been presented at many international festivals including the Klapstuk festival, Dans in Kortrijk, the Szene Salzburg festival, the FIND (Festivale Internationale du Nouvelle Danse) and the Holland Dance festival. In April 2001 she presented her one-on-one storytelling piece a small room in the attic of the Kaaitheater studios. Her creations are works criss-crossed by memories - the memory of her childhood, her parents and her grand-parents, which she unveils to the audience in confidence. Linked almost in indissolubly to the gestures, the spoken word takes up almost as much space as the dance that follows its moods, all the while retaining its own language.


Sarah Chase: storytelling and dance
Join internationally-acclaimed Toronto-based dance artist Sarah Chase for a workshop in storytelling and dance.

Open to anyone who has an interest in stories and dance.
Sarah will explore different approaches to combining storytelling and movement, showing how narrative, memory, text and movement are inter-related. All welcome. Dance experience not required.

Thursday, February 5, 7 - 10 pm
Market Hall Theatre.
Cost: $10 or $5 with at ticket to Sarah's performance Portraits.
To register call 745-1788.

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Artistic Producer: Bill Kimball 
Interim Administrator: Laurel Paluck
Performance Curator: Victoria Mohr- Blakenely
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