By David Kenney
An air-conditioner’s hum fills the mostly-empty studio with wistful sleepiness. In the room, nine figures arch and curve across a shiny black floor with ticklish reflexes. Finally, an attentive woman slouched against a mirror speaks up.
"Stay in concentration," Tara Wilson says succinctly.
Wilson herself is a little distracted. The local choreographer’s three children are restless and slightly rambunctious, challenging her own concentration. Between instructing her dancers, Wilson is getting somewhat lost–suitable for the performance.
Lost, the University of Calgary Program of Dance graduate’s latest piece, is being practiced to much enthusiasm from Wilson. Part of the U of C Program of Dance’s Main-stage 2001, running March 15-17 at the University Theatre, Lost is something very personal to Wilson.
"It’s about being lost but it’s about being OK with being lost," says Wilson. "There’s lot’s of images of floating, a lot of images of calm."
Her piece is reflective of a time in her life when everything was spinning and getting to the point of standing still. Other pieces included in Mainstage 2001 are Yvonne Coutts Little Words/Small Hands, Michelle Moss’s Sometimes I’m Happy, Sometimes I’m and Daniela Sodero’s Comme Ci, Comme Va. The pieces trace along different styles of dance ranging from jazz and neo-classic ballet to poetic, abstractive dance.
Lost is an abstractive piece using space and repetitive motion to emphasize the severed and repairable links of connection and disassociation. Set against a video backdrop, the nine dancers move slowly and emotionlessly to an airy then erratic soundscape, highlighting their discomfort. It’s like introducing zombies to the ballet. Wilson is pleased with her abstract results.
"I’m interested in the abstract and the great thing about dance is that you have all these liberal ideas," she says. "You use space, time, rhythm and you level in space, relationship and space to make your ideas bigger than you are.
"It’s open to interpretation and it can be a work that speaks to people however they want to be spoken to."
With her multimedia background, Wilson is including a video component to compliment the dancer’s movement. Images of people walking and space will flood the stage, already filled with dancing. Here, Wilson is slightly tentative.
"I hope it lends layers of meaning to the piece," says Wilson. "My experiences colour it, I perceive this phenomenon."