Tuesday, June 23, 2015

The Artistic Residency Experience at The Cloud Danslab

As our time in the Netherlands slowly draws to a close, I thought I'd take a few minutes to write a bit about the experience. We are currently staying in Amsterdam, where Mike has a concert with the Mike Anklewicz Trio at the Historic Portugese Synagogue, until we move on to our performances in the Czech Republic. 

Our first leg of the trip was spent in the Hague. Our purpose for being in the Hague was my artistic residency at The Cloud Danslab, over the course of which I was working on a choreographic piece titled "Vignettes of Sringaar". The kernel idea for this piece had come to me seven years ago, in a Choreography class led by Prof. Holly Small, during my Masters in Dance at York University, Toronto. I had wanted to do something with dance and light, and also engage with the concept of "Sringaar" and create a piece of multiple short vignettes centered around this theme. The idea stayed in my head, although I did not get the opportunity or time to develop the piece in Toronto. Earlier this year, Mike and I first started working together on a few smaller creative projects, both commercial and artistic in Toronto. We also knew we would be in the Netherlands from mid-late June, and so a choreographic development residency seemed perfect for the development of the "Vignettes of Sringaar" project.

We arrived on Thursday at noon at the Amsterdam Schifol Airport.  We quickly arranged for a local SIM card, and then went on to catch the train to the Hague, and then catch the tram from the station to our acommodations. The journey from Toronto to Amsterdam, and from the airport to our tram stop in the Hague was in itself an adventure, with several pieces of luggage, including dance costumes, props and musical instruments. Mike has been chronicling our adventures as well on his own blog, and has some pictures from our first day and arrival into the Hague on his blog (http://klezfactor.com/2015/06/18/welkom-in-nederland/). 

Our contact people at The Cloud were extremely helpful- we had preworked out an accomodation arrangement with them, and we got to stay in the beautiful apartment of Sindy, one of the Cloud members, for our residency weekend, who was herself away in Brussels during this time. We did however, have the opportunity to meet her, and she also showed us around The Cloud studio and premises. Her apartment was gorgeous and centrally located, and a short walk away from The Cloud.

The apartment was also next to a great coffeeshop, called Lollapalooza, with some amazing cappucinos. Mike and I had coffee at this shop when we first arrived in the Hague, and also every subsequent morning after. I will truly miss the coffee there! 

On the first day of the residency, Mike and I went to the studio in the morning. Sindy had shown us around the CLOUD space and the key system. The CLOUD is equipped with a beautiful spacious studio, with mirrors. In addition, it also has an adjoining office space, with desk space for writing and paperwork, as well as a wi-fi connection. They also have an impressive archival collection of the previous workshops and sessions hosted in their space. 

The first day, Mike and I practiced our techniques in the studio, and I additionally worked a bit on the physicalities drawn upon in the "Vignettes of Sringaar" piece. That afternoon, we visited the beautiful Korzo Theatre, and had coffee at another lovely coffeeplace. 

We returned to the CLOUD later that afternoon for my workshop at The CLOUD. I had the pleasure of teaching and working with some wonderful and open-minded dancers, and the workshop explored the conceptual and physical parameters and possibilities of The Nine Moods. 

Day 2 was a day of rehearsals and studio time, and working out our piece in the studio. Mike and I spent several hours working out concepts and shapes of the piece. We took a break in the afternoon and went for a walk and lunch downtown. The weather was beautiful and sunny, and we were glad for it! We returned to the studio that evening and worked further on the piece. 

Day 3 was the day when we introduced the first iteration of "Vignettes of Sringaar" to an audience, via a small informal performance in The CLOUD studio.

We would like to thank The CLOUD for their support of our "Vignettes of Sringaar" project, and their support to us as artists. We will be working further on the project once we return to Toronto, and with the involvement of more artists.

1 comment:

  1. My friend and sister Paromita !! you look amazing !! keep like that.