Premiere: October 28th 2016, Lokremise, St. Gallen Switzlerand
I choreographed a 75-minute dance adaptation of Choderlos de Laclos' masterpiece.
The multiple perspectives of the novel inspired me to set this adaptation in the round, with the audience surrounding a gladiatorial arena on all four sides. Rather than focus on linear narrative, I created a chain of vignettes exploring various relationships, themes and conflicts in the book.
The choreography embodied the emotional and psychological violence lying beneath the mask of drawing room manners. My guiding image was the battle-to-the-death between Valmont and Merteuil.
Spoken text came from the novel, Rousseau's Emilie, and 18th Century french poetry.
Cast: Stefanie Fischer, Lorian Mader, Ana Sanchez Martinez, Genevieve O'Keefe, Emily Pak, Lorenzo Ruta, David Schwindling, Carlotta Squeri, Robina Steyer, Hoang Anh Ta Hong, Alberto Terribile, Jens Trachsel, Cecilia Wretemark
Photos by Anna-Tina Eberhard
Botticelli in the Fire (2016)
Premiere: April 28th 2016, Berkeley Street Theatre, Toronto
Winner: 2016 Dora Mavor Moore award for Outstanding Production
Nominee: 2016 Dora Mavor Moore award for Outstanding Direction (shared with Estelle Shook)
I directed the world premiere of Botticelli in the Fire, part of a double-bill of two new plays by Jordan Tannahill (with Sunday and Sodom, director Estelle Shook).
Jordan's operatic play is as funny and irreverent as it is dark and violent. With its timely message of queer defiance in the face of populist, fascistic repression, this colourful production celebrated beauty, sexuality and imagination.
Artistic collaborators: James Lavoie (sets and costume), Sam Sholdice (composition and sound design), Steve Lucas (lighting).
Stellar cast featuring Salvatore Antonio, Valerie Buhagiar, Nicola Correia-Damude, Christopher Morris, Alon Nashman and Steven Jackman-Torkoff.
Photos by Cylla von Tiedemann
Now, What, Like, When (2016)
Premiere: February 5th 2016, Kelowna Community Theatre, Kelowna
I was asked to create a dance work targeting 11 to 14 year olds. Rather than presuming to speak for them, I wanted their own voices to be heard. This piece echoes the conversations I had with various groups of teens: starting off silly and hyper, but eventually moving to a more thoughtful and reflective place, wondering about their personal futures, and the future of the planet.
This 35-minute work played to young and all-ages general audiences. Interviews with local kids fill up the soundscape created by Owen Belton, and their words are also spoken live, verbatim, by cast.
To be performed for BC students on tour in 2017.
Artistic Collaborators: Owen Belton (composer), Linda Chow (costumes), Tom Bradshaw (lighting)
Premiere: July 17th 2015, High Park Amphitheatre, Toronto
My professional directorial debut, this early comedy by Shakespeare was performed three nights a week for over two months, seen by more than 16,000 people. The fantastic cast of 12 performed outdoors for an appreciative audience.
I felt that late 19th century Venice would provide a picturesque and evocative setting in which to explore the play as a romantic comedy, not just a knockabout farce. With faith in the text as a guiding principle, the cast and I trusted that the very real needs and pain of the characters could be as compelling as the comic elements.
Artistic Collaborators: Sean Mulcahy (costumes), Teresa Przybylski (set), Lyon Smith (sound), Brad Trenaman (lighting), Peter Hinton (mentor), Neil Silcox (assistant director)
Cast: Christopher Allen, Dalal Badr, Sean Baek, Allegra Fulton, Soo Garay, Kyle Golemba, Jessica Greenberg, Randi Helmers, Allan Louis, Michael McManus, Dylan Trowbridge, Naomi Wright
Photos 1 - 5 by Paul Lampert, Photos 6 - 11 by Lyon Smith
The Ecstatic Bible (2015)
Premiere: January 22nd 2015, York University, Toronto
I directed a series of excerpted parables from Howard Barker's epic play, The Ecstatic Bible. The semi-mounted productions featured third-year actors from York University's acting conservatory.
I love the work of Howard Barker for the ferocity and beauty of its language, narrative ambition, and dark, dark humour. I knew this work would be a massive challenge for me, a new director, and the young actors I worked with. The cast successfully met Barker's heightened text and big ideas with savage imagination and sharpened textual skills.
Artistic Collaborators: Brad Trenaman (lighting), Hayley Pace (sound), Will Bartley and Alomar Kocur (assistant directors)
Cast: Christopher Allen, Celia Aloma, Marcus Bernacci, Samantha Brown, Patrick Fowler, Gabrielle Graham, Lauren Griffiths, Julia Hussey, Amrit Kaur, Laura Meadows, Rosalinde Pecino, Amber Rodeck-LeRoy
Photos by Hayley Pace
The Lost Dance (2014, 2012)
OREGON BALLET THEATRE Premiere: April 19th 2012, Newmark Theatre, Portland
Remounted in 2014
In dreaming up this piece, I asked Owen Belton to create a score that was mysterious and bluesy, a little bit rock and roll. His music inspired me to create this sexy and smoky work, that has a vintage flair.
Artistic Collaborators: Owen Belton (music), Adam Arnold (costumes), Michael Mazzola (lighting)
Original Cast: Candace Bouchard, Makino Hayashi, Yuka Iino, Michael Linsmeier, Kate Oderkirk, Alison Roper, Lucas Threefoot, Javier Ubell News cast members in 2014: Martina Chavez, Xuan Cheng, Jordan Kindell, Avery Reiners
Photos 1 - 8 by Blaine Truitt Covert, photos 9 and 10 by Michael Mazzola
Romeo und Julia (Romeo and Juliet)
TANZ LUZERNER THEATER
Premiere: September 28th 2012, Luzerner Theater Luzern, Switzerland
I choreographed a 90-minute version of Shakespeare's story, using Prokofiev's score.
My goal was to tell this well-trod tale in a simple and emotionally direct way, without props. Aesthetically I wanted the production to feel contemporary, yet timeless.
Cast: Chiara Dal Borgo, Samuel Deniz Falcon, Davidson Farias, Rachel Lawrence, HaYoung Lee, Cecilia De Madrazo, Salome Martin, Andrea Mirabile, Aurélie Robichon, Ihsan Rusten, Luca Signoretti, Erich Slamanig, Gaetano Terrana, Bert Uyttenhove, Giada Zanotti
Photos by Ida Zenna
Past Work (2000 - 2011)
Some favourite photos of work I created during my first 10 years as a professional choreographer.
Behind the Scenes
I love being in the rehearsal room. Sharing in the collective blood, sweat and tears (laughter, too!) of bringing shows to life. Encouraging everyone to bring their best selves to the room and to the process.