I WONDER (2017) - Canada's National Ballet School - ASSEMBLÉE INTERNATIONALE

I was one of a handful of Canadian choreographers (and alumni of NBS) invited to create a new work with a blended cast of ballet students from around the world, during the first week of May. We had roughly ten hours to create: it was a fast-paced process! I had the great pleasure of working with students from schools in Germany, New Zealand, France, various United States, Holland, Spain and Canada (full list of dancers below the thumbnail gallery). 

I Wonder was inspired by a conversation I had over Skype with NBS student Ashton Gordon. I transcribed and edited Ashton's words into a monologue that she delivered over the course of the piece, as the other dancers moved around her. Eventually she lost her mic, and joined in the dancing. Ashton's topics ranged from finding purpose in life, commitment and effort in dance, and wonder at the cosmos. She also recited an essay by Kevin Kelly entitled We are Stardust. I felt it was a nice metaphor with which to celebrated this international gathering of young dancers.

Artistic Team: Bonnie Beecher (lighting); Owen Belton (sound editing). Two pieces by Michael Nyman underscored the work.

We were so lucky to have Aleksandar Antonijevic come in and document rehearsals in studio and on the stage. All photos in this gallery are by him.

(click on thumbnail to enlarge image, then scroll cursor for photo credit)

Cast: Anne van Gorp (Koninklijk Conservatorium Den Haag); Stephen Allan (assistant), Holden Cole, Ashton Gordon, and Evan Williams (Canada's National Ballet School); Hinako Maetani (Ecole Supérieure de Danse de Cannes-Mougins Rosella Hightower); Tanit Cobas (EESA/CPD de L’Institut del Teatre, Barecelona); Celine Wetzels (Codarts Rotterdam); Adrien Picaut and Dandara A. Veiga (The Ailey School); Tabitha Dombroski (New Zealand School of Dance); Carl Becker (Palucca Hochschule für Tanz Dresden); Kolbie Edwards (Canada's Royal Winnipeg Ballet School); Tyson Clark (Boston Ballet School); Ethan Chudnow (San Francisco Ballet School); Sasha Chernjavsky (Houston Ballet Academy)