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We learned a lot at our own funeral (2024)

As in a funeral rite, the community is central. Through his eye contact, his voice, his somatic presence, the performer connects with the spectators who become part of the ritual.

What can be learned from a rehearsed death?
What is unknown to humans evokes fear. Nothing is constant. Yet change is grieved.
For some of us the journey of life is painful; we would prefer death over life.

As in a battle with the self — the breakdancer challenges the force of gravity, resists against the ground, fights to overcome the precarious balance, becomes a sculpture wearing multiple masks. This force transforms as it distills and processes the notion of death, circled by community, in this tormenting battle.

While the community encompasses the dancer, the piece develops through the repetition of gestures, which the audience is invited to transform.

The potency of breath and voice brings the room into a state of trance until the performer's body is immersed in darkness and it becomes just a presence, a ghost, the memory of a previous life still touchable by those who witnessed it. Only the echo of the body, of its strength and its fragility, remains.

Can we perceive this body’s spirit? What can be learned from sub-coming the present moment into the unknown future?

Artistic Direction & Choreography by: Daina Ashbee

Performer : Momoko "MOMO" Shimada

Rehearsal assistant, outside eye : Imara Bosco

Rehearsal assistant, production assistant: Gabriel Nieto

Lighting Design and Technical Direction : Vito Walter

Production: Daina Ashbee with Jason Dubois & Francesca Fung New Works (Vancouver)  

Co-Production Funders: Montpellier Danse (France), Usine-C (Montreal), Festival Saint-SauveurCrimson Coast Dance Society (Nanaimo)The Dance Centre (Vancouver)

Funded by The Canada Council for the Arts, Projects Grant

Funded by The Candance Network

Residencies: Montpellier Danse

World Premiere: July 3, 4, 5 , 2024 - Montpellier Danse 

photo of Momoko Shimada by Yvonne Chew, Vancouver 2024

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