Matthew Wyllie performs Meredith's latest work, 'The Inbetween' at Dancing on the Edge 2019

In July 2018 I had the gift of being in the studio for 5 hours one day with young and brilliant mover, Matthew Wyllie at Dance Victoria’s Choreographic Lab. We started with a list of questions that had bombarded my dreams the night before, knowing a solo exploration would be one of my tasks one of the days of the choreographic lab. What unfolded was wonderful. Matthew dances with a wisdom that in my mind can only come from a generosity to live fully in each moment you are given. He has such a pure heart and our times was filled with looking back at childhood experiences and our mutual love of Marvel Superhero Comics. Fast forward to a year later and it is the 3 year anniversary of a near death experience Matthew and 3 friends survived. Matthew is about to embark onstage, and I for the first time and standing in the honour of letting a piece go. Willing myself to fully give the work over to him. It is his story now and I feel lucky I was the vessel that Matthew was willing to tell this story along with. We put together a neat little trailer and a longer one is in the works from Matthew’s brilliant performances and debut at Dancing on the Edge 2019. My team of incredible collaborators, Kyla Gardiner (lighting designer) and Stefan Smulovitz (sound designer) outdid themselves again. Kyla’s lighting truly had Matthew dancing like he existed nowehre and everywhere at the same time, correlating to the experience of time slowing down in the moment of potential tragedy and total shock that Matthew shared of his NDE. Stefan created a palpating score that mirrored the distant beating of a heart, calculating the moments of risk and the probability of making it out of this alive.

(It happens to help that Matthew looks a lot like Captain America…….)

Photo: Erik Zennstrom

The Inbetween

SPECIALIST WORKSHOP with JEREMY JAMES (Australia)

February 18 - 22, 2019
10:00 AM - 2:30 PM
The Cultch - Jim Green House Studio

In partnership with The Cultch, I am excited to announce that Radix Theatre and I are collaborating to present another unique opportunity for local artist to train with this internationally renowned theatre artist and teacher. Following two sold-out workshops last May, Jeremy returns to Vancouver to lead a specialist workshop for actors, directors, choreographers, dancers and students of performance.

[…] This is fundamental work and Jeremy is an excellent teacher […] I was struck by the received wisdom he revealed […] Neil Cadger | Associate Prof. | UBCO

[…] I felt I was in the hands of a master and was very grateful to be exposed to this rigorous training in Vancouver. […] I have never explored character in this way - the focus is truly on the actor, and in group exercises, on the ensemble. Michelle Martin | actress/producer | Vancouver

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BEFORE THE WORD: tensions, tics and character traits

This workshop explores frameworks for improvisation to support research, preparation and character development in a devising and rehearsal process. Based on the laboratory practices of Complicite and Théâtre du Soleil, the training helps performers, directors and writers conceive, propose and create new work for stage and screen.

[…] The notion of our work as being research and a constant exploration is liberating. [It] will allow more breadth in my theatrical creations, and a healthier relationship to the work.  Conor Wylie | actor/director | Vancouver

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ABOUT JEREMY JAMES

Theatre director, actor, dramaturg and teacher, Jeremy's work and research have taken him to more than 20 countries over the past 25 years. His distinctive approach to performance practice and pedagogy has evolved through his work and training with master directors and teachers in Europe, including Ariane Mnouchkine, Philippe Gaulier, Monika Pagneux and the founding members of Complicite.

His sharply crafted ensemble work is described by eminent theatre academic, Patrice Pavis, as ’masterly performed [and] characteristic of the recent evolution of the dramaturgy of the actor’. He is a regular guest director and teacher at theatre companies, drama schools and universities in Australia, Canada, Europe, South America and Asia. In Canada, he has been hosted by Why Not Theatre and the Volcano Conservatory in Toronto, the National Theatre School in Montreal, and Electric Company Theatre and Radix Theatre in Vancouver.

[…] I’ve trained with Jeremy each time he’s come to town, and still feel I have a lot to learn from this work […] One could make it into a life-long practice all of its own. Billy Marchenski | performer | Vancouver

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FEE & REGISTRATION DETAILS

$ 260 EARLY BIRD OFFER: available until 8 February 2019
$ 340 REGULAR FEE
$ 290 DISCOUNT for students, past participants and Equity - CADA members

LIMITED PLACES - do not miss this rare opportunity!

To register complete linked enrolment form and return it with your CV to: info@radixtheatre.org

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Note: Jeremy will also lead a 1-day workshop for teachers of theatre on Fri 15 Feb - SOLD OUT - limited places for auditors (click for info)

Are you Ready for What's Next?

Following the extremely successful tour of Femme Fatales (including its European & Canadian Premiere) and presentations at Dance In Vancouver, Dance Days and Expanse Festival in Edmonton, Alberta... Meredith is cooking up something new that you can be a part of..........

WOULD YOU BE interested in having the most epic and expansive summer of your life full of creativity that tips the edge of conscious reality? Would you be willing to add to that a body that feels amazing to wake up and be in EVERY day and works for you in a way that brings total ease and maybe even a whole lot of pleasure? If your body is screaming YES to all of the above, this is your invitation to join me at The Sentinel June 15-18th.

As a special treat for you: The Sentinel is offering YOU our Friends and Family of The Sentinel Rate, which is 15% off the program price for each participant that registers, and if you register with a friend you each get 25% off! Click here to do so: http://sentinelbc.ca/Developing-Heart-With-Conscious-Movement/

Chrystal Dance Prize Residency in Victoria

On January 24, 2016 my two dancers and I departed for a 2 Week Residency at Dance Victoria Studios courtesy of the Chrystal Dance Prize to support the development of Femme Fatales. I had previously been saying to a friend that I was feeling the need to go on a retreat, or spend some time in nature away from busy city life. Little did I know, Victoria would deliver exactly what I had asked for.  

We arrived to a warm welcome by Stephen and Bill at Dance Victoria Studios with a large set piece in hand, designed by my father, Eugene Kalaman.  It didn't take me long to settle into the laid back, quiet lifestyle of Victoria. I have to say, I had the most peaceful and best sleeps for those 2 weeks, embracing the quiet and peaceful nature that Victoria is surrounded by!

Day 1 in the studio was remount day, pulling back previous material and catching up new dancer to the work, Felicia Lau. All of our brains were fried by end of day and my mind was swirling of where to take the piece next. 

My notebook

My notebook

As part of the Chrystal Dance Prize, we had the amazing opportunity to bring in dramaturge, Gabi Beier from Berlin, Germany to work with us. Gabi arrived on Day 2.  We embraced in excitement as soon as she arrived, thrilled that exactly one year ago while dancing in fellow Vancouver Artist, Michael Kong's work, who Gabi was mentoring at the time, we had met and I had taken a chance and asked her if she would be interested in helping me develop my work.  So there we were one year later. 

I was astonished at the way the room shifted with her presence as soon as we started working, I knew right away that we were onto something, that magic was brewing and not just because this piece has to do with witches.....

Fast forward to Friday, 3 days later, we have 20 minutes of material remounted, a new section under development with the set piece and we're presenting 3 excerpts of Femme Fatales at Dance Days for 49 audience members, including 17 presenters from across Canada.

The audience most responded to the set piece and the qualitative dynamic between the three powerful female dancers.  Set for 4 sides with no designated front, I received a range of feedback on the audiences experience surrounding the work. One thing was for sure, the section where we re-visit childhood games like "Bloody Mary", "Light as a feather, stiff as a board", "MASH" and more, is consistently a hit with the audience.  It pulls people back to a time many have long forgotten in their memory yet hold tight in their experience, seeing the audience light up with emotion in memory of their childlike play strikes a nerve in me every time. 

I'm left with one thing clear in my mind, the piece works, it has an effect on people, and it has to get darker and deeper.... this I have always known.

Who knew all 4 of us could fit in the set piece?

Who knew all 4 of us could fit in the set piece?

Fast forward to Week 2 in the studio.  Gabi, Kate, Felicia and I all realized how extraordinary it was for us to have another week together after presenting for the public.  It allowed me to apply the feedback given rather than leave it and have to resurrect it 4 months later.  I got to try new ideas that I and other saw and proposed right away and apply adjustments I knew were necessary the minute the audience was present.  I find it funny how the moment the audience shows up, it changes everything yet the vision gets crystal clear in a way that it cannot without a viewer present. 

So here we are with another 5 days together and I decide that I'm going to give up knowing what the week will look like and let us play, discover, uncover, and dive into the work.  It's an incredible, environment, and rare at that.  The dancers propose ideas, I propose ideas, Gabi proposes ideas, we discuss, we reflect, we sink deeper, we get uncomfortable and we connect to this work on a universal level.  

My friend KerryLynn Turner brings 20 students by to watch the newest bits of the work we have created and they get it.  They get that the work is looking at the messages in society we have taken on as constructs of ourselves and how we "have to be."  They reflect and locate themselves inside of the work.  My throat chokes up at the level with which this work resonates with people. 

Friday is a special day, Gabi and I realize we have developed a total of 15 sections and that it would be a good idea to map out the whole piece.  Like a jigsaw puzzle we spend lunch shifting small squares of papers around a sheet with titles like "Monster Solo 1", "The Trial", and "Prayer Section".   I become present to the work and how much we have created together and there it is sitting before us, a structure to the piece.  

The four of us head out to celebrate and cheers to the incredible two weeks we had together.  Astonished that both weeks could be so fruitful and powerful in such extraordinarily different ways. The dancers shared their experience of feeling free to play and propose and I realize that it came from my sense of ease in giving up knowing how things had to look and even that we had to "accomplish" something spectacular at the end.  And as a result of giving all that up, spectacular what we created is, indeed. 

Fundraising Campaign a Success!!!!

A heartfelt thank you to all of the individuals who donated to #FemmeFatales. Our Video Campaign raised $3,460.00!!!  These funds directly supported a 2 week Residency at Dance Victoria Studios in January 2016 and the building of a new set piece, by Eugene Kalaman that will be part of the final production. The communities support was integral to the successful development of #FemmeFatales in its latest phase.  Stay tuned for updates on the next phase of the work...

#FemmeFatales fundraising campaign launched!!!!

I am in the process of producing Femme Fatales, my first full-length dance work with my new dance company Explosive Reflections!  

I have created a campaign to raise the funds to produce Femme Fatales.  With the help of an amazing friend and filmmaker, we put this video campaign together and I am thrilled to share it with you:

Your Donation is Tax Deductible!  Thank you for making your donation here.and for helping my vision cause ripples in the world on a global scale! 

~ Meredith 

#femmefatales
#explosivereflections

Community Dialogue Sessions - October 17 & 21

Join us for a series of Free Community Dialogue Sessions exploring the topic of gender socialization and the limitations both men and women experience in "how we think we have to be."  These dialogues are designed to hear what you have to say about the limitations you've experienced based on your gender and the impacts of those limitations on your future.  The dialogues will also discover what it would look like to create a new way of relating to each other in our gender, resulting in a New We in the world. 

Led by Meredith Kalaman, a local dance artists and leader committed to art being representative of the communities experience and to people being fully self expressed in what matters to them. These dialogues are the basis of the second phase of research for Meredith's first full length dance work, Femme Fatales, addressing gender socialization through history. 

We want to hear what you have to say! Join us for one or both of these Free Community Dialogue Sessions and contribute to this vital conversation! 

Dates: Saturday October 17, 2:30-4:30pm (Multimedia Room) & Wednesday October 21, 6:30-8:30pm (Room B)

Location: Roundhouse Community Arts & Recreation Centre

Register Here to Attend: http://www.eventbrite.com/e/envisioning-a-new-we-community-dialogue-sessions-tickets-18725449323