Each and every day, I lose myself in the immediacy of the moment, find myself in the joy of the movement. Each and every day, I learn more and more...and, within that new knowledge, realize that I have so much farther to travel.

Shallom Johnson is a contemporary dance artist, visual artist and freelance writer based in Vancouver BC. She holds a Bachelors of Fine Arts degree in Contemporary Dance from Simon Fraser University, and has been active in the Vancouver dance community as a choreographer, performer, and instructor since her graduation in 2004.

Shallom is interested in art in public spaces, site-specific performance, interdisciplinary collaboration, and community involvement. Her street-based artwork, performance and photography examines and documents who gets to make art, where it gets made, and where/how the creative process and product is viewed. In the future, she hopes to explore this theme further via new media and technologies, new methods of creation, collaboration and community engagement.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Video Post: SEIU Project Rehearsals

Want a closer look into what goes on before the production hits the stage? Here are a couple of videos of the SEIU project - footage of the core company members and adjunct artists during today's rehearsal. Bear in mind, this is still a work in progress - we've got a whole day of rehearsals tomorrow to get things polished and ready for performance.

The presentation is made up of four sections, each pertaining to a time period or event in which people stood up for what they believed in and effected social change. This first video is the "Suffragette" section of the work. "Suffragette" is the term given to members of the Women's Suffrage Movement, who rallied and protested for the right to vote in the early 20th Century. The movement originated in the United Kingdom and quickly spread to the Unites States and Canada. It starts with a solo by Martha Wittman, and progresses to a group section including the other female members of the cast: Elizabeth, Cassie, Meghan, Samantha and Shula.

The second video is a chair section, and will be performed directly after the Suffragette section. Included in this shot are (from left to right): Samantha, Matt, Elizabeth, Thomas, Cassie, Megan and Shula. I'm not sure what meaning this section has in relation to the overall theme, or how it was developed - I suppose that's a good question to ask the company members during our lunch break tomorrow.

This last video has a few wobbly bits in it (and a stray finger over the lens at one point), because I was also running the audio and almost forgot to repeat it when the song finished. Oops! This section includes the whole company, and is the last section before the community participants join in for an excerpt of a Dance Exchange repertory piece titled "Still Crossing." The original work was created by Liz Lerman in 1991, and performed at the base of the Statue of Liberty, one of six international companies selected to perfrom at the statue's centennial anniversary celebration.

(If you're wondering, the puppy in the picture is Madelaine, the resident Dance Exchange Mascot and part-time company member. She had a small role in The Farthest Earth From Thee.)

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