John Kameel Farah’s trip down memory lane…

We’re taking a trip down memory lane with each of the extraordinary artists from Phase Space. Catch up by scrolling down to the beginning with Sahara Morimoto, Sean Ling, Sarah Fregeau, Kate Holden, Ric Brown, and Andrea Nann.

John Kameel Farah

What’s your earliest memory of performing?

I guess my first performance was singing “Saturday Night” by the Bay City Rollers for my sister and her friends when I was five, dancing and playing air guitar on a tennis racket. If it had been in front of thousands of people I still would have been pretty uninhibited.

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locus plot (2015). John Kameel Farah, Sean Ling, Ric Brown. Photo by Makoto Hirata

What dance production/performance will you always remember?

The first real dance piece I made music for was a solo piece choreographed by Julia Sasso in 2001, danced by Heasuk Kim. The choreography was so animalistic and grotesque, yet beautiful; it really made a strong impression on me. The piano was situated above and behind the stage, and I will always remember the image of watching this contorted dancer slowly crawl towards the audience as I was playing, it was primal.

Do you remember the first time you discovered Peggy Baker?

I was at a show at the Theatre Centre with a friend, and she said, oh the next dancer is amazing, she’s incredibly expressive with her hands and has this overwhelming stage presence. It turned out to be Peggy, and it was a powerful experience.

1 Encoded Revision - John Kameel Farah and Benjamin Kamino - Photo Makoto Hirata

Encoded Revision (1996). John Kameel Farah and Benjamin Kamino. Photo by Makoto Hirata

Which choreographer, from any era, would you like to work with?

It would be amazing to make music with someone who coordinated dance movement in ceremonies or festivals in some ancient civilization, for example in ancient Babylon. It would be fascinating to see how the dance was put together, what creative freedom they might have had, how the dance interacted with the music, what kinds of instruments they had and whether it was improvisatory or completely pre-determined.

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elegant equations  – free lunchtime concert series with the COC (2015). Sarah Fregeau and John Kameel Farah. Photo by Dragonfly Imagery

For Peggy Baker Dance Projects:

John also performs Piano/Quartet, Encoded Revision, In a Landscape, Aleatoric Solo No. 1Aleatoric Duet No. 2 and locus plot.

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Piano/Quartet (2012). Ric Brown, Sahara Morimoto, Andrea Nann. Pianist John Kemeel Farah. Photo by John Lauener

To watch John improvise live on stage, join us for Phase Space, January 22-30. For tickets and info visit here

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