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, and Ric Brown.
Which dance production/performance will you always remember?
Danny Grossman Dance Company at the Vancouver Children’s Festival in Vanier Park. It was the late 70s or early 80s and my mom was taking me to see a lot of shows. But all I remember is seeing DGDC’s performance of Higher with Pamela Grundy and Randy Glynn. The dance literally blew my mind, I had never seen anything like it. It felt exciting and dangerous, I didn’t even want to blink. As it turns out there was quite a scandal that followed and I think the company may have been asked to cut the piece from their programme because some parents thought it was explicitly and inappropriately sexy! I don’t know the details, perhaps I’m spreading fantastic rumours. I do know that I saw Higher performed again by Danny and Judy Miller at the Premiere Dance Theatre in 1987 and I never looked back. I joined the company in 1988 and danced with the Grossman clan for 15 years. Higher has been a highlight in my performance career ever since, I have probably danced this work more times than any other piece and every time I do I still don’t want to blink!
Who is your dream duet with?
The duet is my favourite compositional form, a configuration for 2 individuals to meet and to transcend their solo realities. How could I possibly identify one dream partner?! In Phase Space, Peggy has given me the honour of dancing a duet with Sean Ling, and later in the new year I will dance again with Brendan Wyatt in a Dreamwalker Dance Company show. This past August I danced Higher (yes ALSO a duet) with Eddie Kastrau at Randy Glynn’s Festival of Dance Annapolis Royal. Quite honestly, I feel that every day I’m profoundly entangled in duets with family members and friends and with colleagues who are willing to meet me equally and with abundance.
Which choreographer, from any era would you like to work with?
I’d love to work with Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui. I was introduced to his work by Guy Cools who collaborated with Cherkaoui and Akram Khan during the creation of Zero Degrees, a dance that encapsulates everything that I love about Cherkaoui’s work: emotions producing movement and movement producing emotions, “everything engaging with everything naturally”, where genres and forms and aesthetics seamlessly merge and one is constantly surprised, and where movement is full, virtuosic, unbounded and where stillness has weight and gravitas. There is a profound humanism at the core of Cherkaoui’s actions. His work is exhilarating and boundless and it embodies artistic, social and cultural values that are meaningful to me – borderless-ness, confluence, transcendence.
Do you remember the first time you discovered Peggy Baker?
I first learned about Peggy Baker when I was a student at York University. Peggy was living in New York at the time, dancing with Lar Lubovitch. So I didn’t truly discover Peggy until she was back in Toronto performing a programme of solo works. During that show time expanded as Peggy filled every moment with piercing intention and sublime presence. I felt her as she was dancing, as if I could trace her experience inside of every movement. It was early 90s.
What song are you itching to dance to?
Life on Mars – David Bowie
Do you have a signature dance move?
Sure. It likely has something to do with a spinning hairdo…
What’s your earliest dance related memory?
Age 4? Putting on my rubber boots and ‘mucking around’.
For Peggy Baker Dance Projects:
To watch Andrea in motion, join us for Phase Space, January 22-30. For tickets and info visit here. Use code EARLY20 for $20 tickets for performances between January 22-24. (Offer expires December 24)