Robert’s work is founded in an awareness of the human potential for disembodiment. The work is a response to create rituals of sensation, primal experience & interior language. Driven by the belief that the ‘performer’s’ intention to share embodiment can have a direct impact on cultural consciousness, each work is created with the potential to affect individuals and engage them in relating to the work. A phenomenological approach is of great necessity in a cultural atmosphere that questions the very existence of supporting ‘artistic’ practice. The work cannot seek only to justify it’s own existence through form or content but must honestly attempt to play with consciousness in order to reveal what is unexpressed in culture. To present a person that expresses purely on the level of embodiment is a gift & responsibility. Anything that gets in the way of this might as well be cast from the practice of ‘dance’ & ‘performance’. The potentially didactic nature of Choreography must be made human through use of score, somatic practice or pure intention.
A full experience in the realm of multi-disciplinary Fine Arts was fostered at York University for Robert. He gained a critical questioning as well as developing constructive approaches to the Fine Arts in contemporary contexts. Studying musical composition & piano performance, Robert was confronted with issues of disembodiment that came between himself & his music. A direct dive into the worlds of African Dance & Site Specific Choreography sparked his interest in questions and potentialities related to embodiment. Improv Soirees & a series of cafe dance shows gave Robert a venue to fully explore movement instincts & collaborations with other media. Working as a composer with Choreographers, he began to dance for inspiring creators D.A. Hoskins, Bill James & David Earle. Robert’s desire to explore the body of experience & begin to communicate with it merged with less improvisational forms and this began a process of alchemy. The question emerged of how to experience in choreography that similar sense of engagement found through improvisation.
- intercultural celebration!
Last year Amanda Paixao asked me to collaborate with her on a performance for a Canadian/Brazilian intercultural celebration. It took place at the Great Hall. I was honoured to be invited into this generous and celebratory process. I had a blast meeting Amanda’s friends and spending nights dancing and singing til the wee hours of the morning. They encouraged me to wear traditional head dress and partake in Brazilian culture, which I was very moved by! I learned that Brazilian culture is made up of so many different peoples and the warm sense of inclusion through rhythm, dance and music sets an amazing tone for shared experience. I believe this is a great model for Canadians, who negotiate multiculturalism without a dominant cultural base. The score for our performance focused on primal animal states, engagement through the audience’s space, interrelationship in contact and the mystery of mask. The party was a blast and people were struck by the intensity that we explored together. We worked with live overhead projection as a textural element. Looking forward to further collaboration!
- To Forget
A music video that I did with Simon Rabyniuk for Lisa Conway, featuring Julia Male & myself.
- Improvisational Meeting of Strangers
This summer I met Kassi Scott in an improvised dance at Somewhere There in Toronto. Based on the kinds of things that happened over the course of the 40 minute interaction, it’s surprising that we hadn’t met or talked previous to the event. There’s a bathroom just next to where the audience sits and I tried to go, with the door open (no one but Kassi could see). I was unable to release my bladder but we did get up to some release dance together and talked to the audience and each other at certain points. It turned out to be a very stimulating negotiation of intimate space, performative boundaries and personal expression.
- 'cross steps
Excerpts from my adaptable site specific work. Originally the material was generated for Series 808. A character who compulsively crossed his or her knees emerged, attempting to move through space while sticking to this physical task. This iteration had more improvisatory elements. Performed with Claire Turner Reid & Tanya Williams at the Guelph Contemporary Dance Festival’s CSA Nooner Nov. 2011.
- Women's Voices Photos
Some photos from Robert’s work at the Guelph Contemporary Dance Festival’s Women’s Voices show. In celebration of International Women’s day, the proceeds go towards Guelph’s Women in Crisis. “Can Be is Hiding” with Katie Ewald directing me on how to be receptive. We invited the audience to choose their own vantage point including onstage, in order diminish the dominant qualities of a theatrical performative space.