October 26, 2021

This fall MZD Artistic Director, Gerry Morita, had the opportunity to create a new work as part of Artists in the Fallow, at Brighten Block in Edmonton, Alberta. It started as an experiment and ended with a brilliant piece of artistic expression, Shadow of a Doubt.

This has been a very organic process and an opportunity for me to experiment. As you know, space is important for dancers to create, and I have felt very slow during the pandemic and without a studio for the past few months. So when I was offered this opportunity to use space form Michael Cor and Artists in the Fallow, I was intrigued.

Following the work of Tony Olivares and eryn tempest, I situated myself in the building for a few weeks in Aug/Sept, before being joined by 9 milled marble sculptures of Digital Stone Project (a group of Six Artists who are committed to bringing nine of their sculptures home from Covid-19 cancelled 2020 and 2021 Digital Stone Project Workshop at Garfagnanna Innovasione in Italy.)

All I had to start with was a big skirt, and some ideas about chalk and charcoal.

The way that the sculptures sat in the space informed my process a lot, and reminded me of negative space, the human form, how light affects shape, and how the human body can never be as still, until death. These objects became my scene partners and audience as I worked alone, and then later, with Darrin Hagen. Darrin is a well-known drag, theatre, and comedy artist in Edmonton, but he approached me earlier this summer about music for dance. This very serious shift for us both became a project quite classical in sound and action, which felt right for the time.

While I am unsure of where this will go, the ongoing exploration has been wonderful. In addition to all the other art in the building, the work of artist Marina Fridman became my backdrop, as ber large scale charcoal drawings of Mars and celestial beings felt perfect for what I was doing, allowing me to imagine connecting across the universe as well as in the room, with sculptures, with my body, with the birds, and the city skyline.

Returning to solo dance work is always a new beginning for me, so I will see where this goes!

I hope to hug all of you soon!

Love,
Gerry

*Images by Darrin Hagen

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