Thursday, January 28, 2016

Vancouver Dance History (2006-2016): Post 3

So yesterday afternoon Justine and Alexa and I conducted our first interview. It was with my SFU colleague Rob Kitsos, who graciously agreed to sit down with us following his gig guest-teaching at Modus Operandi. Using our basic template of five W-questions, we were able to elicit some amazing memories and anecdotes and insights from Rob.

As Rob’s move to the city in 2004 precedes our historical purview by only two years, his perspective on the evolution of the city’s dance scene over the last ten years in some senses reflects his own progressive immersion into local aesthetic practices and collaborations and modes of making work. Also, because Rob trained in the US and teaches and creates within an academic setting, he brings with him and is likewise producing different genealogies of influence. As Justine said following the conversation, our rhizomatic map just got that much bigger and intersectional.

Most exciting for me, however, was the sensory experience of both watching and listening to Rob remember (and sometimes mis-remember) not just the genesis of some of the first pieces he created after arriving in the city, but also the context of his collaborations with local dance artists: Did he dance for Serge Bennathan before Peter Bingham or after? When did he first meet Susan Elliott? And so on. The gestures he produced in recounting this narrative will also be amazing fodder for our embodied performance archive.

Can’t wait for the next interview: Vanessa Goodman.


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