Friday, February 12, 2016

Vancouver Dance History (2006-2016): Post 5

We had our second artist interview yesterday, with Vanessa Goodman. The conversation yielded another amazing round of stories, and already various lines of intersection are emerging. The moment when Vanessa mentioned Doug Elkins' Fraulein Maria as a pivotal dance spectating moment for her in Vancouver, Justine and Alexa and I all shared a look and smile, as Elkins also came up in Rob's interview.

It was also fascinating to hear about all the folks Vanessa studied with while at SFU and her years touring with Judith Garay's Dancers Dancing. And of course it was at SFU that Vanessa met Jane Osborne and listening to Vanessa describe how she instantly knew she wanted to work with Jane was quite moving.

Unfortunately I don't have time this morning to go into all that Vanessa said in her interview (in part because I want to get to Barbara's class after a three-week hiatus). But there are two other things worth noting. The first concerns just how pivotal Justine is to this recent history we are archiving. Vanessa mentioned seeking out a contemporary dance class to take in the city after her graduation and not finding anything until Justine began teaching at Harbour Dance around 2008. The second thing that came up for me is how memory is operating not just retrospectively in these interviews, but also prospectively. To be sure, one of our questions asks our informants to speculate on where they see their own work and Vancouver dance more generally going in the next ten years. But while we were gossiping with Vanessa after the "official" interview was over (and we discovered Justine had accidentally taken a photo of us rather than a video with her MacBook iCamera), there was also a wonderful moment when she set us up for an anecdote that she assured us we would receive with delight from one of our future subjects.

It was a wonderful proleptic moment, and a reminder that this project is as much oriented toward the future as to the past.


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