Thursday, January 8, 2015

The Moment.... Dancer/Choreographer Stéphanie Morin-Robert on For Body and Light

The Moment...Multidisciplinary Artist
by Stéphanie Morin-Robert

When Dena Devida (co-founder and co-artistic director Tangente) called me to ask if I was interested in possibly presenting a full-length piece as their mainstage programming, I was over the moon.  I proposed the work I was currently creating with Ian Ferrier, even though we didn’t actually have a show put together yet.

She explained to me that I would be replacing Lise Vachon and that I would be sharing a double bill with Kimberley De Jong.  Both very well-known and well-respected artists.  I  knew I was at a different level and had less experience than them, but I was still ready to give it a try and kept telling myself that I have nothing to lose.  I really didn’t want to miss out on the great opportunity and I was motivated to make it work. 

Since I’m a pretty spontaneous person, I said yes without even thinking twice.  I was thrilled, because it had been a goal of mine for a while to have work presented by Tangente. I’ve always jumped on every opportunity I could get my hand on, so why would this be different?

I knew I only had about a month to put the show together, but the challenge was thrilling and I was excited to make it work.  I was proud and felt that the invitation was a sign that all of my hard work and dedication was paying off.

As the actual opening show was getting closer, I started realizing that the dynamic of the group was changing and that maybe we weren’t actually ready to hit the stage.  The pressure of having to ‘impress’ and meet a certain aesthetic or professional level was hard to digest.  Something that could often be overwhelming in the Montreal dance scene. Certain members of the group were getting distant and I started blaming myself for their insecurities regarding the project.
Until I realized that I was the one putting that pressure on myself…

Many things within FOR BODY AND LIGHT have changed since… but this was a critical time for my overall understanding on how to deal with people and with myself during a stressful situation. I suddenly felt responsible to make everyone else happy and soon forgot what I was truly interested in accomplishing.  What WAS I doing anyway?

I wasn’t looking for perfection.
I wasn’t looking for fame.
I wasn’t looking to beat myself up over something that I was supposed to enjoy. 

Then I finally realized that the answer was straightforward and simple. 

I was interested in stimulating myself and pushing myself further, because I was and still am hungry for a good challenge.  An opportunity doesn’t exist if you don’t encounter it with all you've got. Falling, failing and fearing was all part of the dance. And now, I’m ready for my next.

For Body and Light's Coming and Going is part of Centaur Theatre's Wildside Festival

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