8 DAYS IV: A GATHERING OF CHOREOGRAPHERS
ARTSCAPE GIBRALTAR POINT, TORONTO ISLAND | JUNE 14-23, 2015
8 DAYS is an intensive encounter open to Canadian contemporary choreographers. The gathering values curiosity, questioning and reflection on how we work in order to deepen choreographic practices.
The ongoing 8 DAYS project addresses a need for peer-to-peer choreographic development in Canada, insisting that this mode is crucial to the continued relevance of the art form. Originally instigated in 2012 by Ame Henderson and Tedd Robinson, 8 DAYS IV stems from the desire to continue this artistic exchange. How dance artists work is intimately related to what they create. Theory and practice, talking and making, doing and reflecting, and the systems we do and don’t rely on are understood as interwoven threads of creative development. 8 DAYS is an opportunity to share artistic practices and concerns and to challenge, invigorate and inspire each other. This is an occasion to contextualize oneself within a larger frame. 8 DAYS escapes the pressures of production-driven work. It creates space to reflect on one’s current practice and through rigorous dialogue and experimentation encourages new artistic possibilities.
A cohort of 26 artists will embark on a co-authored adventure influenced by its surroundings, created by those present, and guided by their overlapping and divergent experience. Participants are asked to arrive with an openness about what this encounter can be, a willingness to expose and share, and a criticality around intellectual and artistic exchange. As the number of participants grows every year, we ask that everyone be open to new ways of being together in this ever-evolving constellation. The selection committee is comprised of three past participants and a guest.
Each participant is responsible for planning a portion of the time spent together. Days are primarily structured around preparing, cooking and facilitating group meals, which becomes a fundamental way of thinking about shared work. Subsistence informs how we can function within a group. The days also include sharing research and exploring methods, reading, open discussion, as well as time for leisure and personal reflection.
It is imperative that 8 DAYS engages with the community at large. To this end, each participant will be asked to respond to the concept of documentation in order to share the experience. So far 8 DAYS has self-produced two books financed by the personal contributions of the participants. Each artist proposes and creates responses specific to 8 DAYS during or immediately following the gathering. This co-authored documentation is then distributed via a framework determined by the contributors in order to share the process and its outcomes.