Cut & paste

Toronto Dance Theatre’s Chiasmata will be opening this year’s Festival of New Dance. Bryhanna Greenough got in touch with modern dance choreographer Christopher House to find out how Chiasmata was made.

“We began with me dancing, as usual, but this time I was improvising: dancing with spontaneity and abandon. I invited the dancers to create their own responses to my dancing, and then videotaped it. Using Final Cut Pro, I edited the material and burnt the results to DVD.

“The dancers then learned the new version of their phrases. We began to create a language of give and take. This language was used in further improvisations, creating duets, quartets and ensemble pieces.

“The dancers were constantly involved in making creative choices, and I continued to work with the computer to re-choreograph their choices.

“As we were all working together, we gradually ‘contaminated’ each other (I use this in the positive sense) such that our movement language spoke of a specific emotional terrain and state of mind. I am very pleased with the results of this process.”