2022 Community Dance Project with Meredith Thompson

Photo – John Lauener

Community Dance Project Returns Once Again

Imprint is a community-based project that was first conceived of by Meredith Thompson with a cast of folks from in and around Tkaronto in 2019. The project was to be part of the In the Park series for the 2020 Guelph Dance Festival. We managed to get one rehearsal in before the pandemic distanced us all. After a long pause we came back in 2021 to begin again – first offering a series of online workshops to reach out to a wider community, followed by an online rehearsal process for an intergenerational cast of over 20 interested movers.  

Over the course of just two months, we met virtually and worked together weekly to move and explore ideas from the original creation of Imprint. We worked not knowing what the outcome or venue for the performance would be and so focused on our time spent together. Then, over the course of a day at the Guelph Arboretum, each participant was filmed performing the material alone, so that through video, we could safely be brought together as an ensemble for the 2021 (Virtual) Guelph Dance Festival. While this was one record of our time together – the rest remains in the traces of our memories and bodies. 

Following this experience last spring, it was the shared hope that we could reconvene in person one day and dance the piece truly together… 

We are very excited to share that this time has come. 

It is the hope and the plan that an in-person version of Imprint will be presented as part of the Guelph Dance Festival’s 2022 In the Park series and we are very much looking forward to this return to being, dancing and creating together.  

Many of the original 2020 participants, along with the 2021 cast members, are excited to revisit this work truly together, and we welcome new participants to join in as well. We are looking for an intergenerational cast of up to 40 movers, ages 8 years and older. 

Meredith and Guelph Dance welcome all bodies to join in this community-based project. We are continuously working to create an environment that promotes and fosters inclusivity, respect, care and kindness, and are committed to making this project available to everyone. If you have any accessibility needs or feel you may experience any barriers in accessing any aspects of this project, please contact Meredith by sending an email to: [email protected]

More about the project:

I first created this piece in 2019 with a wonderful cast of folks from in and around Tkaronto. The world has changed so much since then. That said, the essence of this piece seems more relevant now than it did the first time around …

Day to day, and moment to moment, we exist and live suspended by ten thousand threads of connection and interdependence. Imprint is an acknowledgement of this interconnectivity and the many weavings of our lives.

Once again, I’m excited to revisit this work. I’m excited to reconnect with familiar faces and participants from last year, and to meet new folks. I’m excited for new threads of connection to form and for a new group tapestry to take shape. I look forward to being ‘together’ in whatever form that takes, and to sharing in a communal engagement. I very much enjoy working closely and thoughtfully with new communities to facilitate a collective artistic experience that is a reflection of the people, the times, and the community itself, and now more than ever before I eagerly await our first rehearsal. 

– Meredith

Imprint was first commissioned by Dusk Dances and premiered at Dusk Dances Withrow Park on August 5, 2019.

Meredith Thompson

Originally from Huntsville, Ontario, the traditional territory of the Anishnaabeg, Meredith Thompson (she/her) has long been dancing about and enjoying the physical expression of movement. As a creator and maker, Meredith most often works on projects of the collaborative nature and these projects have been presented at various festivals across the country from coast to coast to (Arctic) coast. She is particularly interested in site-specific work and has been significantly influenced by the experience of facilitating community-based dance projects for large casts of intergenerational movers. As a performer, Meredith has interpreted the works of numerous artists, and performed throughout Canada and beyond for two decades. Fond of teaching and of people of all ages, she has also taught and facilitated dance and movement workshops for a number of arts organizations, school boards, and companies, and continues to do so. Based in Tkaronto, Meredith is a graduate of York University’s Department of Fine Arts and Faculty of Education.

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