Day to day, and moment to moment, we exist and live suspended by ten thousand threads of connection and interdependence – they tie us together, hold us up, and also weigh us down. Imprint is an acknowledgement of this interconnectivity and the many weavings of our lives.
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 a 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 movers.
Over the course of just two months, we met virtually and worked together weekly to learn movement and explore ideas from the original creation of Imprint. We worked not knowing what the outcome or the venue for performance would be and so focused on our time spent together. Over the course of one day at the Guelph Arboretum, each participant was filmed performing the material alone, and through video, we are brought back together as an ensemble. This is only one record of our time together – the rest remains in the traces of our memories.
It is the shared hope that we can reconvene in person one day and dance the piece truly together …
Choreography: Meredith Thompson with the participants
Project Facilitation: Michael Baboolal, Sully Malaeb Proulx, Meredith Thompson, and Noriko Yamamoto
Participants: Juliana Klein, Naomi Blein, Catherine Bell, Ann Cavanaugh, Sharleen Cornelius, Ulrika Englund, Leslie Fisher, Catherine Frid, Gina Giammarco, Grace GillOrme, Lisa GillOrme, Donna Little, Tim Middleton, Ella Osborne, Janet Ragan, Steph Roberts, Valerie Senyk, Jennifer Storey, Kris Sturgeon, Audrey Withers and Jackie Woodcock
Original Music: R. Grunwald
Videography and Editing: Dan Charlebois
Second Videographer: Drew Berry
Guelph Dance Outreach and Development Manager: Leslie Fisher
Community Partners: Guelph Neighbourhood Support Coalition, Guelph Wellington Seniors Association, and Guelph Youth Dance Training Program
To the Guelph Imprint participants – thank you for sharing your time, energy, and beautiful selves with me, and with each other during this process. It has been such a pleasure and a gift to connect with all of you each week and to have embarked on this creative and communal endeavour during this unsettling time.
To Michael, Noriko and Sully – thank-you for adding your voices and your presence to this process. We all appreciated your offerings and artistry.
Very special thanks to the original participants and cast of Imprint for your creative contributions to the work.
Additional thanks to R. Grunwald; to Andrea Konarzewski and Sylvie Bouchard; to Molly, Mairéad, Tina and Alison; to Dan Charlebois and Drew Berry; and to Catrina, Leslie and Guelph Dance for your incredible support and flexibility to help bring a reimagined version of this project to life.
Imprint was first commissioned by Dusk Dances and premiered at Dusk Dances Withrow Park on August 5, 2019.
Meredith Thompson (she/her) is a dance artist, educator and facilitator who lives and works in Tkaronto. As a creator and maker, she most often works on projects of the collaborative nature and these projects have been presented 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 over two decades. Meredith is also an active teacher/educator and more recently a new mom to Hershel.
Photo by John Lauener