Q&A with Georgia Simms

Georgia Simms, local educator, facilitator, and Artist in Residence with Guelph Dance, will be presenting the work sketches/studies for unsettling at the 2021 Guelph Dance Festival. Presented at our In the Virtual Studio series, Georgia will be live streaming her creative process, offering viewers an intimate look at the work. We spoke to Georgia about her experience in the residency and the process of creating:

Photo by Michael English

GD: What are you most excited about telling the audience about your work? 

GS: This is my first attempt at solo work in dance that is longer than 3 minutes. I’ve experimented in small ways for several Short and Sweet events (thank you Katie Ewald!), which gave me just enough courage to generate a proposal for the residency. In the way that the pandemic has invited an exploration of aloneness, I accepted. And it has truly been a soul-saver for me during this time. Part choreographic task, part healing journey, this residency has been about inquiry, disruption, permission, discovery and vulnerability.

GD: Were there any surprising benefits to the process of bringing your work online?

GS: It is still not my favourite thing. A year into the pandemic, I deeply miss the visceral, energetic, in-the-moment dynamic of live performance and dialogue.

And, there are benefits. I have had to learn many new skills! Virtual meetings, video sharing and editing, the operation of cameras, tripods, chargers, adaptors, audio mixers… and I have more process and rehearsal footage than I can likely ever use! I also imagine that the audience for the work might extend to people who may not usually choose to attend a dance festival, and may extend to places beyond Guelph, which is an intriguing possibility. But I will hold out hope for the day that I hear the hum of audience conversation hush to anticipation, as lights fade, in the togetherness of an emotional connection.

GD: What do you hope the audience will take away from your work?

GS: That I am still sifting through experimentations and questions. That I am deeply invested in the uncertainty and the unknowing at this point in my process. That much has yet to be crafted. That I welcome and value responses to what I am sharing, and would be thrilled to engage meaningfully with others about how my work resonates for them. That investigations of worth, grief, mercy, belonging and liminal spaces are incredibly valuable to me, right now. And, that I am committed to continuing this work into the future.

Catch sketches/studies for unsettling on Friday, June 4 at 7PM.

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