Q&A with Laura Arend of Laboration Art Company

Originally set to be a part of the festival last year, Laboration Art Company (LAC) will present their work ANNA at the 2021 Guelph Dance Festival. We are excited to present the full-length film version of this beautiful and compelling piece this year. ANNA takes its inspiration from five influential German women, little recognized and forgotten, from the 19th to 21st centuries. These women are Lise Meitner, Sophie Scholl, Clarenor Stinnes, Pina Bausch, and Clara Schuman. We spoke to Laura Arend, director and choreographer of LAC, about the work:

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

LA: My work is a journey. A trip. Each creation is inspired by a country or a culture that I have had the chance to experience. I dream of a world without borders where we could just live and go wherever we want, freely. Today, this is even more of a utopia. In the last few years, I have added another layer to my work by working mostly with female artists. Indeed, anticipating or following the female revolution that is happening now, it is important to shine the light on the power of women in my work. Hence, ANNA was inspired by 4 German women that the world somehow forgot to recognize. 

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

LA: I truly believe we must keep art rolling. I am very proud to work with the team at Guelph Dance who have been fighting to make the festival happen. A few years back, I would have been very worried to present ANNA online. Magic happens for me on stage. It is the most unique place of conversation. Transitioning online opened many possibilities for meeting new people. For instance, though teaching I was able to work with dancers based in India and the US. Tools like Zoom are incredible for making this happen. 

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

LA: First of all, we hope that they will be inspired. We hope that the audience will remember the accomplishments of these tremendous women. Going through the process and digging into their life, we were amazed by their heroic behaviour. Once again, these four women deserve recognition and we aim to inspire all women to dream big. Nothing is too high or impossible to reach. 

You can see ANNA at our On the Virtual Stage series, Friday, June 4 at 8PM.

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