Over the past year, Meredith Thompson has been working with the Guelph community to recreate and reimagine the work Imprint. Originally created with a cast from Toronto, Imprint has been adapted for an online platform and will be presented at the 2021 Guelph Dance Festival. We spoke to Meredith about the work:
GD: What are you most excited about telling the audience about your work?
MT: I’m excited to share that this is a community-based work that features an intergenerational cast of Guelph area residents ranging in age from 10 years old to over 80. Together we are recreating a piece that was first conceived of with a cast of folks from in and around Toronto in 2019. While it wasn’t that long ago, the world we are living in now has changed so much since then, but the essence of the work seems more relevant now than it did the first time around.
GD: Were there any surprising benefits to the process of bringing your work online?
MT: One really nice element of this online format has been the ability to have dancers from the original creation join us each week to co-facilitate the rehearsals with me. For the first rehearsal Sully Malaeb Proulx joined us from Vancouver and last week Noriko Yamamoto joined us from Toronto. Upcoming Michael Baboolal will join from Montreal. Having their voices and bodies present in the process has been a really lovely gift.
Prior to beginning the rehearsals, we also offered a series of online workshops to raise awareness about the project and to reach out to more people in this time of isolation – offering them an experience to connect to their bodies, minds, hearts and each other. It was very heartwarming to discover that connecting online in this way was very well received and welcomed by certain groups of people, particularly seniors. I was so happy to be able to connect with them and for them to be able to connect with each other, and themselves, through movement and creativity.
GD: What do you hope the audience will take away from your work?
MT: I invite people to consider our interconnectivity and the many weavings of our lives. We all have stories to tell and our stories are part of each other’s stories.
Don’t miss the presentation of Imprint at our In the Virtual Park series, Saturday, June 5th at 7PM.