Deanna Peters is the recipient of the Iris Garland Emerging Choreographer Award and she premieres her new work META October 27-28 at Scotiabank Dance Centre. Accompanying writer Alexa Mardon is creating a series of responses to the work: this is the first of three parts, leading up to the shows. Catch the rest of her writing and buy tickets for the show here:
We are practicing our moves for the party in silence because we need to hear the different ways our limbs rush the air past.
I’m watching you. You close your eyes and I can’t see you anymore, I can only feel the thwup and shhunck of your forearm cutting the moment in half. We are practicing our moves for the party in silence because it is late and everyone else has gone to bed. We don’t need to talk about what we are doing, but if we did, we would whisper.
I bring the lamp down from the attic, the pleated one with the warm orange light. We are practicing our moves in a silence that’s full. It’s full of serious business and the number of times we’ve changed our outfits and the apple you brought me which is sitting half eaten near the radiator. Earlier this afternoon, you said something today about how it’s possible to make our bodies solid like packed dirt or porous like a colander. We were sitting in the soft room with all the windows open like no blinking. I imagined that there was no difference between inside/outside. I imagined that the weather moved through me.
Once I stayed outside in winter so long it took hours for the feeling to come back into my hands. I took a bath and the rest of me got warm, eventually, but my hands didn’t. I traced them over my body like a superstition. Like someone else’s hands but I couldn’t tell which parts I was just learning and what I had always known. Later, maybe a few weeks, I dreamt that my body was escaping from the confines of my skin and I had to use my new strong other hands to collect my bones, organs, tissues, back into myself. Packed up tightly. Same. Same. I woke up sweating and spent the rest of the day careful to keep a pocket of air between myself and myself, holding my shirt out from my torso like a tent, stepping into my pant legs like a horse onto a boat.
I have a photograph of all three of us from around that same time. We’re looking straight ahead. You’re standing behind me and your hand is slid up the back of my jacket, blooming out near my right ear. It could be anyone’s. We’re all wearing dark coloured pants and our six legs make a thick trunk against the bright white of the weather. Our own little island, foregrounded.
In the warm orange light, you repeat a move over and over again. It is like the sound of my favourite CD skipping and I don’t get up to change it because I know what comes next and the wait is painful and good like a toothache. We are almost ready. Everyone is waiting for us to bring the moves.
Deanna Peters/Mutable Subject - META
Presented through the Iris Garland Emerging Choreographer Award
Created and performed by Deanna Peters in collaboration with dance artists Justine A. Chambers and Kim Sato, with designs by set and costume artist Natalie Purschwitz
Friday-Saturday October 27-28, 2017 at 8pm
Scotiabank Dance Centre, 677 Davie St, Vancouver
Photo credit: Alexa Mardon; Deanna Peters, performer: Justine A. Chambers