Vestige (2005)

Commissioned by Live Art Dance Productions, premiered by Mocean Dance
Choreography: Gwen Noah
4 dancers
60 minutes

In Vestige, Halifax-based choreographer Gwen Noah uses abstract movement and sound to explore themes of ancestry – how humans are shaped and informed by our history, and how our bodies bind us and connect us to our past. As with a family, the dance suggests an overriding cohesiveness to the group but also many distinctions. Noah created the piece for four Mocean dancers: Carolle Crooks, Sarah Di Quinzio, Sara Harrigan and Alicia Orr.

“It’s obvious they’re an ensemble, but they’re also four unique dancers,” says Noah. “I’m particularly interested in revealing their individuality in this work.”

The intensive studio process included group readings, music listening sessions and meditation. The piece brings together Noah’s own abstract poems and vision with writings by the dancers, generated from points of tragedy and joy in their own lives. Distortions of their voices are heard in the original soundtrack, which wavers between primal, elemental moods to futuristic mechanical noises reflecting the variations in movement, from smooth to spastic.

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Mocean Dance

Original score
Sandy Moore

Costume Design
Jessy Lacourciere

Lighting Design
Phillip Dupeyroux

Photograph by Holly Crooks