What they are saying about:

Here on the Ground

Choreographer: Sarah Chase
Dancers: Julia Carr & Meghan Goodman


Plank Magazine review By Lawrence Kelson: “‘Here on the Ground’, choreographed by Sarah Chase and performed by Meghan Goodman and Julia Carr was a physical theatre piece about the unusual real life friendship of the two dancers. With simple stage props, recorded music, spoken word and simple but elegant movement built around an invented visual sign language this piece charmed and captivated from the start. Goodman and Carr’s warm, open, and likeable characters shone through with clarity and grace as their stories unfolded before us. It was a performance that encapsulated something very real, current, and fresh, and was delivered with incredible clarity. This was a hugely appealing dance piece that moved its audience with its relatable naturalness and simplicity.”

Georgia Straight review by Alexander Varty reads: “Two out of three aren’t bad. Actually, two out of three are superb, although the third is only intermittently interesting. We’ll take those odds.

 The 2016 edition of the annual Dancing on the Edge festival (which runs to July 16) got off to a wonderfully warm start withHere on the Ground, choreographed by Body Narratives Collective and Sarah Chase. It’s a quietly sophisticated meditation on time masquerading as a sweet look at the friendship shared by dancers Julia Carr and Meghan Goodman, the collective’s founders, and it works beautifully on both levels.

At its simplest, it’s about two women who have much in common despite their very different backgrounds. Carr, tall and blond and Nordic, is the daughter of a successful gastroenterologist. Goodman, short and dark and Jewish, has to cope with a father who, technically speaking, is a manager in the family business, but who, with his guitars and books and vinyl, is an unfulfilled artist and dreamer. But both dancers have recently given birth to sons, and both share an easy intimacy as well as the kind of sunny optimism that beams off the stage.

There’s a funny bit about platypuses and a dreamlike image of a river made from a single blue rope. There’s a lot of illuminating discussion of Goodman and Carr’s work with the Aeriosa aerial dance troupe, and a funny display of the suitcase-full of togs and gear each carries on their excursions with child. There’s not a lot of outwardly impressive dance in this text-driven work, but there are a lot of finely honed gestures taken from everyday movement and then delivered, perfectly, at hyperspeed. And there’s a single, heartbreaking moment in which Carr reveals that her dad will never meet her baby, because he died 11 years before his grandson was born.

Poignant and lovely, Here on the Ground held the audience’s attention for all of its 28 minutes.”

Write up by Peter Dickinson  “The piece tells the story of Carr and Goodman’s friendship through some of the surprising coincidences in their life histories and careers: both are longtime company members of the aerial dance company Aeriosa (performing a site-specific work in Stanley Park as part of DOTE this coming Wednesday and Thursday); both are new moms (plaster body casts of each woman’s pregnant belly figure at a certain point and there is a very sweet moment near the top of the show in which each performer races to pack up the baby-related items needed for a day out in the park); and both have several family members who tend to share the same name. All of this is related to us through Chase’s trademark cross-lateralizing of verbal speech with different combinations of physical gestures, which the dancers cycle through as they tell their stories. At different points in the piece, Carr and Goodman even let us in on the system by which the individual gestures are chosen and paired with different parts of speech: as she did with SFU’s rep dancers during her Iris Garland residency in the School for the Contemporary Arts earlier this spring, Chase will pair a word or sometimes just a syllable with a gesture in whose articulation there will be embedded some physical or verbal mnemonic. For example, the wiping of invisible “slime” off of one’s thigh will be cued to a word that rhymes with it, like “time.” Knowing this, when the dancers then go on to repeat the gesture phrases, whether silently or while singing a John Denver song, we concentrate more intently, which fits with Chase’s theory that the combining of verbal and physical scores in performance makes audience members as lucid in their reception as performers become in their expression. In a similar way, Carr and Goodman later show us some of the technique that underscores a few of the named moves they use in their aerial dancing (e.g. “Superman” or “The Bird”). It was fascinating to see what normally would be happening off the side of a building, with the dancers’ harnessed bodies tilted 90 degrees and with our gazes tilted up, translated to a traditional proscenium setting: at the very least it was a reminder that aerial dancing is in fact dancing, and that just as we come to recognize the patterns of a story, so are we able, over time, to discern those that send–and keep–a body in flight.”


 Dark Room: The realm of symbols, science, and memories

Preview article by Claudia Spontantaneous published by VANDOCUMENT A Union of Disciplines and Minds: The Body Narratives Collective and Their Upcoming Production, Dark Room

Preview article by Noëlie Vannier from La Source “Dark Room” : Quand le Noir Nous Révèle ses Lumières

Secret #468 DARK ROOM: Lights, cameras, action! “Click! What was that noise? It sounded like a camera shutter. We looked around and found ourselves in complete darkness, except for a red light glowing on stage. We were in a dark room – actually, it was a darkroom. Confused? We were attending a theatrical show where the performers used the theatre as if it was a photography darkroom. This performance, conveniently titled Dark Room, was an unusual one that impressed us by how it combined dance, music and technology to show the process of creating photographs – but in a very artistic, non-technical way (no yawns here!).”

E=mc2 in the Dark Room by Fatima Sumar “Dark Room has cleverly taken gallery walls and captured the images to reveal the photographic process as a performance medium, whilst utilizing photographic techniques. A short-lived dance is captured through a variety of tools to become objects of art. A range of old technologies paired with new designs highlight the tension between old and new in our daily lives….In her interview with me, Julia Carr, a featured performer, compared a theatre black box to a dark room, which is almost obsolete due to our digital age. Both places are blank canvasses and magic is created, light is added. I love the comparison; it’s so simple and accurate, and yet overlooked as a connection.”

Dark Room was listed as one of the Top 10 Vancouver Events November 28-December 5   by The Vancouver Sun and The Calgary Herald

Flashes and Memories: An Evening Inside a Dark Room  Written by Elysse Cheadle, published by VANDOCUMENT

“Two dancers in white coveralls manipulate the body of a third on stage… The woman is lifted delicately by her feet, until she is fully extended in the air with her head on the ground. She is placed lightly back on the ground. This moment is beautiful; a simple and elegant movement which carries a great deal of imagery and emotion. I think of her body as a dry leaf blowing in the wind, and as a sheet of paper being flipped in a developer bath.

The moment is tense as we wait for the photograph to be revealed. This is the most exciting moment of the performance. Suddenly, a grey image emerges. Another dip into the developing solution and the image snaps into clarity. Two bodies folded together. The image reminds me of a multi-limbed beast, and of a Rorschach test. I can smell the chemical solutions; wet popcorn and ammonia. I love being sensually aware of the present while watching the past re-emerge.”

“Revealed by Light” a long-exposure photograph created during Dark Room was printed in the Spring 2014 issue of Dance International magazine, p. 22.


Be Graceful in the Wind trio premiered at Dusk Dances, July 2014, reviewed by VanDocument.

Written by Jen Dunford, Edits + Photos by Kendra Archer:

The audience was led around a piece of yellow tape encircling a tree next to the water’s edge. The view from this site was spectacular, with the buildings of downtown and the iconic red cargo cranes of Vancouver’s downtown port just behind. Three ladies, including dancer and choreographer Meghan Goodman and dancer Susan Kania appeared dressed as forest sprites and began laying cedar boughs down along the interior of the circle, acknowledging curious onlookers as they prepared the space in ritual. Dancer Julia Carr then re-entered with a thurible, a brass instrument on a long chain easily recognized from a church setting that holds and burns incense during mass. She gently followed the pendulum swinging around her body, mirroring the circular formation of the audience in a Ptolemaic spiral around the perimeter leaving a trail of smoke that filled the air with the perfumed aroma of sage.

Ambient sound floating from loud speakers triggered the commencement of growth-inspired movement, and a motif was born of the hand reaching slowly up into the sky with tension-filled fingers and flexed feet. Ever-present breath informed the dancing bodies who circled in unison past one another in one direction and back, tracing a pendulum shape on the ground. Their detailed costumes, designed by local creator of Lost & Found Puppet Co. Maggie Winston, featured a leaf appliqué on the lower body in natural brown and green tones, matching the object of worship, the tree growing in the centre of their dance. A waterfall of movement cascaded through the bodies, arms and legs each completing and passing on the phrase in canon. Then the curious green mats set up around the base of the tree came into use, as the dancers slowly inverted in headstand, with toes spread and reaching for the sky. Skirts flipped and became the base of a human tree with legs for limbs. The pose was held painstakingly until each dancer had reached stillness and then the music took over, washing us with a mellow, Enigma-style synth beat simulating the passing of time. The grove of human trees stood silent to finish, with balancing muscles rippling through, demonstrating their quiet strength.

Various Artists in Dusk Dances at Granville Island, Vancouver BC 2014. Photo by Kendra Archer for VANDOCUMENT

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