Woven by Peter Chin

Woven trailer


Woven by Peter Chin is inspired by the intertwined threads of woven art in Cambodia, Indonesia, Mexico and Canada. Chin and his international cast of dancers – including Kathia Wittenborn (Toronto), Kassi Scott (Toronto), Chy Ratana (Cambodia), Marina Acevedo (Mexico) and Boby Ari Setiawan (Indonesia) – reflect the spirit of traditional weaving communities in this premiere to music by performer/percussionist Debashis Sinha. 

Chin comments on his process with this new piece and how it differs from previous works:

“Working on the research and creation of Woven has brought me into contact with traditional and indigenous communities where weaving cloth is central. Bringing back the resonances of those encounters into the studio has compelled me to think of this work as an intercultural, global endeavour that speaks as much from an international perspective, as it does from a specifically Canadian one. Resultantly, the cast is dazzlingly international with multiple languages engaged in rehearsals, and five out of seven continents represented culturally. This is very exciting and generative of results that could have never happened under different circumstances. It is a real adventure. 

In previous works, I have engaged in considerable anthropological research, often consulting with scholars connected to the themes and subjects of Woven and layering that research data right into the work on stage. Woven is not a departure from this, but more an evolution in this mode of creation. In Woven, I have separated the academic component from the dance-theatre component by an initiative where I have commissioned four scholars to write four essays on the topic of traditional textiles, inviting them to touch on the metaphors derived from the contemplation of textiles, which have specifically inspired me in my creation of Woven. These four essays are disseminated serially before the premiere of Woven, with additional introductions by myself. With this kind of data taken care of in the essays, in a way, I feel that there is no need for me to labour within the stage work itself to address this fact-based information in order to fashion metaphors and symbolism. In effect, I feel free to surrender myself completely to the intuition of the abstract and the uncertain, and the realm where dance can take over more compellingly to express things where words cannot fully do justice.”

Presented by DanceWorks, Woven runs September 24-26, 2015 at Harbourfront Centre Theatre.

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