Dance: SOIL TIMES; 3 dances 3 places
Kevin O’Connor (Irish-Sicilian), Ruth Douthwright (Canadian), Montana Summers (Oneida Nation), Avery Hall, Dorit Osher
This creative process and performance is a collective composing and recomposing of bodies, humans, microbes, soils, ashes, and other forms. The impetus for this piece occurred when one of our collective art-making collaborators, Billy, died from lung cancer. This piece is a kind of queer living and dying ritual. Through Billy, in his life and death, we are being entangled in an ongoing relationality: re- learning to cultivate new modes of seeing, touching tasting, exchanging, growing, inhabiting and making the possibilities for new things to emerge in our art-making collective. By soil times we are thinking about other experiences of time possible for the relations between humans and soil alongside the dominant forms expressed by large-scale agriculture, a colonial practices within our hometown of London Ontario.
Some of Billy’s cremated body was buried on the Oneida First Nations reserve where he was from and some in the local cemetery with his adoptive mom. Each space makes or enacts soil differently just like each of the folk dance practices we are thinking with, in the creation of this piece. Each dance we think with has been brought, carried, transposed through migrational practices both forced and otherwise, to our hometown along the banks of the polluted Thames river in London Ontario. Each dance emerges as a primary gesture of relationality, self-making, and world-making in relation to land. Each dance enacts sensorial modes of memory and experience and being together, which can have the potential to disrupt Canadian dominant forms of human-soil becoming.