Concept, Choreography and Performer: Allison Rhodes
Video and Editing : Austin Knill
In many ways, this work explores what the Small Acts of Creativity project represents: finding space for creation in the midst of shutdown and stagnation. When the COVID-19 pandemic began escalating earlier this year, halting all nonessential operations, I struggled with a sense of aimlessness. The work that I was able to continue from home felt like a rough outline of my usual routines, and my work as a dancer was essentially cancelled. Prior to that shift, I had been a part of two forthcoming Broken Rhythms productions, both of which we had started working on and one of which we had largely completed. However, with the closure of theatres, these productions had to be called off.
Although I tried to stem the feelings of self-pity, recognizing the majority of the world was feeling a similar (if not worse) strain, it was hard to escape the acknowledgment that I was losing valuable time. What unrecoverable experiences and opportunities were being lost to this global pause?
Eventfully, however, I started looking for ways that I could find purpose in the stillness. This isn’t to say that I experienced an overnight shift in attitude, but rather that I found flickers of potential. Even if I had moved to dancing in empty parks after dark instead of well-lit stages, I could nevertheless find ways to feel at peace.
As of now, theatres remain closed. From the most optimistic vantage point at this time, the next Broken Rhythms production will not premiere until the summer of 2021 (and that is barring any further complications). This left the company with a similar conundrum to my own: how can it make space for creation when we are locked out of our usual spaces? This led to the development of Small Acts of Creativity, which in turn allowed me to embark on a meta-exploration of the concept. I was thrilled to have the opportunity to work with my husband, a film-maker, on this project. It allowed us to create meaning and reverse the notion of lost time.
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