Excerpts from Untitled Marking  ”  While in Nova Scotia, I discovered sea faring ancestors and loved ones lost at sea”

Choreography by Susan Green
Dancers: Susan Green, Remi Falquet, Dianne Chapitis, Allen Norris, Rory Omel and Susan Roberts
Music by Ahmed Hassan
Music Performed by, Ahmed Hassan, Caitlin Maggs, R. Arroyave and Eric Tessier-Lavigne

Untitled Marking is set in Scots Bay Nova Scotia, on the Bay of Fundy in the1800’s. It is a historical fantasy that is based upon loss of my great grandfather Jesse age 46 at sea. His grieving widow, Mary Jane was left to care for their nine children. This dance explores Mary Jane’s deep yearning to  have a little more time to be with Jesse. Untitled Marking takes us through a gamut of emotions, attempting to bring to life our universal quest for connection and love. The choreography is literal, clearly communicating this passionate story as only the expressive body language of dance can.

Untitled Marking is a driven large group dance that begins with a brewing ocean storm, a loss at sea, followed by a widow’s quest to find her lost husband through solos and a duet. The power of the ocean waves overcomes the drama through a large group finale.

The movement themes are based upon the Mitzvah Technique. The rippling motion of the spine and  freedom and of movement are ideally suited to the wave motion.  Timeless themes of love, loss, sadness and joy permeate the dance’s rippling movements. The highly refined movement quality derived from the practice of the Mitzvah Technique expands and clarifies the performance level of expression.

I choreographed Untitled Marking over 5 a year period, beginning with geneological research of my family tree while on a trip to Scots Bay, Bay of Fundy, Nova Scotia. I visited where the they had lived and where Mary Jane may have looked out for Jesse from the beach. Other stimuli included sculptures, visual art and oral traditions.

Globe and Mail Review of Untitled Marking
Rebound: Pavlychenko Studio 1986
by Deirdre Kelly

Rebound was comprised of 5 choreographers and 6 dancers: Dianne Chapitis, Remi Falquet, Susan Green, Alan Norris, Rory Omel, and Susan Roberts. We all studied the Mitzvah Technique and its discipline and dedicated ourselves to choreography based upon its movement sources and themes.

“The strongest work in the program was Untitled Marking by Susan Green. This haunting work for six uses a live percussive score with voice by Ahmed Hassan. The music, which is lush, and intricatlely textured, provides a compelling background to the dance. Initially, the dancers stand with their backs to the audience and gently sway to the rhythms Hassan beats out on his drum. One by one, they break away and dance seductivley, effortlessley, until eventually they are joined by a couple ( Green and Remi Falquet) who perform a poignant duet full of heart-felt emotion.

What is compelling about this piece, as with another work on the program, Tesseract by Dianne Chapitis, is the way the movement appears to make spirals around the dancer’s spine, as it the dance were made of small, whirling coils of energy that have wrapped round the performers like flaming bits of silk.
Each of the five works on the program was based on the Mitzvah Technique which M. Cohen-Nehemia founded 15 years ago after watching the ease in which the Bedouin move across the desert. Formerly a dancer with the Inbal Dance-Theatre in Israel and  a teacher of the Alexander Technique in Toronto. M. Cohen- Nehemia used his studies of the Bedouin as a means for developing an alternative discipline that would help people, especially dancers, rid themselves of “destructive body use patterns” that hinder natural movement.

The benefits of this discipline to dance are only now beginning to be fully explored. Pavlychenko’s artistic director, Larisa Pavlychenko, brought Rebound to her Yonge street studio to see if and how the Mitzvah Technique is visible in new works of modern dance. In addition she wished to explore the possibility that the technique has introduced new moment patterns to dance in general.   …. if the Mitzvah Technique is to be credited with anything, it’s motivating a strong group of dancers to create collaborative works whose appeal lies in movement that’s as natural and refreshing as a flow of water over a moss covered cliff.”