READY TO TOUR
Moments In Time - On Tour
Solo work for intimate theatres
Dance Current, Canada
Toronto "Dora Mavor Moore Theatre Awards" Nomination
for best performance 2015
Solo dance and immersive media.
Running time: 50 minutes.
Dance Current, Canada
Toronto "Dora Mavor Moore Theatre Awards" Nomination
for best performance 2015
“The very heart of the human condition”
2008, Classical 96.3 FM
“Reaching a new state of mind”
Globe and Mail, Toronto
Globe and Mail
Moments in Time is a fitting name for the collaboration between choreographer Maxine Heppner and dancer Takako Segawa for more reasons than one: The veteran artists have been building the full-length work over five years and together they have produced a satisfying, thoughtful episodic work.
The piece is made up of 14 solos, each intriguingly named after a person and a state of mind. For example, the beginning solo is Jess’s serenity followed by Susi’s inspiration and Tina’s compassion.
The work can be viewed as specific snapshots from these various people’s lives, or collectively the solos may reflect the totality of a single life with its shifting emotional moods. In the latter case, the names, perhaps, become the people who have generated the response in the protagonist. Heppner as a choreographer is fascinated by both the whole physical cloth of dance as well as small details. The 14 solos range from Segawa executing highly energetic athleticism to almost slow-motion minimalism. The audience is kept abreast of the names of each solo by surtitles, which informs how we view the dance itself. There is also a parade of slides that splash over Segawa containing patterns of oriental carpets that also dictate mood.
Clearly, Heppner wants to direct us in our focus.Segawa is a compelling performer. She has a compact body that couples easy physicality with natural grace, but she can also play with gravity – at one point, she’s as light as a feather; at another, she’s weighted down by the pull of the Earth itself. Her subtle facial expressions play an important role in the piece. With just the hint of a smile, or a wider opening of the eyes, she can convey an intriguing shift in her interior monologue. As wonderful a dancer as Segawa is, she did at times overbalance and lose some of the crispness of her attack, particularly in changes between movement patterns, but this made her all the more human. Music also plays a key role in the performance. The compilation score includes early music, folk-inspired world beat, flamenco guitar, Indonesian gongs and abstract electronica. Silence as a backdrop is also used.Segawa also changes costume either by donning a whole new set of clothes, or by rolling up pant legs or taking off layers of tops. Thus each solo preserves its own individual integrity through movement, music (or lack thereof) and visual attributes.The solos each have their own movement leitmotifs. For example, Chin’s burden is executed with arms tightly folded across the chest and almost slow-motion physicality. In Galih’s present, Segawa loosens her body to embody a gangling teenager. Here the choreography is all about stamping of feet interpolated by fast and furious swivels. Sue’s desire is manifested by sensuous writhing on the floor, the legs slicing in scissor cuts.
Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the work is that Heppner plays with her own choreographic signatures, those telltale repeating physicalities that hallmark a creator. They are the movement themes, but they are also the variations. The great swoop of arms, the high kick of one leg, the bent body turns, for example, are always present, but are assembled differently in each solo.
It is as if Heppner is deliberately saying, “Here I am as a choreographic writer and this is my vocabulary.”
Classical 96.3 FM
Across Oceans – Maxine Heppner’s Moments in Time
Choreographer Maxine Heppner and dancer Takako Segawa presented their thoughtful piece Moments in Time at the Pia Bouman Studio Theatre over the weekend. Two veteran dance artists collaborating together can produce very satisfying work. Heppner is an accomplished choreographer and Segawa is a compelling performer. Segawa’s subtle facial expressions played an important role in the piece. With just the hint of a smile, or a wider opening of the eyes, she could convey an intriguing shift in Heppner’s dance monologue.
Together, Heppner and Sagawa created a well-thought out dance piece that exposes the very heart of the human condition.
Sensational “Moments in Time”
Your sensational “Moments in Time” work resonated in me… images surfaced unbidden throughout the following week, and even now I conjure up memories of “characters” and feel moved. I liked the projection of women’s feelings, as we are more intense, I think, than is often projected or communicated. I rarely have such a response to performances although if I were wealthy I would like to be a patron!I hope that this work can be shown for larger audiences in the future or for more audiences and would not be surprised if “it has a life of its own”. Hurrah for you both! and warm congratulations on your enduring art.
Gestalt Institute, PhD-OISE
Moments in Time
I have watched a lot of dance over the years and was blown away by the exquisite performance. The work became translucent through Takako. Maxine and Takako are an unbeatable team. I wish my words could express as much as your performance did. I want to see more!
Lois Van Koghnet
about Moments in Time
Theme: Inside a moment there is simply the experience itself. Only afterwards do we give it a name and a description and fix it in time. These instances are complete in themselves. Their accumulation is what we call our life or our self.
Additionals: If venue permits, design includes a lobby exhibit. Producer may choose to incorporate public outreach and community involvement through “the veryShort Story collection” (see below).
Description of the work: begins with an open stage, houselights, dancer and choreographer on stage, talking and reviewing. Slow cross of lights changing space into performance, first isolating dancer, then space opens with projections that wrap around and transform the space with colour and texture and she is in the centre of it. The piece unfolds, one persona seamlessly after another, each new moment a new environment of dance, shape, colour, sound. Surtitles give each moment a name and a context. Jess’ serenity, Susi’s inspiration, Tina’s compassion, Yarra’s apology, Bianca’s past, Galih’s present, Leila’s past, Chiou’s Joy, Chin’s burden, Yumi’s anger, Sue’s desire, Takako’s love, Maxine’s kiss
The design is a series of 14 colour-field images projected in 220° wrap of the space crating an entire environment in which the dancer lives. There is one sheet of metal that is placed in the space midway through the piece.
Choreographer’s notes: “Moments in Time” is a collection of 14 moments of a woman’s life. The work is presented in a conventional viewer-performer relationship, however the fourth wall is penetrated because projections of colour that emanate from the qualities of the dance, wrap from the stage 180° into the house. Audience becomes enveloped by the stage persona’s internal landscapes. Each moment (section) is also defined by a name and state of mind, e.g. Jess’ serenity, Susi’s inspiration, Yarra’s apology. The names are sur-titles ghosting in and out of the virtual painted space. The dancer, transforming from experience to experience, is the centre of her universe, at times the central point of power (e.g.Wei’s determination), at times engulfed by the moment (e.g. Sue’s desire). It is my intention that the collection of moments be experienced as the totality of a single life with its shifting emotional moods, the names being the people who have moved through the stage-persona’s life.
Maxine Heppner on the process: “I have made many dances for many people in many places for many years. A while ago I decided that it was time to take a close look at all this energetic activity to understand what I’ve been up to, to move forward. These solos are a distillation of many of the elements of my work. My patterns, preferences, weaknesses …and thankfully! strengths and surprises… surfaced and bubbled throughout the process. In a solo, material and interpretation are stripped to their essences, so this collection of solos is both an appropriate and risky challenge – and I have been very lucky to have my so talented colleague Takako Segawa with me in this practice.”
Takako Segawa says about working with Heppner: “Maxine’s process and understanding of movement is at a high theoretical level that also is profoundly human. Her methods first intrigued me and now have actually changed the way that I perform. She has managed to develop a practice that integrates both intuition and intelligence: Content & meaning translated into impulse, control of physical energy, and three-dimensional space. The result is dance that is more detailed, more grounded, more substantial, more sensual, more human. She has led me to dance right to my nerve endings – exhilarating!
Outreach and community engagement:
veryShort Story collection: public call to write and send very short stories (can be as short as a tweet), personal or fictional, in response to the 13 moments of the dance. eg. about serenity, determination, joy, etc. stories are chosen to be added to the collection that is presented in the lobby of the venue for audience to read before and after seeing the show. This collection has proven to assist audience in entering the dance’s world with wide ranging life-references that open the mind to receive the movement without questioning “what does it mean”. Also potentially draws new audience to the theatre. In the past the contributors have received a free or highly discounted participatory workshop on interpreting the heart of a story through dance.
Workshops also available: dance technique, creative process, master classes and/or mentoring local artists, participatory workshop on interpreting the heart of a story through dance.