Artscape Atelier, in partnership with the West Queen West Business Improvement Association launched a three-part performance series called Distances Dances in different parks and locations in the West Queen West neighbourhood. Six artists were offered paid performance opportunities as part of Artscape’s Together for Artists initiative, each performing their original piece on July 4, July 18 and August 15.
Since the beginning April, a particular maple tree in Trinity Bellwoods Park has been one of my sources of strength and given me a sense of hopefulness for things to come. Since spring, when this maple woke from its slumber, I have observed its many changes: its leaves have opened up and delicate flowers turned into seeds. There are now a circle painted over some of its roots, to act as a barrier for some. My engagement with this maple will be an act of connectedness and empathy, while contesting the heteronormative understanding of intimacies that exist among different kinds of living bodies as well as our entrenched notion of hierarchy constructed between humans and nonhumans.
Despite the harsh realities of the times we are living through, this interactive work insists on the hopeful desire to communicate with one another. The expressions of the body in this performance seeks to explore ethical engagements with others. In conjunction with the broad capacity to imagine change and to ‘hear’ and dialogue, the ethical expression of the body is an especially potent, if not mandatory practice to develop in the contemporary world environment today.