Empty Space | Empty Time and Worlds Within
May 10, 2023 | 7:30pm
Orillia Opera House
About Empty Space | Empty Time
Empty Space | Empty Time is a wordless conversation with the music, Worlds Within, played live by composer Weinroth-Browne. Originally created in silence, the dance found its bearings through the exquisite emotional cycles of the music. Poetically spatial and highly physical, dancers Amanda Bon, Jacqueline Ethier, Alya Graham, and Sarah Hopkin sensitively embody the energetic swells of sorrow and solace.
“When I listen to Worlds Within, I am immersed in direct experience, thoughts disappear, vision clears, heart rate slows. The blissful absence of time reveals an emptiness that is the root of possibility and a path to letting go.” Yvonne Coutts
About Worlds Within
Worlds Within is a continuous 40-minute piece, built from a very simple initial seed, gradually branching out and recreating itself in different forms through the use of live looping.
“I think of it sometimes as the soundtrack to a life cycle, beginning from an unending ether (Unending I), emerging into innocence and wonder (From Within), growing into self-awareness (From Above) followed by chaos and upheaval (Tumult), making peace with what is (Fade [Afterglow]), and returning to the infinite (Unending II). I wanted the bookends to feel timeless and to reflect the passing of time from the perspective of nature. By contrast, I wanted the inner sections to have a fast-paced momentum, embodying human subjectivity and
impatience”. Raphael Weinroth-Browne
Yvonne Coutts (Choreographer and Dancer | AD ODD)
Yvonne Coutts’ work has been presented by the Brian Webb Dance Company, the Winnipeg Dance Festival, Tangente, Danceworks, Four Chambers, Women in View, Dancemakers, Arraymusic, Winnipeg Contemporary Dancers, the Canada Dance Festival and BoucharDanse. Recipient of the 1994 Bonnie Bird Choreographic Award from the Laban Center, her commissioned work toured Europe, the United States, and Asia. In 1994, she was in residence at The Place in London and her solo, Now. In Blue, commissioned by the Canada Dance Festival and the CanDance Network, went on to a successful Canadian tour. Yvonne was a company member of Le Groupe Dance Lab from 1988 to 1994 where she worked with artists such as Paul-André Fortier, Sylvain Émard, Louis Bédard, Russel Maliphant, Wayne McGregor, Harold Rhéaume, Noam Gagnon, Claudia Moore, Carol Anderson, and Tedd Robinson while also creating numerous works on the company. She was Lab artistic associate from 2003 to 2006.
She has been on faculty of The School of Dance since 2000, a sessional instructor at the University of Calgary, and guest artist at Grant MacEwan College in Edmonton, Contemporary Dancers in Winnipeg, and LADMMI (former) in Montreal.
Yvonne was the 2015 recipient of the Ottawa Arts Council Mid-Career Artist Award. She has been nominated for the K.M. Hunter Artists Award three times, and was nominated for the inaugural Eldred Family Dance Award in 2021 through the Ontario Arts Foundation.
Yvonne became artistic director of Ottawa Dance Directive in 2010 and has choreographed ten works for Compagnie ODD which have been featured in national festivals.
Raphael Weinroth-Browne (Cellist and Composer)
Internationally renowned Canadian cellist and composer Raphael Weinroth- Browne has been celebrated for his emotive and virtuosic playing both on stage and in the studio.
Combining his classical training with a passion for progressive metal and Middle Eastern music, he has defied traditional notions of how the cello should sound and developed a unique artistic voice that has consistently resonated with listeners on a deep emotional level.
Throughout the last decade he has explored new and unconventional approaches to cello playing in his groundbreaking groups The Visit, Kamancello, and Musk Ox, releasing many acclaimed albums and performing at esteemed festivals across Canada and Europe.
In 2016, Raphael was recruited by Norwegian progressive rock icons Leprous. His cello has since been featured prominently on their latest three albums and he has played over 200 shows with them in Europe, North America, and the Middle East. Most recently he performed with the band at London’s legendary Royal Albert Hall and appeared on opening slots for rock heavyweights Evanescence, Devin Townsend, and Apocalyptica.
As a session musician, Raphael has appeared on over 150 studio albums, including the Juno Award-winning Woods 5: Grey Skies & Electric Light (Woods of Ypres). He has also captured the attention of prominent prog and metal artists such as Opeth and Steven Wilson with his innovative cello covers of their songs in his own unique style.
Raphael’s debut solo album, Worlds Within, was released in 2020 to critical acclaim. A haunting 40-minute piece for amplified cello based around cyclical looped patterns and lush reverb-laden soundscapes, the album weaves together elements of ambient music, post rock, modern classical, and progressive metal, standing confidently alongside the work of similar artists such as Sarah Neufeld, Jessica Moss, Zoë Keating, and Jo Quail.
In response to the coronavirus pandemic, Raphael released Worlds Within Live in 2021, a live rendition of the 2020 studio album, which led to performances of the material in Lisbon, Portugal and an ongoing collaboration with Ottawa Dance Directive.
Amanda Bon (Dancer)
Amanda Bon is a contemporary dance artist based in Ottawa. A graduate of the professional contemporary dance training program at The School of Dance, Amanda has worked as an interpreter for numerous established and emerging choreographers in the region over the last 10+ years, and is currently a company dancer with Compagnie ODD (Ottawa Dance Directive) under artistic director Yvonne Coutts. She continually seeks to hone her craft through professional development opportunities in both Canada and the U.S., and remains active in her local dance community through freelance teaching, rehearsal direction, and artistic collaboration. Amanda is also a singer/songwriter and recording artist, she holds an MBA from McGill University, and offers private Pilates-based movement instruction out of her home studio.
Jacqueline Ethier (Dancer)
Sudbury native Jacqueline Ethier is a dance artist, teacher, mother and business woman. After graduating from the Contemporary Dance Programme at The School of Dance in 1999, she worked extensively with Tara Luz Danse (Anik Brouvrette) from 1999-2011 and with DORSALE danse (Sylvie Desrosiers) from 1999-2019. She’s currently a company member with Compagnie odd (Yvonne Coutts) and a collaborator with Take Up Space (Elizabeth Emond-Stevenson). With funding from the Canada Council for the Arts and the Ontario Arts Council Jacqueline commissioned new works by Peggy Baker, a solo in 2008 and a duet with Sarah Hopkin created in 2019. Jacqueline founded Pilates Space in 2002 and has been a leader in the Health and Wellness community for two decades, touching the lives of many through her compassionate teaching style. Jacqueline believes in the power of movement education to change and enrich lives.
Alya Graham (Dancer)
During her studies at The School of Dance, Yukon born Alya Graham participated in choreographic processes with Tedd Robinson, Yvonne Coutts, Mélanie Demers, Sylvie Desrosiers, Serge Bennathan, Dana Gingras, and Sarah Williams. Since her 2014 graduation, Alya has had the pleasure of working with choreographers Caroline Barrière, Jocelyn Todd, Marissa Wong, Amelia Griffin, Meagan O’Shea (Stand Up Dance), Charles Cardin Bourbeau, Cathy Kyle-Fenton, Sylvie Desrosiers (Dorsale Danse), Allison Burns, Geneviève Duong, and Ludmylla Reis. She is currently a company member at Ottawa Dance Directives under the direction of Yvonne Coutts.
Alya began choreographing in 2015 alongside Annabel Boissonneault ('De notre petit squelette', 2015) and Jessie Lhôte (Aquincum, 2016). Her more recent work includes a solo study (Statufié, 2018), and a visual art and dance collaboration (Dénudement, 2019).
Sarah Hopkin (Dancer)
Sarah Hopkin is a freelance dance artist from Nova Scotia. Since moving home to the Maritimes in 2021, Sarah has danced for Votive Dance, Mocean Dance, and Nostos Collectives, as well as traveling back to Ottawa to continue dancing for the Ottawa Dance Directive. During her time living in Ottawa, Sarah danced for the Ottawa Dance Directive, TAKE UP SPACE, and for choreographers Peggy Baker, Allison Burns, Cathy Kyle Fenton, Nicola Fridgen, Jordan Samonas, and Jocelyn Todd. Before moving to Ottawa, Sarah completed her BFA in performance dance at Toronto Metropolitan University (formerly Ryerson University), danced as a Junior Company Member with Toronto Dance Theatre (2015-2016), and worked as a demonstrator for Peggy Baker at Canada’s National Ballet School. This demonstrating work inspired her to begin her own teaching practice. Sarah taught contemporary dance at The School of Dance in Ottawa for five years, and now teaches at Halifax Dance and the Maritime Conservatory for Performing Arts. Sarah has choreographed and performed in the Ottawa International Chamber Music Festival and in Ottawa’s Dark Horse Dance Projects 2017. In 2016 she was commissioned by composer Julia Mermelstein to choreograph a solo with the support of the Toronto Arts Council. In 2020 Sarah received a research and creation grant from the City of Ottawa to create a piece virtually with composer Pierre-Luc Clément during the pandemic. Sarah has received scholarships from the Nova Scotia Talent Trust over the years and is grateful for their support.
Gabriel Cropley (Lighting Designer)
Gabriel Cropley is a Toronto based lighting designer and three-time Dora Mavor Moore award nominee. Recent credits include Magic of Assembly for Toronto Dance Theatre, Disobedience for UofT Opera, Sankhya for Sampradaya Dance Creations, Nuit Blanche 2022 for the City of Toronto, Cacao: A Venezuelan Lament by Victoria Mata Productions with Aluna Theatre, and since then choreographed by Peggy Baker for Ottawa Dance Directive.
Gabriel has had the privilege of collaborating with BoucharDanse, pounds per square inch performance, Alias Dance Projects, Ballet Creole, Coal Mine Theatre, Bicycle Opera, CanAsian Dance, dreamwalker dance, Dancemakers, Humber Theatre, Avinoam Silverman Dance, Little Pear Garden Dance Company, Toronto Heritage Dance, Capitol Theatre Port Hope, Festival of the Sound, Newton Moraes Dance Theatre, York Dance Ensemble, TOES for Dance, Danny Grossman, Sook-Yin Lee & Jennifer Goodwin, Theatre Gargantua, Peggy Baker Dance Projects, Hamilton Children’s Choir, Tracey Norman, Forcier StageWorks, Soulpepper Global Cabaret, Ritmo Flamenco, JDdance, Art of Time Ensemble, and the School of Toronto Dance Theatre.