Break-dancing, contact improv, and acrobatics all rolled into one…
Choreographer Emily Spearing’s 2017 London Fringe show is a double feature of sorts. Both acts present highly athletic and physically challenging works. I interviewed Emily to learn all what I could about this exciting new dance piece.
What is your show about?
Doublespeak is a contemporary dance show presented by Low Five Dance, featuring two different works. Low Five Dance is a contemporary dance company heavily influenced by break-dancing, acrobatics and contact improvisation.
The first piece entitled “An Absolute Condition” explores what it means to be “unique” in today’s society. It portrays the mask that we wear when we present ourselves to others, and our true selves when that mask finally comes off.
The second piece entitled “The Boy’s Section” features an all female cast that looks at breaking down the social constructs of masculinity vs. femininity and redefining what it means to “feel like” a woman.
What drew you to the London Fringe Festival?
I left London to further my dance education at the post-secondary level with The School of Toronto Dance Theatre. Upon graduating I returned to London to teach at my childhood studio. The amount of talent my students here possess is extraordinary. London Fringe gave me the opportunity to showcase some of this exceptional talent outside of their regular competition training, and give them a taste of what professional dancing is truly like. There has been a shortage of contemporary dance shows here in the city, and I would love to give London Theatre goers a true look at this wonderful art.
What should audience members expect to take away from your show?
Audience members should expect to be awed by the pure physicality and athleticism shown by the dancers. Their ability to tell a story with their bodies is uncanny, and they will truly impress you with their heart and dedication. You should expect to find a new, or different appreciation, for this type of contemporary dance, that is both exciting and accessible.
Why did you choose this subject to explore?
I chose to explore the subject matter inside of “An Absolute Condition” because I have continually struggled with how I “fit in” and how I can create my own path in a society that is constantly sending the message to blend in and fight all this is different. This self-exploration led to exploring the idea of how we present ourselves to others vs. how we truly feel and identify. This topic is so relevant in society today with all the different streams of social media and constant public scrutiny. The piece as a whole has become a statement on how difficult it is to be your true self, while having to mask and present only your BEST self to the world through Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, etc.
I chose to explore the ideas in “The Boy’s Section” because as a woman I never felt connected to the ideals of femininity. I always placed strength and persistence above grace and affection. As a dancer, I almost always get cast in the “male” role when remounting pieces. The dance community does not have nearly as many male dancers and many male roles fall on other women, which I love. I love dancing with strength and power, lifting other dancers and pushing my body to its limits. I guess this piece streams from my love of dancing male roles and my wish for the dance community to be rid of gender roles and have males dance traditionally female roles and females dance traditionally male roles.
When and where is your show going on?
The Palace Theatre
710 Dundas St
Wednesday May 31 – 5:00pm
Thursday June 1 – 8:30pm
Sunday June 4 – 3:00pm
Tuesday June 6 – 8:30pm
Wednesday June 7 – 5:15pm
Friday June 9 – 8:30pm
What would you do for a Klondike bar?
I mean Klondike bars are alright, if someone handed me one I would eat it but probably wouldn’t do much for one.
What was your last Tweet?
My last tweet was in 2014; it’s all about instagram these days.
Take us through your morning routine in as much detail as possible.
Snooze, Snooze, Snooze, Snooze, Snooze, OH NO I HAVE TO LEAVE FOR REHEARSAL IN TEN MINUTES, pull on whatever clothes don’t smell horrible, throw my hair in a ponytail, brush my teeth and then make a smoothie real quick to drink on my way.
Do you think that the postmodern condition of cynicism towards metanarratives is itself a metanarrative?
Whether or not I believe that we have created a new metanarrative is irrelevant. The fact that as a society we are now bringing the smaller, local narratives to light is a success that we should all embrace. We should celebrate our individuality yet embrace everyone’s differences as we come together as a community.
What Fringe shows are you excited for this year?
I am most excited for Breath in Mvmt.’s show “Conversations Never Had.” I am excited to support and learn from other dancers in our community. It is a privilege to contribute to this year’s Fringe Festival and I wish all of the amazing artists great success.
Want to know more about this little gem? Check out the site right here. And while you’re perusing, don’t miss Fuse’s Fringe coverage featuring interviews with different participating artists during every day of the festival!
Feature photo by Mike Spowart