Susan Kendal has been creating and producing contemporary dance Pocket Alchemy since 2002. Metaphoric and abstracted story telling is what particularly inspired her. She is involved in many aspects of the art form from performing, choreographing and teaching to writing about and producing contemporary dance. She develops her choreography through a “sourdough” process of stories informing movement, movement inspiring more refinement of a subject or tale and so on.
Susan’s dances have been co-produced by the Toronto Fringe Festival and DanceWorks in Toronto and have been presented across Canada at festivals such as Artrageous in Whistler, fFIDA, Small Potatoes, Series 8:08 and Dance2Danse in Toronto, and the Atlantic Fringe Festival in Halifax. As a costume designer and writer, elements of text both written, spoken and designed have made their way into a number of Pocket Alchemy works and Susan often includes the creation of her costumes into her creative process.
At the centre of myself, I’m a dancer. Inspired by the collision of words and movement, my dance works often include the integration of text, audibly or on the sets and costumes. I participate in contemporary dance widely and deeply. It is an art form that expresses the deepest, darkest, brightest, most complicated feelings and stories of ourselves. – Susan Kendal
Currently in creation is a work called Cumulonimbus and the Fable Keepers for the Simcoe Contemporary Dancers in Barrie, Ontario.
Cumulonimbus and The Fable Keepers
Choreography, costumes and sets by Susan Kendal, Cumulonimbus and The Fable Keepers is an in-progress work commissioned by the Simcoe Contemporary Dancers. It is slated for premiere in Fall 2015. You can watch the progress on Tumblr. A small section will be performed at 60×60 in Toronto on October 16th, 2014.
Choreography by Susan Kendal, danced by Krista Posyniak, costumed by Susan Kendal, poetry by Lindsay Zier-Vogel. Premiered in July 2011 as part of the show Scienceography: Dances of Physiology, Entomology and Psychology. Produced in the Toronto Fringe Festival with choreography by Brittan Duggan, Susan Kendal and Krista PosyniakP
Organ Stories features large, knitted exo-organs worn on the dancer’s clothes and offers both factual and poetic information about the lungs, uterus, heart and brain. The choreography muses on the mechanics and emotional connotations of each organ – a whimsical lecture-demo through dance.
Choreography by Brittany Duggan and Susan Kendal, danced by Brittany Duggan, costumed by Susan Kendal. Premiered in August 2010 as part of the Dance2Danse Festival in Toronto.
Mountain Girl is a solo that explores our human geography; how a landscape affects the development of our physical and emotional selves and influences our relationships with space and place.
Choreography by Susan Kendal, danced by Jennifer Dallas and Lucy Rupert, Soundscore by John MacLean, live music by Michael-Owen Liston, stories from Judy Griffiths and Elaine Mann Kendal. Premiered in April 2008 as part of the DanceWorks CoWorks 2007/08 Season show Ava/Chroma featuring choreography by Kyle Abraham, Susan Kendal and Lucy Rupert. Co-produced with Blue Ceiling dance and Pocket Alchemy.
A|Chromatic is a work that explores colour blindness, specifically the absence of colour in one’s life or vision. Congenital achromatopsia (meaning without colour vision) is a rare hereditary vision disorder that affects approximately 1 person in 33,000 in North America. My mom and aunt both have achromatic vision. Having grown up with these two very perceptive women while seeing with “normal” colour (chromatic) vision myself, I had long been curious about the experience of colour; how it is perceived, used and remembered.
Continued Tales of a Weathervane
Choreography by Susan Kendal, danced by Jennifer Bolt, Jennifer Dallas, Lisa Emmons and Susan Kendal. Poetic Narrator Lindsay Zier-Vogel. Costumed by Susan Kendal. Premiered in February 2006 as part of the show The Speed of Our Vertigoes produced by Blue Ceiling Dance.
Continued Tales of a Weathervane is a whimsical dance that supposes the various things a weathervane might see and feel through it’s long, spinning, watching, witnessing existence.