Henderson/Castle: voyager

February 20-22 &
February 26-March 1, 8PM
February 23, 2PM pwyc

Winchester Street Theatre
80 Winchester Street
Adult: $26
Student/Senior/CADA: $20

Few Toronto-based dance artists are held in such high esteem or have such an international reach as the young choreographer Ame Henderson. Part poet, part scientist, she draws the audience into her fascinating work through her infectious spirit of inquiry. In this premiere for TDT, Henderson collaborates with acclaimed singer/songwriter Jennifer Castle and nine wonderful dancers to craft a work that explores continuous movement as a state of being, and the ways in which never stopping affects our bodies and our relationships.

Read an interview with Ame Henderson about the creation of voyager in the TDT winter newsletter.

Listen to music by Jennifer Castle on CBC Music

Download Henderson/Castle: voyager TOURING information 

Ame Henderson is known for her cross disciplinary work with Public Recordings, established in 2003, which explores and shares choreographic experimentation through artistic research and performance creation. In Henderson/Castle: voyager, Henderson proposes the question “What would happen if you never stopped moving?” The performance invites the audience to witness the unfolding of ongoing movement, and the transformation of the individuals on stage as they work.

Toronto-based singer/songwriter Jennifer Castle lends her unmistakable voice to the performance. Following the same principle of “never stopping” Castle provides the score for Henderson/Castle: voyager, a song partly composed and partly improvised, live for the duration of each performance.

Other collaborators on Henderson/Castle: voyager include lighting designer Kimberly Purtell, set and costume designer Bojana Stancic, the critical eye of New York dance artist Jeanine Durning, and Montreal-based guest dancer Marie Claire Forté. The TDT company members in collaboration include: Alana Elmer, Mairi Greig, Christopher House, Yuichiro Inoue, Pulga Muchuchoma, Jarrett Siddall, Kaitlin Standeven, and Naishi Wang.


Nonconformist Experimentation

A choreographer and performer who grew up on Vancouver Island, Ame Henderson studied at Concordia University in Montreal before moving to Toronto in 2003 where she founded Public Recordings. Using research and spontaneous improvisation as her basic artistic tools, she pursues an interest in intimacy and the limits of the body in a process of co-creation, working with artists from various cultures and disciplines. Seeking a balance between conventional form and openness, and between the known and the unknown, she creates choreographic structures where performers are able to allow inherent movements to freely take shape in response to clear intentions. Her works are atypical, often presented in non-traditional spaces. They are characterized by the performers’ naturalistic style and their intense commitment to both the movement and the moment.

Far from offering facile, ready-made responses, in each of her pieces Ame Henderson engages the audience and the performers in a shared discovery of unknown territory, where each person is free to take whatever meaning is conveyed therein. In the concert piece /Dance/Songs/ (FTA, 2009), song was replaced by dance. Her interest in language is at the heart of Manual for Incidence (2005) and 300 TAPES (2010), where performers and spectators shared the same space and explored common linguistic conventions. In her more recent Relay (2010), Henderson used the body in a search for spontaneous unison, an approach further pursued with voice in What we are saying.

MEET JENNIFER CASTLE an interview from Toro Magazine, April 2011 by Jesse Skinner

A lack of musical infrastructure plagues Toronto. We exist without a defined sound, or scene, and most folk/roots artists struggle endlessly to write tunes removed from urban sprawl.

Few have done that as successfully as Jennifer Castle, whose newest album Castlemusic feels homeless in the best way possible. By abandoning folk music pretensions and cliches, while still sounding like a woman alone with a guitar, the album shows a wonderful range, moving between classical balladry (“Neverride”) to rustic laments (“You Don’t Have to Be”) and experimental hymns (“Misguided”). It’s a worldly collection of tunes.

We sat down with Castle to talk about her origins, motivations, and plans for a long career…

There’s a lot of nuance and detail in the recording, kind of rare for more traditional folk music.

I was up for the challenge of filling up space. And because I felt a lot of the lyrics were fairly sad, I didn’t want it to be a bummer. It’s like, while I’m saying this sad line, I’m also going to play this really delightful guitar lick. And it felt like those (oppositions) married themselves.

The songs seem to work together, thematically, as odes to domesticity, and learning to live with the people around you. Would you agree?

I think there’s a real over-imagining, like out of my own shoes. I do live a really domestic lifestyle, I have a small son, I am grounded that way. But I over-imagine things to keep my life and my environment big. The questions that can’t be answered keep me up at night.

That’s not such a bad thing. Lyricists can get away with being very obscure.

I’m into BS-ing. There’s lots of big things to think about. For years and years, I would bring my songs down to the lowest common denominator, like I don’t need this word here or there — the point can get across as minimally as possible. I think about what songs mean after they’ve been released. Then they can resonate in my life, eerily.

How does writing and playing music help you, in your life?

I find it really soothing to sing. And I think I write songs that I’ll want to hear, and those help me in particular situations. Like “Poor as Him”, which is really a rock song, is about my dad, and was written about a year before he died, which is crazy … listening to it now, I’m glad I had that song to sing. I had already written it.

 Read the complete article



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