Land Bridge

LAND BRIDGE investigates heritage, assimilation and identity to reveal how the willing erasure of the self may serve as a means of renewal and redirection. Examined abstractly through the lens of caribou, the iconic and threatened species from Simoneau’s native Canada, this most powerful member of the deer family serves as a trail guide for the work. As a Québécoise living and working in the United States, the daughter of an Anglophone mother and Francophone father, Simoneau draws upon the duality of living between two languages to explore both immigrating and migrating forms. What is the impact of arriving and of departing? “Land Bridge” considers the patterns and tendencies implicit in both human and animal behavior. This work marks Helen Simoneau Danse’s first evening length piece and first collaboration with highly acclaimed composer and flutist Nathalie Joachim, who shares with Simoneau the experience of navigating acclimation. Drawing from a lifetime of embracing both her Haitian and American heritage, and the often delicate balance of such a duality, Joachim created an electroacoustic score that captures an intrinsic human quality paired with unapologetically synthetic sound. Her use of the human voice in song, breath and articulation throughout the score is representative of the importance of language and/or the lack thereof as it relates to cultural identity. The cyclical and recurrent nature of the electronics reflect engrained processes that carry through generations, both human and animal, despite their evolution. The score is a testament to standing softly yet with conviction in all that you are through the varying stages of life.

Triad City Beat/Joanna Rutter
“The metaphor of migration and identity is very clear in certain parts of Land Bridge — in one memorable section, two male dancers rush at each other, colliding into the other’s shoulder and precariously balancing their weight while slowly rotating — and other sections transcend metaphor, playing with the energies of momentum and falling to communicate ideas as perhaps only dance can.”(2016)

The Winston-Salem Journal/Lynn Felder
“The music, movement and skillful dancers blend seamlessly in an extraordinary evening of performance — eloquent, primal, memorable.”(2016)

Program Credits:
6-8 dancers
70 minutes
Performance by Hannah Darrah, Kayla Farrish, David Ferguson, Ariel Freedman, Jasmine Hearn, Burr Johnson, Catherine Kirk, and Nik Owens
Music: Nathalie Joachim
Lighting Design: Carrie Wood
Costume Design: Reid Bartelme and Harriet Jung
Dramaturgy: Steven Cook