This work is an extension of spontaneous dances, an ongoing practice Reinhart and Snelling began in 2015. Often while travelling together spontaneous dances would occur and Michael would photograph them. These dances happened in cities, parks, deserted yards, alleys and buildings, on ocean fronts and in numerous outdoor environments. Photographic documentation of these spontaneous dances were posted on social media. far off & personal is a new take on this format. A specific site was chosen by Michael, Lin danced and this time Michael videoed. While working together on Notebook Dances, letters and notes written to each other were rediscovered, as much of their 39 years together has been spent apart due to travel, work, convalescence and the necessary distance both needed as individual artists. As a result of the pandemic they have uncharacteristically spent a long period of time together. The spoken word heard during this video is from notes and poems written to each other when they first met in the early 80’s. The music was composed as a score for the completed video and is comprised of acoustic and prepared guitar as well as spoken word.
L I N S N E L L I N G • biography
Lin Snelling’s performance, writing and teaching is based in the qualities improvisation can offer as it applies to dance, theatre, visual art and somatic practice. She toured the world extensively as a performer with Carbone 14 and worked with many improvisation ensembles. As Full Professor at the University of Alberta she is presently teaching dance, experiential anatomy and composition and is Coordinator of the MFA in Theatre Practice program. She received a McCalla Professorship in 2019 from the University of Alberta for a new collective creation, A Sounding Line. She has created many performances with Michael Reinhart, most recently, Notebook Dances, a 7-minute daily ritual, during the first 3 months of lockdown; dances improvised from individual notebooks randomly chosen each day on camera. Participants received individual invitations over social media to pick a number between 2-102 and they would receive a dance.
Her other recent dance collaborations are eva as part of StageLab, The Liminal with Brian Webb, anything goes: GWG Dance in 17 parts with Gerry Morita, and Versing with musician/composers Michael Reinhart, Jeremi Roy, David Ryshpan and lighting designer Yan Lee Chan. She works with Montreal choreographer Tedi Tafel and was part of Crying in Public, Life World, Calendar and Everyday. Her collaboration Performing Book with visual artist Shelagh Keeley happened at the Edmonton Art Gallery, MoMA, the Power Plant/Toronto, and the VAG/Vancouver. She continues with Rewriting Distance; a workshop and performance with the dance dramaturge Guy Cools. www.rewritingdistance.com
M I C H A E L R E I N H A R T • biography
Michael Reinhart, a graduate of The Ontario College of Art, 1976, has a wide & varied experience in the worlds of both visual art & music, having exhibited his paintings, drawings, prints & photographs in Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, New York & Lyons, France. Hundreds of his illustrative & photographic images have been published nationally & internationally in books, magazines, newspapers & on television. With long-time collaborator Lin Snelling, he has designed stages, lighting, music & video installations for contemporary dance & multidisciplinary performances across Canada, notably ‘Woman As Landscape’ & ‘extinction’, produced by Carbone 14 at Usine C in Montréal, & more recently ‘Performing Book’, ‘versing’, ‘eva’ & ‘A Sounding Line’ in Edmonton . Since 1982, he has collaborated extensively with various musicians, dancers, poets, choreographers & directors in Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Edmonton & New York, primarily as a composer, but also as stage & lighting designer, videographer & photographer. Michael is a member of Atelier Circulaire in Montréal, recently returned to continue the creation of lithographic mono-prints dealing with concepts of information & language, also working recently at SNAP in Edmonton in the same creative vein.
Since 1999, he has released five albums among which are ‘Woman As Landscape’ (instrumental soundtrack for dance); ‘Quaraaluktuq’ (collaboration with nine Inuit singers); ‘Cyprus Songs’ (improvised instrumental guitar recorded live in Cyprus); & ‘lost&found’ & ‘eCHO’ (original song collections). He has composed several original music scores for contemporary dance, performance, theatre & film, notably ‘Before Tomorrow’ 2008, winner of ‘Best First Feature Film’ at TIFF. For about the last fifteen years, Michael has devoted most of his time to music, touring as a singer-songwriter & guitarist from Montréal across Canada several times, also performing in New York & the UK. He improvises periodically with the trio ‘Status Quoi’ with Jérémi Roy & David Ryshpan in concert & for dance performances, including ‘versing’, ‘eva’ & ‘A Sounding Line’.
His most recent musical collaboration was with Australian multi-instrumentalist Colin Offord, contributing on his new album ‘Time Distance Music’, released in November. New musical compositions will be part of ‘The Collective Body’ project in January 2021, in Kelowna BC. He continues to create drawings, watercolours & photographs as a regular practice when not composing instrumental guitar works. Michael has lived in Montréal for 30 years, as well as in Edmonton since 2008.
Nisha Patel is an award-winning queer poet & artist. She is the City of Edmonton’s Poet Laureate, and the 2019 Canadian Individual Slam Champion. She is a recipient of the Edmonton Artists’ Trust Fund Award. She is also the Executive Director of the Edmonton Poetry Festival. Her debut collection COCONUT is forthcoming with Newest Press in 2021.
Ru Manyonga is a singer-songwriter from Edmonton who looks for inspiration from every aspect of life to bring soulful tones to the stories of her own life and the ones of those around her. Ru’s music takes on inspiration from Indie, Neo-soul, Folk-Pop and R&B music to give her the sound that she has today. At the start of this year Ru stood out in CBCs searchlight competition and was recognized as one of 10 soulful female artists in Canada. To keep up to date with her next performances and new music you can find her on all social media platforms @rumanyonga!
*commissioned by New Music Edmonton
Dwennimmen aka Shima Robinson Amiskwaciwâskahikan (Edmonton – Treaty 6) born poet and spoken word artist Shima Robinson embodies, with every poem, the ancient meaning of her chosen pen name. Dwennimmen is the name of an ancient African Adinkra symbol, which means strength, humility, learning and wisdom. It is no surprise, then, that this veteran of the Alberta poetry community uses a searing intellect and dynamic precision-of-language to create poetry which ushers her readers and listeners toward greater understanding and poignant reflection.
Mustafa Rafiq is a sound artist based in Edmonton, Alberta. Their primary focus recently has been in exploring feelings connected with diaspora, gender expression and alienation. For this project, sound is pulled from bowed guitar, saxophone and voice improvisations recorded at home and sounds of endemic species & nature on the island of Jamaica. This opportunity to work with Dwennimmen finds Rafiq at the helm of production for the first time, providing a chance to flesh out the feedback heavy meditational spaces Rafiq craves to bask in.
Hunger, Prayer, Rot
*commissioned by New Music Edmonton
Brandon Wint is an Ontario born poet and spoken word artist who uses poetry to attend to the joy and devastation and inequity associated with this era of human and ecological history. Increasingly, his work on the page and in performance casts a tender but robust attention toward the movements and impacts of colonial, capitalist logic, and how they might be undone. In this way, Brandon Wint is devoted to a poetics of world making, world altering and world breaking.
For Brandon, the written and spoken word is a tool for examining and enacting his sense of justice, and imagining less violence futures for himself and the world he has inherited. For more than a decade, Brandon has been a sought-after, touring performer, and has presented his work in the United States, Australia, Lithuania, Latvia, and Jamaica. His poems and essays have been published in national anthologies, including The Great Black North: Contemporary African-Canadian Poetry (Frontenac House, 2013) and Black Writers Matter (University of Regina Press, 2019). Divine Animal is his debut book of poetry.
Adam Saikaley is a Canadian musician, born in Ottawa, Ontario. His musical practice involves improvisation, experimentation, and composition. He’s a pianist, guitarist, and harpist. He has used dvd players, no-input mixers, and speaker cones as instruments. He works in both acoustic and electronic music, solo and collaboratively. He received his B. Music in Piano Performance and Sonic Design from Carleton University.