Former hockey player becomes Winnipeg’s Contemporary Dancers’ Artist-in-Residence
Winnipeg Contemporary Dancers newest Artist-in-Residence has taken an interesting life path en route to becoming the choreographer for WCD’s season finale, Beyond (debuting May 3-5 at Rachel Browne Theatre).
Until he was 21-years-old, Jason Martin had a career playing minor hockey, including time with the Canadian Junior Hockey League (CJHL)’s Cornwall Colts and Cumberland Grads. However, breaking his collarbone three times was enough to convince the young Montreal hockey player to consider a new career.
“When I left junior hockey in Ontario, I had had lots of injuries in the final two to three years,” said Martin.
He first got the idea to pursue dance while studying at CEJEP de Montmorency, one of Quebec’s pre-university colleges near Montreal. While heading to class, Martin said he “would go by the dance classes every day,” eventually deciding to enroll at École de danse contemporaine de Montréal (EDCM).
Now 30-years-old, Martin’s hockey history led him to consider an unorthodox approach to creating his new dance work, Beyond, at WCD’s Exchange District studios.
As Artist-in-Residence, Martin has eight weeks to create Beyond – and will be holding open rehearsals every Friday afternoon from 3:30 to 5:00 p.m. until April 27, 2018.
The public rehearsals are an unusual move, but something Martin feels will create a connection with the audience, much like a hockey teams does. “I’m a Habs fan, and we follow their process throughout the season. In the end, if the Habs win – we win. If they lose – we lose.”
Martin says allowing the public to see his dance piece develop will hopefully have similar results. “Because you have that involvement throughout the process, you can let yourself fully live the piece when it’s showtime…Just involving the public throughout the process, it makes them think and feel they’re part of the creation, part of the process, maybe that they even own the piece as much as the creators and the dancers. It is always about putting the human relationship first.”
Seven dancers will help Martin interpret the dance work of Beyond: Jasmine Allard, Rachelle Bourget, Brianna Ray Ferguson, Alexandra Winters, Allison Brooks (apprentice), and Montreal dancers Charles Cardin-Bourbeau and Charlie Prince.
Showtime is 8 p.m. each night. Tickets to Beyond are $20 student/senior and $29 adult. Buy online at https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/3116535 or call the WCD Box Office at 204-452-0229.
All WCD performances happen at the Rachel Browne Theatre, 2nd Floor, 211 Bannatyne Avenue, Winnipeg