CHOREOGRAPHING ZOOM IN COVID:
A CURATED EXCHANGE WITH DRAMATURG LOIS BROWN AND CHOREOGRAPHER JACINTE ARMSTRONG
LOIS: WELCOME EVERYONE!
PIG 3 and 4 are both projects I worked on during COVID. And in both cases, I was struck by how choreographers Jacinte Armstrong (and Thea Patterson in PIG 3) grabbed on to intersectional temporality and flat framing to w/ring zoom into a lively, present performance space.
Jacinte Armstrong’s choreography draws on task-based performance, embodied dancer knowledge and frames. During COVID she recognized that her work Scores, developed as part of her Master's at NSCAD University, provided a set of strategies that could be used as an inquiry into social distance, using zoom. Zoom also separated the performers and audience into isolated frames. Drawing on these and other aspects of Zoom, Jacinte began a months’ long, new investigation of Scores with musician D'Arcy Gray, and dancers Julie Robert and Lauren Runions titled Scores for Social Distance.
Jacinte’s creation/investigation process involves inviting guests to witness and participate in her early performative iterations and to discuss value from the audience perspective. She invites practicing artist-colleagues, theorists and friends. During the performance Scores for Social Distance, guests were asked to turn their cameras on and off, to mute and unmute themselves, as well as to carry out some of the tasks and, of course, participate in the after-discussion. In the PIG 4 excerpt, visual artists Camille-Zoé Valcourt-Synnott and Louis-Charles Dionne join the investigation.
Jacinte talks about developing Scores for Social Distance from Scores, a work developed as part of her Master’s at NSCAD University.
Jacinte Armstrong (she/her) is an artist based in K’jipuktuk/Halifax, NS. Her work explores embodied practice through performance, choreography, collaboration, and curation, communicating the experience of the body in relation to objects, materials, and people. Receiving her early training at Halifax Dance, she went on to study at Dalhousie University and at the New World School of the Arts in Miami, FL, and received her MFA from NSCAD University in 2020. Jacinte is a co-founder and Artistic Director of SiNS (Sometimes in Nova Scotia) Dance and was Artistic Director of Kinetic Studio from 2014-18. She performs regularly with SiNS, Mocean Dance, independently, and in her own work. Her choreography ranges from intimate and imagistic to large-scale collaborations with architects, visual artists, radio producers, filmmakers, and musicians. She has worked with many choreographers and collaborators, including Cory Bowles, Sara Coffin, Susanne Chui, Veronique MacKenzie, Lisa Phinney Langley, Liliona Quarmyne, Tedd Robinson, Serge Bennathan, Danièle Desnoyers, Denise Fujiwara, Sarah Chase, Liz Kinoshita, Sarah Joy Stoker, Katie Ward, Secret Theatre, Alicia Grant, Camille-Zoé Valcourt-Synott, Louis-Charles Dionne, and more.
Her current and ongoing research is around scores for performance, exploring feminism and regionality through choreography and collaboration, and maintaining a sense of humour.