In order to give a little sneak peek into some of these folks upcoming work, we’ll be posting a series of artist interviews leading up to the event. Let’s kick it off with the lovely Anna Kraulis!
I’m a choreographer, having received my training in contemporary dance, but am equally connected to the world of environmental advocacy and nature-based education. I am very interested in the dynamic between these two worlds, and how they can feed each other. I am fortunate to collaborate with some amazing human beings, most recently filmmaker/media artist Leslie Kennah and environmental activist Hannah Carpendale. As a trio we have created and presented work at the Dance Centre’s DanceLab residency, Vancouver Society of Storytelling’s Creek Forum, Planet in Focus Film Festival in Toronto, and BC Buds Festival in Vancouver. I also work frequently in the fields of community-engaged dance and art for social change. I am finishing my degree in Environmental Studies at Langara college, and developing experiential outdoor education projects with some local enviro groups.
What is the piece you're contributing to New Narratives? What has the creation process been like so far?
Well, I feel excited and fortunate to be presenting two collaborative works at this event!
One is a new work with media artist Leslie Kennah and dancers Jen Aoki, Angelina Krahn and Charlotte Priest. We are particularly interested in “rewilding”- something that has received much attention as of late- “to give nature fuller expression in a world in which it is muted” (James Mackinnon). We are researching into questions such as- how can we, as humans, renew meaningful relationships with the more-than-human world? How can non-human species be co-creators in the design and execution of this work? The second work is a short film called Verge: Dancing a Scarred and Sacred Landscape, which was shot on location on Vancouver Island, in tandem with the work of Ancient Forest Alliance. It is also a collaboration with Leslie and Hannah, along with dancers Jen Aoki, Jen Dunford, Angelina Krahn, Rianne Svelnis and composer Oliver Nickels. We are very thrilled to be presenting it in an outdoor context for New Narratives, which will be a first for this film.
I think that re-connecting with our own bodies- our alert, responsive selves- are fundamental to renewing our connection to the wild. In this way I feel that dance and environmentalism are in fact very related. If we can begin to think more with the whole of our bodies, and not only our brains, we might reconnect more deeply with other creatures and organisms we share this planet with. If we valued physical and emotional intelligence as well as intellectual intelligence, we might see ourselves as one part in a web of relationships, as opposed to the pinnacle of some sort of hierarchy…