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Rachel Facchini: from self to others: with Tavia Christina, Brianna Clarke

Rachel Facchini, Choreographer

Tavia Christina, Brianna Clarke, Interpreters


  • Make a duet inspired by solo material already created.

  • Create a dance that conveys themes of perception and mis-perceptions between people.

Beginning with:

  • 4 extended movement phrases


  • Explore extremes – how many times, for how long, with how much tension, speed, etc.

  • Work with qualities within the existing dance material itself rather than inventing new material.


  • To recognize the creation processes that they use and consciously use those processes as catalysts

  • To uncover/discover other ways to go about creation

  • To recognize and work with inherent qualities and range (force, distance, time) of a movement and/or section.


  • Re: goal to develop duet from solo

  • Dancers learn original material

  • Identify key ideas within the learned material

  • Imitate the solo with key ideas in mind

  • Re: goal to find material that conveys “misunderstanding” between the personas.

  • one dancer performs set choreography, one dancer improvises with score based on set choreography

  • one dancer performs set material with focus on internal impulses, one dancer performs set material with focus on dance’s architecture in the space.

  • sound recordings of instructions to imply unseen persona directing the duet improvisation

  • video recording of close-ups of dancers faces in slow time to presents sense of voyeurism


  • Dancers simultaneously perform within time/rhythms that are different from each other, suggests that the personas are existing in different worlds.

  • Moving from an unfinished section to work on another section is productive.


  • Ability to watch the dance objectively

  • Recognition of times when pure creation takes precedence and times when attention to detail of technical performance is necessary.

  • Ability to make directorial decisions and stick with them


  • Recognize the structures that come up within improvisations.

  • Establish recurrences as tools to use in the creation process and/or as conventions within the choreography. e.g. pedestrian walks between dance sections, e.g. certain statements only happen in certain places. e.g. dancers perform in different time frames.

  • See the dancers’ solutions AND the work as a whole (detail and big picture)

  • Look at the work as “viewer” not creator, in order to be constructive when back into creation

Questions from mentors:

What is the nature of the score? How open or specific are the directions?

What is the purpose of the improvisations- for performance with improvisation, or as a creation tool?

The intention can radically change how one proceeds in rehearsal.

Is the idea a single image? Does the idea need to be conveyed with a series of images and/or actions?

Is the idea an action idea or an emotional or political idea? other?

Discussion points:

  • A movement statement (phrase) is complete in itself. A section is when several statements share common features for an amount of time.

  • If a series of thoughts leads to a developed idea, do a series of movement statements lead to a developed section?

  • Initial inspirations/ideas are catalysts for work. As the piece is developed the originating ideas may still be present or the work may have moved in another direction. i.e. The creator may use the idea as a catalyst and later in the process look objectively as viewer to see what the final piece conveys.

General observations

  • A dance is a cumulative progression of action. Whatever follows what happened before is always a response to the previous actions. Even when the response is seemingly illogical, it is still a response.

To practice:

  • Watch dance videos.

  • Ask yourself “What did I feel from the dance?” “What did I feel about the dance?” “What did I actually see?”

  • Chart the dance in terms of different aspects that you decide are most relevant to that dance such as: use of the space, rhythm structures, recurring shapes, sections, statements within sections, focal points, what dancers are and are not sharing, and more...

What next:

  • Residency with New Blue in June 2019 to continue work on duet.

  • 1-year residency at Heliconian Club for research and creation 2019-20

  • Toronto International Dance Festival (Scarborough) new creation Oct 2019

Key words:

  • Passion-Objectivity

  • Detail-Whole

  • Tools-Conventions-Inspiration

Rachel Facchini (2019)

From Mississauga, Ontario, co-founded emerging dance company, Near&Far Projects in 2016 with Tavia Christina. Rachel’s creation work has been produced by NFP, New Blue Festival 2017 & 2018, RT Collective’s Screen: Moves, Night Swim, Dancemakers’ Plug&Play, Lake Studios Berlin. She holds a BFA in Performance Dance, Ryerson University’s School of Performance. Training intensives include: Adelheid’s winter workshop 2017 & 2018), Toronto Dance Theatre, Toes for Dance’s IGNITE and Peggy Baker Dance Projects. Gaga, Margie Gillis, Les Ballets Jazz Montreal. As an emerging dance artist, Rachel is eager to develop new perspectives in dance, learn different ways of creating and develop new methods of approaching choreography. She is a creative problem-solver and contributes to collaboration with optimistic, generous and supportive energy. >

Tavia Christina (2019)

Is a multidisciplinary (Métis) artist residing in Toronto (Tkarón:to), Canada. Investing in the arts at a young age, she attended the regional arts program at Cawthra Park Secondary School for Dance. Tavia is currently attending Ryerson University working towards her BFA in Performance Dance. She has had the opportunity to study abroad for a semester in Israel at the Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company, where she performed repertoires of Rami Be’er, The Cullberg Ballet and a new creation by Ilya Nikurov. Tavia has furthered her training at a variety of summer programs including; Batsheva Dance Company Summer Intensive, Alias Dance Project Intensive, Ignite Summer Intensive and Kenny Pearl’s Emerging Artist Intensive.>

Brianna Clarke (2019)

Is thrilled to be joining Near&Far Projects as a company artist. Currently, she is in her third year at Ryerson University Performance Dance BFA program and teaches regularly at Elite Danceworx. Her early training includes 8 years of competitive dance at Leeming Danceworks, where she worked with established choreographers such as Linda Garneau, Matt Luck, Hani Abaza, David Norsworthy, Kristen Carcone. Most notably, she has presented works by Emma Portner, Hanna Kiel, and Irena Ponizova. Brianna has spent many summers participating in intensives including The School of Alberta Ballet, Arts Umbrella, Rutherford Movement Exchange, Ignite, and Fresh. In January, she attended the Gaga intensive in New York City with Ohad Naharin. Brianna continues to strive for a balance of technique and artistry in her dancing.

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