MEET THE OW ARTIST: LARA ABADIR
Don’t miss OW, MascallDance’s latest production, premiering at 1130 Jervis in Dancing On the Edge Thirtieth Anniversary Season, this July, 2018. Check here for dates, times and tickets.
Behind the still and moving images of OW we are privileged to work with Chris Randle, Michael Slobodian, Lara Abadir and Sam Kim. Frequent MascallDance collaborator Lara Abadir is responsible for videos that reveal the emerging character of the work.
Meet dancer/videographer Lara Abadir:
Lara Abadir (Antwerp, Belgium) began her artistic career with a degree in Filmmaking (BFA, England) and Dance Theatre (SEEDS – CobosMika Co., Spain). During 2 academic years, Lara was the principal Movement for Actors instructor at Artactors Queralt while continuing her advanced training in contemporary dance and movement theatre in Barcelona, Spain. She arrived in Vancouver in 2012 to further explore the intersection between contemporary performance, video art and sound design through the interdisciplinary MFA program at SFU (2015). Lara has created and staged several hybrid performance works, both abroad and in Vancouver.
People call her choreography cinematic and her videos dance-like. She has a visual relationship to subjects and motion, and came to Canada to pursue a MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts, about which the university commissioned her to make this promotional video. She emerged a hybrid artist .
For Lara Abadir, moving between in front and behind the camera has always been as natural as breathing. Cinephile from a young age, she has a way of viewing movement that aligns between movement and camera.
Her broad education in filmmaking gave her experience in many aspects of the work, but it was her eye and intuitive framing that led to a special reputation for shooting handheld. The ex-gymnast – trained in physical theatre, improvisation and dance – found herself in demand because of her physicality.
“In those days the shooting was in 16mm,” explains Lara. “It only allowed for one or two takes, because it was so expensive. I’d always get asked on those projects. People watching would say that I’d always get my body close, into the negative space between me and the subject , then be inventive there.” Her body found possibilities rapidly. Her choices were immediate, unobtrusive, instinctive and frequently surprising.
Lara joined forces with Jennifer Mascall to make Wally in 2017, which premiered as an official selection of the Dance: Made In Canada Festival 2017. The material, performed by dance Walter Kubanek with a sound score by Stefan Smulovitz, derived from OW research. “It was a real exploration of the body in response to the voice and vice versa. Our process of shooting was complex and intuitive – both in our own disciplines. ”
“Jennifer had a lot of clarity about what we were doing and she directed highly structured and clear improvisation. She works as a catalyst, often bringing ideas to the process that weren’t possible but led to new ideas camera-wise. There was an exchange. “
“She was choreographing the camera – not the vision of the frame, but the feeling of it. – Jennifer does this thing I’ve seen Rob Kitsos also do. She’ll holds her hands like she’s looking thru a lense, and give them to me to look through. It’d initially drive me crazy. I mean, that’s a body, not a camera and it’s really not the same. But I loved that – I’d look through her hands and actually understand what she was trying to say, and then find a way to translate that into the camera’s language.”
Lara joined Luciana Freire D’Anunciação and Stefan Smulovitz in a BLOOM residency this spring resulting in a comedic work-in-progress. She says that it was useful to be challenged by issues of collaboration, and says “I learned a lot from working in the round. It changes everything to view from all parts of the circle – especially coming from my life behind the camera I was surprised and happy with the feedback, and will definitely do this again. It was very funny and fleeting, an exciting experience that pushes you.”
Next up for Lara: She has co-created, directed and provided the videoscape for In the Crack of Space, a one woman show now in rehearsal for its Toronto tour. Enjoy more of Lara’s output here.