« Maybe creation is about accepting that,
with every millisecond, we can endlessly re-create ourselves,
so as to better come to terms with the world in which we exist. »
- Rhodnie Désir
© Kevin Calixte
« Rhodnie Désir you are a fascinating artist. [...] We truly understand why you are a reference. »
- PÉNÉLOPE MCQUADE, ICI PREMIÈRE (RADIO-CANADA)
RHODNIE DÉSIR CREATIONS (RDC) produces and presents creative projects by artistic director and choreographer Rhodnie Désir. Simultaneously authentic and contemporary, the Montreal-based organization operates internationally using an innovative artistic approach that questions socio political trends, explores movement, defies the imagination, engages citizens, transmits knowledge while archiving the memory of its people. Rhodnie’s choreographic-documentary work is quite unique and unlike anything seen before.
Each of its works aspires to be a voice for the voiceless and to engage directly with the communities from which it draws its inspiration. Whether through presentations, grassroots-level cultural mediation or choreographic works, RD Creations acts as a social archive, leaving a legacy of cultural wealth. It believes in the potential of combining multiple media in the same choreographic work, allowing it to evolve according to the social realities and cultures it encounters.
Deeply rooted in ancestral cultures, RD Creations is committed to respecting cultures by fostering genuine collaborations and prioritizing listening, discussion and interaction. These collaborations take place in and across political, media, government, social and community spheres, leading to valuable partnerships for example with 40 partners, 120 specialists and 10 musicians for the BOW’T TRAIL project.
In 2015, Rhodnie Désir was the only North American dance artist to be invited as an expert panelist at the seminar « Artists and the Memory of Slavery: Resistance, creative freedom and legacies » (UNESCO/2015), at the Americas Cultural Summit (2018) and to the Francophone Cultural Programming of the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games (Brazil).
CHOREOGRAPHY, ARTISTIC DIRECTION & VOCAL COMPOSITIONS Rhodnie Désir
DANCER Rhodnie Désir
MUSICIANS Engone Endong + Jahsun
LIGHTING AND INNOVATION DESIGN
Juliette Dumaine + Jonathan Barro (1st phase of the creation)
VIDEO DESIGN Manuel Chantre
COSTUME DESIGN Mélanie Fererro
BEATMAKER & MUSIC COMPOSITION Engone Endong
PRODUCTION AND TECHNICAL DIRECTION Rasmus Sylvest
SENIOR CONSULTANT Philip Szporer
REHEARSAL DIRECTOR Isabelle Poirier
DURATION : 75 minutes (including the audience entry)
CREW : 1 dancer + 2 musicians + 2 technicians + 1 production director + 1 administrator
SET-UP : A day prior to the show
STAGE DIMENSIONS : Width 28' / Depth 28' / Height16.4'
(8.5m x 8.5m x 5m)
AUDIENCE SIZE : Small and medium size venues
OUTREACH : Conference and tailored workshops
RHYTHMS, DANCE AND RESISTANCE :
AN ACT OF MEMORY
BOW’T TRAIL Retrospek is a work on courage and memory for four physical bodies : one female dancer, two musicians, and one immersive display of digital projections. Rhodnie Désir used BOW’T, a piece she created in Montréal in 2013, as the starting point for this piece. It is the fruit of a year long research process and joint efforts spanning the four corners of the continent.
The choreographer, driven by a desire and a need to transcend her origins, drew from the jungo (Brazil), danmyé (Martinique), Vodun dance (Haiti), son jarocho (Mexico), blues (New Orleans), and gospel paired with Mi’kmaq rhythms (Canada) to immerse herself in the African cultures and rhythms brought to the Americas by enslaved Africans.
Her IMPULSE : to rise up, in an innovative and authentic way, against one of the greatest crimes in human history, the slave trade.
Her QUEST : to tell the story of resistance movements with humility, humanity and thus pay tribute to the expression of her ancestors’ creative genius.
Her PROCESS : BOW’T TRAIL, a ground-breaking international and interactive documentary and choreography project, that bears the UNESCO Slave Route label.
Over the past five years (2015-2019), she recreated the original work, gradually lending it the multiple rhythmic voices – danced, sung and drummed – specific to each of the six countries she visited.
Rhodnie Désir takes the stage to present the 8th and final iteration of the work BOW’T. The performance will feature video projections illustrating her approach with the bearers of memory who inspired her, while connecting the audience with the subject matter and immersing it in multidimensional visual and sound textures.
Coproduced by RD Creations and the National Arts Center (Ottawa)
« This light imprinted masterpiece offers you access to my thoughts, to what I had to go through emotionally and mentally. It addresses matters of history, but mostly of the body within our colonial system. Amongst past and present : this work is political, just like my
own body can be ! »
– Rhodnie Désir
WHERE TO SEE RHODNIE NEXT
Since COVID-19 has affected the entire 20-21 season – Dates will be announced shortly after the cultural field returns to normal.
Meanwhile, follow Rhodnie's Facebook Page for the latest developments.