« 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
© Vista Photo 2010
« When I was young I was never interested in history. I simply couldn’t make sense of it, and that personal failing, multiplied in a society, becomes an alienation for humanity. My lifeline was BOW’T and my sphere of activity the BOW’T TRAIL, for I grasped that by means of art and creativity we can connect with history and better understand it.»
– Rhodnie Désir
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 artistic approach that questions sociopolitical trends, explores movement, defies the imagination, engages citizens and transmits knowledge.
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 Canadian artist to be invited as an expert panelist at the seminar “Artists and the Memory of Slavery: Resistance, creative freedom and legacies” (UNESCO).
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)
DIGITAL DESIGN & PROGRAMMING Manuel Chantre
COSTUME DESIGN Mélanie Fererro
BEATMAKER & MUSIC COMPOSITION Engone Endong
MOBILE APP DESIGN Ingrid Ingrid
PRODUCTION AND TECHNICAL DIRECTION Rasmus Sylvest
DURATION : 75 minutes
CREW : 1 dancer + 2 musicians + 2 technicians + 1 production director + 1 administrator
SET-UP : A day prior to the show
STAGE DIMENSIONS : Width 28' / Height 28' / Depth 16.4' (8.5m x 8.5m x 5m)
OUTREACH : Coming up
AUDIENCE : Small and medium size venues
RHYTHMS AND RESISTANCES : AN ACT OF MEMORY IN HERITAGE
BOW’T TRAIL Retrospek is a two-part work 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 2013, as the point of departure for this piece, which was conceived in Montreal. 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 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 bear the UNESCO Slave Route label.
Over the past four years, 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 will take 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).
BOW'T TRAIL : a duty of memory
WHERE TO SEE RHODNIE NEXT
Espace Libre, Montréal
February 13th to 15th and 18th to 22nd, 2020