subject is too dark

Category: stage 97

Connection Dance Works enthusiastically announce the premiere of its newest piece:  subject is too dark, which will take place at the Imperial Theatre this Thursday, October 3, 2019.

A Connection Dance Works Media Release
Photo by Lorne Power

Connection Dance Works enthusiastically announce the premiere of its newest piece:  subject is too dark, which will take place at the Imperial Theatre this Thursday, October 3, 2019.

Choreographed and directed by Sarah Power, this work was produced in collaboration with costume and set designer Brenda McLeese, illustrator Jenny Godin, soundscape designers Andrew Reed Miller and WL Altman, vocalist Helen Pridmore, lighting designer Michelle Ramsay, stage manager Dee Chiasson, and featured dancers Courtney Arsenault, Jalianne Li, and Jessica Lowe.

Work on this piece originally began nearly 18 months ago at the Perspective Residency, a music and dance creation residency that provides professional development for artists and supports creative research and development. The creation process continued over the course of several more workshop sessions, incorporating the principles and practice of Authentic Movement.

Most recently, the team spent a week this summer at the Imperial Theatre for a technical residency, which saw the incredible theatre crew work with award-winning designer Michelle Ramsay to stage and light the work. The company was delighted to once again work with Michelle, who lit ‘with far arms’, which premiered at the Imperial Theatre in 2017. subject is too dark is moody and dark and plays with lights from the performers onstage and a beautiful design that transports the audience into a strange underwater-type world.

During the technical residency, musicians Andrew Reed Miller and WL Altman also worked with audio technician Sean Boyer. “In all my years of composing, improvising and collaborating, I’ve never been part of a piece that’s so integrated,” said Miller. “I think the audience will feel an effortless fluidity in everything they see or hear: all the movements, characters, vocal sounds, instrumental sounds, even the look of the costumes all seem to arise out of the same deep place. For the performance, Andrew and WL will be joined by vocalist Helen Pridmore. Helen enjoys a career focused on contemporary scored music, experimental music and improvisation. She has performed across Canada and the USA as well as in Europe and Japan. 

This production marks the first time that Connection Dance Works has worked with costume and set designer Brenda McLeese. In fact, the costumes were the original starting point for the work. Brenda worked with illustrator Jenny Godin, an Acadian comic book artist and published illustrator with an animation and graphics background. Brenda has been a costume designer for film, television and theatre for over 30 years, and is well known for her work throughout the region.  

Team members for this collaboration come from four Canadian provinces: New Brunswick (Courtney, Joanna, Jenny, Jalianne, Brenda, Andrew, and Sarah); Nova Scotia (Jessica), Ontario (Michelle), and Saskatchewan (WL and Helen).

As part of the premiere of this piece, Connection Dance Works will also be offering an immersive dance workshop, taking place at the Imperial Theatre on Wednesday, October 2nd from 7:00-8:30pm. It is geared to dancers from any background ages 12 and up, and costs $10. For details and to register:

Connection Dance Works is celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2020, a major milestone for the company. Planning is underway for its Perspective Series for 2019-2020, the Saint John Contemporary Dance Festival, which will return in July 2020, and a special celebration of the company’s works over past 10 years.  

Performance Details:

subject is too dark

Premiere Date: October 3, 2019 at 7:30 pm
Tickets: $30, available from the Imperial Theatre Box Office

Choreographer and Director: Sarah Power
Lighting Designer: Michelle Ramsay
Costume and Set Designer: Brenda McLeese
Illustrator: Jenny Godin
Stage Manager: Dee Chiasson
Production Manager: Joanna Bryson
Music Composers and Performers: WL Altman, Andrew Reed Miller, Helen Pridmore

Interpreters and Movement Creators: Courtney Arsenault, Jalianne Li, Jessica Lowe

Tickets for the production are on sale now at the Imperial Theatre Box Office.

About Connection Dance Works:

Connection Dance Works is a non-profit professional contemporary dance company located in Saint John, New Brunswick. The company provides opportunities for artists to share knowledge and learn from each other through the PERSPECTIVE series, the Music and Dance Residency and the annual Saint John Contemporary Dance Festival.

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