It will be a rather serendipitous moment for Tedd Robinson when he performs in Halifax later this week.
It was the founder of locally-based Live Art Dance, the late Diane Moore, who commissioned Robinson’s first solo work more than two decades ago. Now, the dancer will end his solo career with three Live Art shows at the Sir James Dunn Theatre later this week.
“I didn’t know exactly what I would do, but I felt I wanted to develop my craft more and take a good look at things,” he said. “That opportunity opened up a sense of confidence.”
The dance guru – and former Zen monk – is finishing his solo career with REDD, the final part in a dance trilogy. The dance is split into three segments, and features Robinson pulling on elements from his life. The project developed after the Ottawa-based choreographer bought a farm on the north side of the Ottawa River west of the capital. He worked on the dance in a barn he turned into a studio space.
“I talk about my neighbours, some of the things that have happened here, some of my thoughts on living alone in the country.”
Robinson used this as the first section of the piece. For the other parts, he reflected on the role of Buddhism in his life — which he refers to as he silent partner. “Having spent time in fairly deep practice, it can’t help but change the way you see things, and how you do things,” he said.
The dancer — who left the monastery in 2000 — says creating solo pieces has been part of his religious teaching, and his effort to feel more connected with himself and the world around him.
“It is personal, but it is mostly simple, and allows me to speak personally about the time spent making this solo, and a little about me stopping performing,” Robinson said. “I am not absolutely stopping, but I am stopping this trilogy and doing solo work.”