The artistic challenge of BOW'T TRAILBOW’T re-creation
« I deeply believe that the artistic process allows each of us to redefine ourselves through our creativity; and this is essential to bring balance to all of humanity » - Rhodnie Désir
When African slaves were deported, they carried knowledge and rhythmic memory which was reimagined when they encountered other nations. It is the same for the drums. If it was not for the genius of these beings, who continued to create, even in the worst conditions, our musical universe would surely not be as abundant! Since resistance through art was one of their emancipatory vectors, Rhodnie Desir begins this research with that same process in mind.
Thus, in each country where BOW'T TRAIL is presented, Rhodnie Desir's mission is to re-create her most important work: BOW'T. Originally, this contemporary choreography created in 2013, was originally performed as a solo piece accompanied by a drummer. It is based on a Haitian voodoo rhythmic repertoire, compositions sung in an imaginary dialect and musical arrangements designed by the choreographer. The performance lasts a total of 50 minutes without intermission.
According to this framework, the choreographer is challenged to fully adapt and recreate the rhythmic essence of BOW'T in accordance with the ancestral culture of the host country. To do this, she collaborates with a drummer and meets with several important figures from the host nation, to better grasp the cultural issues related to the history and memory of the people. Costumes are partially or even fully adapted to suit the milieu. At the end, the work is presented to the public followed by a rich cultural exchange through dialogue. Sometimes excerpts are presented throughout the process.
* Important to note: for ethical reasons, the re-creation does not, in any case, involve the borrowing of choreographic gestures for insertion into any new pieces. The purpose here is to see how Rhodnie Desir’s body and gestures will resist or evolve to meet the ancient rhythms of the land. Of course, we can find influences and similarities in the dances, but nothing is to be overtly copied.
The original BOW'T
Traditional rhythms : Haïtian Vodoo rythmics
Passage of BOW’T TRAIL : none
The original BOW'T was created at the GESU-Centre de créativité (Montreal / Canada) from 2012 to 2013. This version has been performed at least 25 times since its creation (full / excerpts) and is presently under the musical guidance of master percussionist, Ronald Nazaire.
Traditional rhythms : Bèlè-Danmyé rythmics
Passage of BOW’T TRAIL : December 29, 2015 to February 2, 2016
For this step and over a period of 3 weeks, the choreographer worked with drummer Alain Pinel-Féréol. The first two weeks were held at the Maison Rouge/Maison des Arts. The last phase took place at the Domaine de Fonds Saint-Jacques in order to review the lighting and sound cues for the show (technical residency).