In Mexico, there is a children’s rhyme:
“Un capullito en un arbol, formó una linda casita, abrió y cerró sus puertitas y se acostó a descensar. Pasó mucho tiempo y en una mañana hermosa, el capullo se rompió y salió una linda mariposa”.
“A little caterpillar in a tree built a little house, she/he open and close the doors and fell asleep. After a long time in a beautiful morning, the door opened and a magnificient butterfly flew”. Mexico 1958
What drives you, interviewers and people have asked me in the past, and to tell you the truth I can never answer this question. La Monarca begins an exploration of this issue for me, prompted by a note from my partner Victor in 2010 as we returned from tour in Mexico, “….I also run into another Canadian friend of mine in Mexico, who I always see at that time of the year, La Monarca _ butterfly I don’t know how they do it, but everywhere we were we saw them going in the same direction into strong headwinds around big buildings six feet off the ground or the stories high. They never fail to amaze. I think what I’m trying to say is that my wife is a large monarch butterfly who flew with a company of 14 on her back to México and never quit, and then she took us all back to Canada. En Hora Buena Faraona!”
The monarch butterfly is known scientifically as Danaus Plexippus, translating as ‘sleepy transformation’, something akin to how I feel, emerging from an artistic metamorphosis and awakening to a renewed creative life of artistic maturity with its freedom to embrace risk, change and experimentation. At my age when retirement seems so close and/or logical, I am amazed at the possibilities, continually inspired by the work of others and yearning to learn from the practice and knowledge of my colleagues. At this stage of my life I feel emboldened, less concerned about the criticism and concerns of others and passionate about trying new approaches to my work. In choreographing for flamenco, I have often worked through the traditions of the form, acting as an interpreter to bring my ideas into its molds; with La Monarca I will use my experience and knowledge of the form as technique, creating a unique vocabulary of movement based on my needs to complete the vision of this work.
Researching on the Monarch’s cycle of life and constant migration gave me a understanding of this unique and magnificent creature and provided me with an insight into my own motivations and driving force.
La Monarca is a very personal work, emotional and resonant with meaning to and from my life that will contribute deeply to the artistic legacy of the company that has been operating for more than two decades, shaping the continuing trajectory and presence of the company within our dance ecology as an innovative force. La Monarca ties into many elements that I have been interested in developing over the years, growing from diverse inspirations, small experiments, past collaborations and even some large successes on my journey. I look at these antecedents, seeing some that grew, unexpectedly, from small ideas – a minor movement, a vision just glimpsed -brought together into this new work, emergent, beautiful and unexpected; the butterfly effect.