March 8, 11-13
Tara Butler of Dust and Soul Dance and Amy Neufeld of Lightning Banjo Productions working on WISH FISH – an Exploration of Text and Movement investigating the musicality of language and how it connects to movement and dance.
Wish Fish is a fairy tale/fable about a powerful man with six daughters whom he locks in a tower once they reach a certain age, as is the custom. His youngest daughter stops aging, and his investigations into the cause yields no results. He confronts his daughter, and she tells him that she has been wishing on the fishes in the river to save her energy and grant her flight, and her wish is ultimately granted in an unexpected way. The story examines power and vulnerability, masculine and feminine, and how shifts across those notions impact character and story. This site specific piece was written to be performed in front of Waterloo’s Clay and Glass Museum.
Tara began her dance career with The National Ballet of Canada after graduating from the National Ballet School. She then danced for The Alberta Ballet and was a celebrated Principal dancer for Canada’s Ballet Jorgen for 16 years. Bengt Jörgen created many lead roles in full length ballets for Tara including Romeo and Juliet, Cinderella, Anastasia, Coppelia, and The Nutcracker. She had the opportunity to guest perform internationally with The Hong Kong Ballet, The Ohio Ballet, Banff Festival Ballet and The Miami Hispanic International Ballet Festival. She has worked with many of Canada’s most sought after choreographers including Gioconda Barbuto, Roberto Campanella, Allison Cummings, Robert Desrosiers, Robert Glumbek, Allen Kaeja, Karen Kaeja, Malgorzata Nowacka-May, Crystal Pite, Kathleen Rea, and Wen Wei Wang.
Tara was featured in Michael Greyeyes short dance film ‘Seven Seconds and the award winning dance film ‘Old Country‘ by Allen Kaeja. Since moving to Kitchener and having her second child, Tara has been teaching and coaching young dancers, choreographing, and performing as a freelance artist. Tara has been appointed an Associate Artist with Pat The Dog Theatre Creation where she has launched a professional development movement creation workshop.
In November 2021 Tara and her newly formed umbrella company Dust and Soul Dance Projects presented Dance Takes Berlin, an evening of Contemporary dance at The Registry Theatre. These sold out performances featured new work by award winning choreographers David Earle, Allen Kaeja and Nickeshia Garrick. Under Dust and Soul Dance Projects Tara has also launched workshops for non dancers and new workshops for pre professional dance students. Tara is passionate about building a strong dance scene in the Waterloo Region through annual professional and original dance performances, community workshops and mentoring young dancers locally. The goal is to develop a dance ecosystem for the Waterloo Region as an essential part of the local arts scene.
Amy Neufeld is a settler writing living and working in Kitchener Ontario. She is the co-founder of Lightning Banjo Productions, a theatre company for young audiences, and has written several plays produced by the company. Her plays explore classic children’s stories through a modern, feminist lens. Amy also writes fiction and essays, and has a blog where she is currently documenting her quest to become a River Phoenix Movie Completist. Amy has an Honours BA in English Literature from Wilfrid Laurier University, and a diploma in Theatre Arts from Grant MacEwan University. In addition to writing, Amy directs, produces, and teaches theatre. She is also an avid knitter with a fondness for creating cacti. Follow her on Twitter.