Project Barca [2012]

Project Barca starts with an idea that Christopher Columbus exploited in his desire to establish a new trading route to the Orient. Columbus calculated that if he sailed west across the Atlantic he would eventually arrive at his desired destination in the east. Conceptually, philosophically, politically, and aesthetically, going west to find east raises a host of questions, not least about the human urge to adventure, to discover, to take possession of, and to colonize what we find in our paths. It also raises questions about the unanticipated and sometimes unintended results of these adventures, discoveries, and colonizations of various new territories; physical, psychological, and otherwise.

Project Barca explores a range of ideas contained within the phrase 'going west to find east' by first inverting it, and then playing on the inherent paradox of going in either direction to find the other. Also playing on the Spanish and Portuguese word for small boat, barca, the research embarks on a journey of exploration, utilizing comprehensive new Research/Creation methods that question the very platforms it utilizes to disseminate its results, i.e., live performances, mixed media installations, film documentation, mixed mode writings, etc. Most importantly, the research positions contemporary choreographic practice at the center of a scholarly investigation that is framed by our primary research question: how can embodied personal and collective memories be shaped into new 'architectures' of identity and belonging in the form of innovative performance works that speak to wider sections of society?

Encounters is a work that stands on its own. It is designed for and exploits the aesthetic of the contemporary art gallery.

Choreography: Henry Daniel
Assistant to choreographer: Daisy Thompson
Creative director: Lara Amelie Abadir
Assistant director: Rheanna Toy
Camera operator/lighting: Sepehr Samimi
Gaffer: Jeremy Cox, Natasha Wehn
Tech team: Jonathan Kim, Remy Siu, Amit Barua
Sound: Nancy Tam
Performers: Julia Carr, Luciana D'Anunciação, Thoenn Glover, Eloi Homier, Karin Kato, Arash Khakpour, Kyle Toy, Milton Lim, Janelle Reid