Saturday, February 22, 2014

Spotlight On...Ian Ferrier

Name: Ian Ferrier

Hometown: Montreal, Canada   
Honours English/Creative Writing Undergraduate Scholars Program, Concordia University; Banff Centre for the Arts Spoken Word Program

Favorite Credits: Founder of the Canadian Review of Literature in Performance, Wired on Words Productions, the Tusarniq Festival and the Mile End Poets’ Festival; featured performer at Volapuk Festival, Oslo Norway; featured at One Man Band Festival and at the Lyon, France Literary Festival; selected as one of 10 top Canadian spoken word performers.

Why theater?:
Well it ain’t exactly theater. Our work explores the interface between imagination and motion. Poetry asks the audience to create their own images from words, and we do our best to leave these intact. But images evoke emotional resonance and this we explore and reflect with light and with the beauty, responses, motion and relationships of five women dancers.

Tell us about For Body and Light: For Body and Light is what I’ve always wanted to do: to create words and music while surrounded with beauty and motion. I found choreographer Stephanie Robert while we were both working with Body Slam, Greg Selinger’s improv group mixing poetry, music and dance. From our own perspectives we were both interested in mixing story and dance, which is what we’ve done. She creates and choreographs dance and I create and perform original scores for voice and music. 

What inspired you to create For Body and Light?: The piece we’re presenting was first explored in a residency at Main & Station in Nova Scotia, Canada. We were creating in a studio in the old Customs House, then on the beach, then on the pier and in the forest. The beach and pier are like nowhere else on earth. Twice each day water enough to bury a three story building moves in and out. So the fishing boat that’s resting on the sandy bottom floats on 35 feet of water six hours later. As we worked and filmed, our dancers would be standing on dry land one moment and overwhelmed by water a minute later. It gives one the idea of the fragility and tenacity of life, surrounded by these huge forces. One night we lit a fire on the dunes only to have our path back to land cut off by the incoming tide. We had to wait half the night to get home.

What kind of theater speaks to you? What or who inspires you as an artist?:
Two of my early influences were Chekhov and Beckett. Both have a sense of what predates all of our experience and our lives, of the immense unknowable. After that I like Nikolai Gogol and the works of a number of American contemporary poets and writers: Mary Gaitsklll and Tom Sleigh to name two.

If you could work with anyone you’ve yet to work with, who would it be?: I’d love to work with the Icelandic band Sigur Ros

What show have you recommended to your friends?: Can't answer yet as I haven't seen the rest of the work at Frigid. But looking forward to many. Almost a Genius looks fascinating, as does Eating My Gatrbage, Confessions of a Redheaded Coffee Shop Girl and Charlotte the Destroyer

What’s your biggest guilty pleasure?: Watching bootleg cinema on my laptop in the bath

What’s the most played song on your iPod?: John Coltrane- “Ole”

If you weren’t working in theater, you would be ______?: a writer and mountain bike tour guide in the Himalayas; in winter, a writer and marine biologist in Fiji

What’s up next?: We’re traveling For Body and Light from the prairies to the West coast of North America