CREATION + PERFORMANCE
Katherine Duncanson, Julia Howman, Rebecca Picherak
It’s true that I loved math in high school. I began university as a bio-chemistry major (full scholarship, even) and I studied calculus right up through first year at Acadia University in Nova Scotia. I studied hard, and loved its clarity. However, at the end of first year university, something changed. I transferred out of sciences, into liberal arts and then into theatre and dance. It went like this:
One day, I happened upon the door to Denton Hall – the university’s theatre – and I slipped quietly into the deep blackness of the backstage. The door closed behind me and clicked shut. No one was there. I wasn’t sure what I was doing, but I stood there for a long time in that silence, squeezed between a cold wall, painted black, and a heavy black velvet curtain that seemed to extend to infinity over my head. I felt something like a private secret open up in me. Something vaguely ill-behaved. I felt what was missing in chemistry class.
The next day, I transferred out of sciences.
My first project in theatre was a one-minute movement rendition of the Absurdist French playwright Ionesco’s play called The Rhinoceros. (Everyone in a small town turns into the animal.)
And that was it.
By the end of my university years at Acadia, I had made my first one-woman show. It was called “Balancing Equations”, and featured a huge molecule painted on the upstage wall. I tried to put the parts of myself together. Navigating between my absurd and logical brains.
At Dance Matters (2019), I presented “This is my Math Dance.” In it, I prove the existence of my fantasy character. It’s an excerpt from my one-woman show “Getting to know your fruit” - a memoir-based work that plays – in various ways – between the biology and poetry of my fruit. It’s about navigating identity, queerness, and the tender flesh of our physical selves.
I still play between logic and fantasy, extending further – perhaps – in both directions. Balance just means the further I go in one direction, the further I need to go in the other...
Dance matters to me because, after several years of living, I’m learning to accept how you can’t pin things down. Everything changes. We are always in motion.