The Home Project – a conceptual dance performance work
Concept, Co-creation and Performance Shannon Litzenberger
Co-creation and Direction Marie-Josée Chartier
Sound and Video Design Jeremy Mimnagh
Technical Direction and Lighting Design Kevin MacLeod
Performance collaborators Julia Lefebvre and Ryan Symington
Currently in development, The Home Project poses questions of identity, belonging and place, drawing on social research and real life stories about ‘home’.Home is charged with questions of identity, belonging and place. Having lived in both rural and urban ‘homes’ in different parts of Canada, I am compelled by how one defines ‘home’ and how different individuals perceive, experience and articulate this idea differently. I have begun with the hypothesis that home consists of three distinct factors – a sense of place, a sense of belonging and a sense of purpose. I am interested in investigating other interpretations of home and how definitions of home differ within and across geographic and cultural communities. Some questions I’m considering are: Is home a physical place or specific environment? Is home a role we play, that gives our lives meaning and purpose? Is home connected to a sense of community or family? Can home be felt or articulated at all? I am also curious about the changing nature of the contemporary home. More than ever before, we are a mobile population and very few of us remain rooted to our place of birth throughout our lifetime. We move between and within continents, countries and communities. In fact, many of us will move several times in our lives, though, despite this trend of transience, ‘home’ remains an important place where the expression of our identity is rooted. I am curious about exploring how our individual experiences of displacement share a universal connection to a constant desire to establish and re-establish home. Finally, I am interested in the personal politic of the individual and how our intimately political expressions are manifested inside one’s home or dwelling. As individuals and as a society, we are unquestionably shaped by the social and cultural politics of our time and I believe one can observe the character of contemporary life through these varied political lenses. For me, this observation is critical to any contemporary art form. In this exploration, I am curious about the physical and social home as an authentic and creative expression of self. In an increasingly diverse and mobile society, I find the question ‘What is home?’ to be particularly relevant and automatically framed by the context of contemporary life. It’s not likely a question that I can or will answer, but it is a question rich with the potential for exploration. I am excited by the prospect of presenting this investigation of home in the form of a dance theatre work, as the live performing arts are one of the few remaining avenues where people gather voluntarily to share social experiences in person.
In creating this work, I aim to illustrate both the individuality and the universality of our relationship to ‘home’. It is my hope that the work will ultimately be a powerful and provocative public forum for a shared social experience about home, community and our connection to each other.