Choreographer Lina Cruz talks creative process and the upcoming world premiere of Ylem (3 Eggs Ago)

Photo by Jeremy Mimnagh

DanceWorks presents Throwdown Collective, as part of Next Steps at Harbourfront Centre, from February 9–11, 2017.

Comprised of Toronto dance artists Zhenya Cernazocv, Mairéad Filgate, and Brodie Stevenson, Throwdown Collective will perform two trios: the world premiere of Ylem (3 Eggs Ago) commissioned from Montreal choreographer Lina Cruz, and the Collective’s own creation, Various Concert.

Here, we talk to Lina about her creative process and the upcoming world premiere.

DANCEWORKS: Can you tell us about how and when you began working with Throwdown Collective?

LINA: It started with their wish to commission a trio from me and we had an exploratory meeting in early 2014. Then, Throwdown went into the process of seeking funding for research periods. Once the research was complete, working with Throwdown became highly motivating and the idea of co-producing the remaining stages made a lot of sense. Here we are today, approaching production time in Toronto and Montreal, after several scattered periods of work since 2014, it’s been wonderful… really.

DANCEWORKS: Ylem (3 Eggs Ago) is a world premiere, with a compelling title. What does it mean?

LINA: I’m glad the title can be seen as compelling. ‘Ylem’ is a term used by Big Bang theorists to name the primordial matter of the universe. However, the piece does not attempt to be scientific, it simply uses this notion in a playful, poetic way, applying much of an abstract logic! Because it is a trio, I like to see each of the dancers as a cell of life, a cell of universal primordial matter, an egg…well, 3 eggs… If that universal matter expands then time passes, so those 3 eggs pass, or expand…or come and go…or…3 Eggs Ago…. abstract and absurd, for sure! But more concretely put, we do play with eggs in the piece and time does pass.

DANCEWORKS: Can you tell us about a particular section in Ylem (3 Eggs Ago) that you found most challenging to create? How did you work through that process?

LINA: The whole piece was challenging to create because 13 years ago, I also worked with eggs. It was a bit scary to go back to using the same object, for a new piece. However, I felt compelled to do it and I love facing challenges! The eggs seem to have a strong symbolic presence and value, and I needed to focus on how to use them in a different way and create a totally different piece.  Ha, ha, and this could be another explanation for the title!

DANCEWORKS: Thank you, Lina.

DanceWorks presents Throwdown Collective at the Harbourfront Centre Theatre February 9–11 at 8pm. Click here to purchase tickets.