Michelle Olson's new choreography honours loss, dreams and the transformations of women
In Gathering Light, Olson is imagining women who are on a journey to step into their own power
Choreographer Michelle Olson is the artistic director of Raven Spirit Dance, where she creates work that is born from Indigenous worldviews. And it's from this history that she created Gathering Light, a performance that she first staged over 10 years ago.
As she describes it, it's about "a seed that is dreaming itself into being — that idea of a little seed cracking open and digging through the dirt and searching for the light, and finding the light and then finding full bloom." And you can see this metaphor playing out through the movements of the women who performed the piece in Toronto this year.
Watch the video:
In this video made by filmmaker Ulla Laidlaw while Olson and her dancers were rehearsing in Toronto, Olson opens up about what drove her to create Gathering Light. A pregnancy loss and her resulting sense of community with other women inspired her to look at the places where women go through transformations that they don't share or aren't celebrated. Gathering Light has become, for her, a sort of ceremony that is both a celebration of women and an offering to them.