THEVARS is a contemporary dance theatre and film ensemble centred around the work of Canadian choreographer Gabreïl Spiegelschrift.

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THEVARS:Where the hell have you been? Image

Where the hell have you been?

So that's the common greeting I get now that I am back in Ontario, with "I remember you!" followed closely behind. I am glad I left an impression.


What. A. voyage. 

10 years ago today I was nose deep/legs up/belly-pains-from-laughing-holding-myself-on-the-floor in rehearsals for Tangó na dTuaitíní uimhre 4 - The Bogmen's Tango #4 in beautiful Guelph, Ontario. The place where I first started dancing "for real" as a young boy at the Anna Marie Oliver School of Dance and then couldn't get out of fast enough as a teenager.

Of course I was rehearsing with the awesomeness that is Karen Rose, who just previously I had persuaded to remount the Persephone Solo with me in a multi-year yet to be release film adaptation, Caoineadh Pheirseifine. I know, I know it sounds cheesy but It was such a treat to have such a kindred spirit to work with as I brought to life the characters based on my grandparents. It was very personal and in the spirit of being "home" it felt like the right thing to give back.

It is a shame that the situation and climate there inevitably forced us both to leave, but the next chapter in Montréal was definitely the place I needed to be.


Yes, I agree with my friends who reacted in shock when they found out I had relocated there. The Montréal of my youth that was the gleaming fortress of everything we loved — and everything we despised — in Canadian Dance is basically gone. That's not to say that there are not amazing super talented people and groups making super amazing things there, in dance and such, it is just their voices have been dulled and eroded by the tonal wall of the current doctrine that spends a concerted amount of energy and time asserting to you and me that status quo is exceptional.

I'm not here in this text to start fights, this is a history piece. I will just put in context that the issues that I had with dance in the mid 1990s came a knocking reminding me that I need to grab my sword and go off to war. 

I met amazing people during my several years in Québec. I'm sure many of them think i'm crazy. The expansion of my classes to include the former Marianopolis Community Recreation allowed me to get closer to very talented people. As well, like usual it allowed me to have some really great students, something I have been blessed with over the last *cough*19*cough* years of teaching.

My whole time there in Montréal can easily be summed up with the serendipitous discovery that my dear friend and collaborator Dr. Elinor Frey had relocated to the city at the same time!  We had a lot of fun working on projects with her introducing me to Lucian Berio's Sequenza XIV(2001) which ricordo al futuro was created to and of course my personal fave Giuseppe Maria Dall-Abaco's Capriccio Primo that was the inspiration for the developing work inertia and well as ending up on Elinor's recording La Voce del Violoncello - go buy it, DUH!

The arts and such can often be a litmus test for the general economy. The change in 2008/2009 slowly started to affect class numbers as well as having a car accident in the scenic but treacherous mountains of Vermont in 2011. Although everything but the car seemed to survive the incident a few weeks later I could barely walk as I seem to have traumatized my good hip.


Begrudgingly, I moved back to Ontario so spend some time healing, Impact Physiotherapy and connecting with family. Boring, boring, boring.

Finally being mostly healthy again I have set up camp in Hamilton, Ontario. It is a different city now, places from my youth are gone and much of the social experiment that was amalgamation has left scars on the city. But the people here are fighters, so I feel at home, reminding me very much of the climate of Dublin when I was last there - which I desperately miss. There is a lot of potential here and it will be very interesting to see in a few years time how it develops.

In the interim dance classes are being well received and things are well on their way for some new work materializing in 2015. *fingers crossed*

First we have to do something about this NO TOBOGGANING, it is as if they're scared it will lead to dancing.


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