Peggy Baker, Sarah Neufeld: Fall for Dance North, Falling For Each Other
Peggy Baker collaborating with Sarah Neufeld on a new choreography. Photo: Makoto Hirata
A few weeks before she turns 63, renowned contemporary dancer and choreographer Peggy Baker will perform a solo on the stage of Toronto’s Sony Centre.
She is, she admits, terrified.
“But everything I’ve done has been just as terrifying,” she explains.
“Do I see it as a risk?” Baker pauses. “It is a risk, yeah.”
She takes a deep breath and exhales with a sigh. “Even just for me to go on stage now. It was a really big decision.”
The occasion is Fall For Dance North, Sept. 29 to Oct. 1 at Toronto’s Sony Centre, the debut of the Canadian version of New York’s popular Fall For Dance.
“I knew of her because of Arcade Fire,” she says, “and I wanted to work with somebody from a different generation and different sensibility.”
Even though they didn’t meet until recently, the collaboration via Skype was a brilliant, bonding experience for both.
“We found commonality right away,” says Neufeld. “We’re both interested in creating these imperfect patterns and breaking them, playing with abstract formulas and numeric values and deconstructing them.”
Recognizing how far-out that sounds, she quickly explains,“When you see and hear the piece you’ll know what I’m saying.”
The serial, minimalist music, which Neufeld performs on stage and describes as “quite fierce” is based on a piece from her new record.
“I loved it immediately,” says Baker, “the intensity, virtuosity of playing, the surprising shifts.”
But, she adds quickly, “it’s not just the music she brings to the piece. Her presence and physicality are central to this.”
Clearly, the artists of different generations, genres and sensibilities are inspiring each other.