May 15, 2017

Two graduate dance students have collaborated on a short dance film that has won the Best Idea award from the International University Global Theatre Experience (IUGTE) organization.

David Outevsky holds his leg above his head
David Outevsky

Fleeting Encounters, Shifting Pathways combines dance, poetry and cinematography to express the thoughts, memories and feelings of a couple whose paths intertwine and then part.

The multi-site, multidisciplinary production was created by Dance PhD candidate David Outevsky and master’s candidate Regina Bautista. Working with videographer Anthony Girard, they filmed at various locations around Toronto, with York University’s campus and studios in the Department of Dance as the focal point of departure and return.

The process of choreography and rehearsal took several months. Coming from different dance backgrounds, Outevsky and Bautista had to find a common artistic basis. They tried to bridge the gap between western contemporary dance and ballroom dance within a narrative of spiritual detachment. Their choreography was developed from the inside out, using movement for exploration and personal experiences for inspiration. As the project evolved, the movement transformed and new creative elements were added.

Regina Bautista jetees against a wall with graffiti
Regina Bautista

In order to add another layer to their production, the dancers each wrote a poem describing the meaning of the choreography. The poems are recited by professional actors Elodie Dorsel and Liam Lachance.

The first portion of the filming was done in AMPD’s dance studios, the public area in front of the Bergeron Centre for Engineering Excellence, and on the roof of Scott Library at York’s Keele campus. The film shoot was completed at Toronto’s Riverdale Park and at Polson Pier and Woodbine beach on the city’s waterfront. By using these sites, the creative team wanted to convey the passage of time and the changing locations of creative life paths.

This project and its success can serve as an inspiration to emerging choreographers, filmmakers, and other artists interested in multi-disciplinary collaborations. It demonstrates the diversity and quality of creative work produced in AMPD, and shows the beauty and unique appeal of York’s architectural sites and landscapes alongside other Toronto landmarks.