Solos in the Dark

We will begin to remount works for the company’s 25th anniversary season taking place in 2020. The next few years are an opportunity to reflect back on Trentham’s career and his legacy of art making. Although his major full-length works are very costly to remount, and difficult to find presenters who can take on a large-scale work for a large cast, each of these works contain solos that are gems within the larger program. In Solos in the Dark, Trentham will remount four of his most artistically compelling solos. Incidentally each of these solos are deeply constructed out of the darkness of loss. They include:


1) From Gravity of Decent (1995)

Sylvie Bouchard has asked Trentham to re-envision the female solo from his early work, “Gravity of Descent”, originally created on Susanna Hood in 1995. The solo investigates loss in a slow-moving, quiet-sounding unwind of a long dress train/bundle across the length of the stage. Trentham and Bouchard are excited to return to the work now that they have worked with Denise Fujiwara and experienced the depth of performance through Butoh.


2) From Autobiography: Chapters One through Five (2003)

Chapter 2 – The Street was originally performed as a solo by Trentham and later a duet featuring Bonnie Kim and Michael Trent in the full-length work presented by DanceWorks at the then Premiere Dance Theatre. This powerful section of the work deals with a moment of transgression – the loss of sexual innocence and gay transgression in a move to the big city, (dreams vs realities). The text and movement created by Trentham and imagery by video artist Jamie O’Neil to a live solo electric guitar are at times darkly funny and deeply disruptive. Trentham will remount/recreate the solo on dancer Michael Caldwell who has made a request to begin to learn some of Trentham’s solo work.


3) From Four Mad Humours (2011)

Trentham will remount the acclaimed solo Yellow Scale from the Dora nominated Four Mad Humours (2011). Originally part of four 40-minute solos connected through real time media in four cities, this solo pushes the performer to the edge of sanity, the choleric (fiery) humour and challenges stereotypes related to losing one’s mind. In discussions with his mentor and collaborator Denise Fujiwara, she referred to this solo as a master work and encouraged him to remount the solo. We recently confirmed a partnership with Associate Artist Lani Weissbach and No Exit Theatre in Indianapolis to present Yellow Scale in September 2018.

4) From Art of Peace: Part One – Invitation (2016)

Although a number of solos stand out in this work, one in particular offered a window in the darkness of war. Michael Caldwell performs Monument on the small space on top of a table to a striking composition by dancer/composer Julia Aplin. This disturbing solo, which completed the hour-long Part One – Invitation, inspired revealing dialogue in the following audience discussions.


The four works will culminate in a full evening performance premiering in Toronto in 2020.