Beginner's Guide to Kidd Pivot Oct 4, 2012

by Heidi


Here is a little info about Crystal Pite and Kidd Pivot to pique your appetite while we patiently wait for their performances, October 23 - 25!

1. Kidd Pivot, a Vancouver, B.C. based dance company founded by Crystal Pite, is a Pacific North West heavyweight touting international recognition.  Between Pite’s choreographic brilliance and a cast of stunningly talented dancers, hand selected from around the world, Kidd Pivot’s performances consistently leave audience’s jaws hanging ajar. Most recently in a long list of awards and residencies, Crystal Pite received the 2012 Canada Council for the Arts’ Jacqueline Lemieux Prize, an award given annually to an established dance artist who has made significant contributions to Canadian dance.  

2. Crystal Pite was raised in the ballet tradition.  She danced in a Ballet British Columbia before becoming a member of William Forsythe’s Ballet Frankfurt from 1996 until 2001. In 2002, she started Kidd Pivot.  It seems appropriate that, after leaving Forsythe’s ballet-deconstructionist tutelage, Pite’s choreography has moved several steps beyond its balletic roots.  It is technically exacting, comical, and inventive.  Check out this beautiful video of her dancing, it gives a sense of how thoroughly steeped in the exploration of her craft she is.

3. Kidd Pivot is a carefully chosen name.  ‘Pivot’ is a physical word that implies a skillful, rigorous movement which is repeatable and practicable; it also suggests the changing of one’s direction or point of view.  ‘Kidd’ is for the outlaw, the pirate, the fighter.  The name reflects her desire to build a choreography that is at once precise and unpredictable.  

4. Pite is drawn to storytelling and is known for infusing her choreography with theater; she sees narrative as a way to invite the audience to inhabit her dances. She often uses theatrical elements and conventions, such as set design and texts, in her pieces.  For example, in Farther Out (performed at On the Boards in 2007), Crystal made a duet between an astronaut and an alien into a reflection on a selection of orated texts, authored by Annie Dillard, about artists’ relationships to their creations.  

In a more recent piece, Dark Matters, (performed at On the Boards in 2011) she used a fully developed set and puppets to tell a Frankenstein-esque story of a creator losing control of his creation.  Check out the trailer for Dark Matter here:

5. There is a connection between Crystal Pite's engagement with The Tempest and becoming a mother.  In The Tempest, Prospero, who is a magician, a creator—essentially an artist—decides to give up on revenge, ambition, and his power in order to find his humanity and do what is best for his daughter.  Pite, a new mom, resonated with the text; she is constantly balancing the demands of being an internationally regarded artist with the demands of motherhood. 

6. This is Kidd Pivot’s fourth time at On the Boards and we are excited to welcome them back!