montréal QC 2013

montréal QC

circuit est / may 2013















guest artist

peter trosztmer

With a B.A. in Classics as well as extensive dance training at Concordia University and the School of Toronto Dance Theatre, Peter Trosztmer has distinguished himself as an interpreter of the highest caliber and continues to collaborate with many national and international choreographers. He has created five critically acclaimed solo works and is co-artistic director, along with Thea Patterson, Katie Ward and Audrée Juteau, of ‘The Choreographers’ who together, and individually,  create innovative fresh work using collaborative paradigms. His work on the multi media project Norman received an Angel Award at the Brighton Festival UK (2009). Recently he was selected for Triptych (a research exchange between Circuit-Est in Montreal, The Opera Estate in Bassano Italy, and The Dance Centre in Vancouver) and was invited for a 2-month residency at FABRIK in Potsdam in summer 2013. He is currently researching interactive movement tracking with sound and video with Zack Settle at the S.A.T. (Sociéte des arts technologiques) in Montreal.




peter trosztmer
Rewriting Distance with Lin and Guy – May 2012.
day 1… or so …
Trying to find the unknown self
Trying to identify the present
What is my choice at this instant
Opening any door is good.  There is always a door to be opened.  A door offers possibility.
Lin rolls around the mirror – there are fragmented reflections parading around – all I can think about are the vibrations that the wheels are sending through the floor.  Electricity travels through the floor of my studio when it rains – amps, watts, ohms. 
I can lie, tell stories, things that are not real, project things into space, feel my body speak – for example …– my digestive track is working hard right now ?
Sometimes you just have to get that motor running.  It is a three-way experience – I only have one part to play.  The best part of structure and rules is finding out how, where, when, why to break them… – stay lucid.
Confusion arrives – is embraced – we trust in it and move forward (opening doors)  Tell stories of electricity, balance, past, travels, grandfathers, fishing, past encounters with strangers, moose … I did have a feeling that I could be a storyteller. 
Feeling ineffectual and not minding it…
day 2 … or so…
Sailors, knots, navy, war, Sailing is intuitive. – knots are emotional, they make us feel things that we do not understand – perhaps they tie us to our past.  Peter tries to be a knot, Guy tries to balance against a knot – he needs Lin to release the knot.  –   – there is lots of paper everywhere, writing, words, water, stuff – it is really nice to make a well worked in mess.  I love Lin’s drawings.  These two are so generous.
Lin has a hand grenade. 
Guy likes to balance.
Peter is a hobo, likes to break the rules and has a phone. 
Lin is the real hobo – she does not have a phone.
Hobo’s are fun – they force us to think differently
Older is better – it just means that it is well-crafted
Analogue vs Digital – Analogue is older – and better.  At least it is real Digital is only zero’s and ones. 
  • what is the difference between art and craft? 
  • Water and Paper do mix.
  • Tasks are nice to accomplish
Being on tour can be difficult – we need to hang onto things sometimes.  It can be food (finding nice restaurants), music is still good to look for, you can always hit the bars after work – or make an evening walk part of the day.
Grandfathers Great Grandfathers – wars, gardens, baking bread, making beer.
Go forth into the world and bring back your riches.
David died on his bike and Chris died on his sailboat. 
Holding the space…
When there are three of us – it feels like someone is always holding the space for you.   It just feels better when that is happening. 
I think that I have realized that I like it best when I don’t completely understand all the rules.  Something about living in Quebec I think. 
If it is spoken it is heard, if it is written it has weight, (if it is tied down with a knot…)  With water it can still be washed away – the power of the sea, a wave of words washing through the space. 
day 3 …
Follow your dreams – you can ask for help
Sunlight is magical, I am so glad that we ended up working the later part of the day when the sun is low.
Small embellishments are hopeful – amazing, responsible for everything that is wonderful. 
You can be alone in a group and you can take “it” for you and you can let “it” go when you want. 
It is wonderful to see small parts of things.
Paper looks so good when it is crinkled.  
We tell stories of love, the past, nostalgic sentiments seem to be alive with this trio. 
Time in my workshop studio.
There are still ghosts of Lin and Guy in my studio.   The ladder at the end of the stairs has been replaced with a stepladder.  Sometimes the best thing we can do is sit and wait.  Sometimes the space that we are in requires that.  It is important to be careful while we throw caution to the wind there are plenty of sharp things around.
My overalls fit Guy and Lin looks great in the show pants.  A train just went by. With Michael here it always feels like there is someone grounding us.  I know that his pictures are going to be great in the space.
There is something about really old spaces … There are already stories – not much has to be spoken until you have sat and listened a long, long time.
Guy likes the rope lights. 
Lin likes the lights made from conduit pipes.
Michael just really seems to like it all.
No body got hurt :/()
day 5…
Our last day is open.  We bring out all the writing from the previous days – the papers are like sculptures that have a history written into their very structure.  Some are crinkled some are rolled up – some are stained with coffee others with water and ink – (water color drawings). 
I begin with writing as it is my least familiar spot and this excites me a little.  Feelings and sensations from the week are flowing through me.  I am happy to be here with everyone. 
I tell a story about a bus trip to Montreal when I was in high school in Toronto – Lin and Guy are around but I am focused and do not see them.  Before I know what has happened there is a chair precariously suspended from the ceiling and Guy and I are thundering around a large piece of thick paper.  Lin is just behind us.  Guy is suspended now falling and landing on my back as we tumble through the space – We have settled Guy is wrapped in paper in my arms. 
It feels like dance has changed me once again.  Re-metabolized, opened up and re-organized – re-wired from time spent with new people. 
Thank you for sharing yourselves so generously.


guy cools


Re-writing distance. Circuit Est, May 2013

may 5th
Stem cells. Endless Potentiality. Mirror Neurons. Electricity. Yoga. Yoke.
My body vibrating with others. With the people I meet. With the dances I watch. With the children playing next doors.
The change of temperature like the change of seasons can be radical.
The voltage rising in early spring makes old machines explode, but with the right conductors and transformers, it regenerates you.
My body is dependent on others to regenerate itself, but also to ground itself, to become what it already is: endless potentiality.
Appreciating Peter’s compliment on my hairdo, I will still have a haircut. And maybe afterwards it will sparkle.
Re-membering white underwear burning in an electric chandelier or a rock being dropped on a copper plate with a body underneath.
Resistance and endurance.
Lin giving herself the task of seeing how far she can go exhausting one track… We might have to organize a 24 hours session for that.
may 6th
The day started with some simple, but basic questions hidden behind the stories:
  • How much do we need?
  • What do we keep?
  • What do we throw away?
  • What is waste?
  • Am I a hobo or a vagrant?
  • Why do I love to be alone?
And it ended with a longue journey, creating this one perfect, still image, that was repeated twice.
The craft of securing things, so that your partners can take more risks.
The shadow of a messy table becoming an amazing landscape.
We all like to share stories about our grandparents. The once about our parents are harder to reveal.
And there is always a point towards the end where you want someone else to untie you or cut you free.
To knot yourself free!
Peter: “Knots are emotional.”
Lin: “And now it is gone, don’t you love that!”
may 7th
To reveal. To unveil. To hide.
To follow your dreams.
To embellish. To narrate.
To lie. To walk through open doors.
To live with a coyote.
To be a sculpture, emerging.
To draw with water your shadows.
To be a sloth. To love to be a sloth.
To want to fly. To jump down on paper.
To secure yourself as a witness.
To write.
To open your bag.
To be not ashamed.
To ask for help.
Michael: “It was a lot about feet today.”
Lin: “It is like camping, isn’t it?”
may 8th
A lot of Peter’s propositions this week where about ‘space’. Refinding and re-membering the strong connection of the practice with the actual, physical spaces we work in. The space as fourth partner, turning the triangle into a quadrant or a circle.
Today Peter invited us in his space in Griffin Town, a large shed built in the form of a triangle against the wall of the railway, which in former times was used amongst others as coal storage and as a horses and carriage stable.
We felt inside a huge dome, the hull of a ship, a huge oil tanker.
A lot of the physical actions and the imaginary was about climbing stairs to a place on the wall high up with no door to enter or exit through; to fly, like the huge metal bird in the middle of the space, made of wire and old rusted pipes from which cobweb was dripping; trains falling from the sky;…
We continued to re-member our ancestors and explore fragments of new science and we measured time in distances.
The space was polluted, so we aired it, with the smell of grinded coffee grains.
I glided down an avalanche of white paper shreds and invented a personal story, I actually had recently seen in a film.
We wore blue overalls and there was a real sense of the practice being ‘work’, constructing and deconstructing. Or as Louise Bourgeois put it: “To do, to undo, to redo.”
Time condensed, passed more slowly and quickly at the same time.
may 10th
We brought all the written residues of the past week back into the studio at St-Andre and performed the practice for a generous audience of friends and colleagues.
I was very tired, even exhausted, but the practice – the physical contact with Lin and Peter, did regenerate me. Like Spinoza’s statement how we need other bodies to regenerate our own, which I quoted form John Berger’s book, in conversation with Lin lying on the floor and watching through a huge paper telescope. Spinoza, the grinder of lenses.
Catherine and her 3 month old son Benjamin, where present through the email she sent to us both, revealing how both babies and travelling are great sources for stories, which connected magically to Peter’s story of his high school trip to Montreal with which the practice started and all the babies, born and unborn, that were omnipresent until the very end when Peter wrapped me in a huge paper pamper and cradled me while I read another fragment of found text, torn to be revealed:
“… a small patch of light
   … falling sideways
        … with something
          … appears to this day in a
          … all manner of
            … incidence
            … way’s a story
                      it disappears.”
Guy Cools,
Montreal, May 2013


lin snelling
Montreal Circuit Est with Peter Trosztmer May 2013.
day one

I begin, Guy is witness, and Peter is audience.

We decide to begin and without much talking, we dive into the form.

Today, because of a weekend session with Linda Rabin, and the form she teaches called Continuum, my body and thoughts are moving with the word and the sense of “potential” .  The mirror of a cell, I am thinking, as I am moving mirrors, literally around the studio: These mirrors are on wheels, and so become “wheeled potential with reflection” … I image the images I am pushing around, knowing what I am imagining is perhaps not quite exactly what they are seeing, but the potential is there, and their seeing is reflected back through my cells as I am moving.

I think of the motor of a generative space … the way we spark each other … the way a spark sparks … the sound and form of energy … of wheels rolling and friction and heat …

The voice present

The word present



The electricity of conduction:
  • the process by which heat or electricity is directly transmitted through a substance when there is a difference of temperature, or electrical potential between adjoining regions without movement of the material
  • The process by which sound travels through a medium
  • The transmission of impulses along nerves
  • The conveying of fluid through a pipe or other channel
(wondering about other channels)
Conducive: making a certain situation likely or possible
Constance: a lake in southeastern Germany
Con con con
Confluence:  the junction of two rivers especially rivers of approximately equal width
At the end of the day I write down two things Peter said.
“staying lucid”
“slide apart a little bit at a time”
I also write down something from John Berger book, Bento’s Sketchbook, he is quoting Spinoza, Ethics, Part V, Proposition XXIII.
We sense and experience that we are eternal.  For the mind no less senses those things which it conceives in understanding than those which it has in the memory.  For the eyes of the mind by which it sees things and observes them are proofs. So although we do not remember that we existed before the body, we sense nevertheless that our mind in so far as it involves the essence of the body under a species of eternity is eternal and its existence cannot be defined by time or explained by duration. “
day two
(Our practice includes Peter’s knots. He knots things well, and knows about a certain kind of tying and securing. Peter arranges the space with both speed and specificity.
Inside a knot, writing.
Language, letters, the way we tie, are tied, learn to tie into, our language.
Am watching Peter moving slowly tying and untying himself into physical knots;
   slowly, ever so slowly, with his body … yoga is a practice of knots … tying and untying has physical history, has physical language, has physical shape, texture,
and posture.
How to untie the
knots of letters and words,
How to slide them into unknown shapes,
every letter is an unknown shape
until a word comes along
and ties it into meaning,
unties it into sound.
Grandfathers are fisherman
Fathers are sailors
Grandfathers can be gardeners
The story of our fathers and families and how we learn to tie and untie a knot.
Peter laying down in the sunlight underneath the hanging bar that he secured: Guy is throwing paper  … I could look at this all day … we have been practicing for
a very long time to arrive at this place; … everything in the vortex has arrived at
a still place, a bland place, a bright place, a vibrating place, a place with potential, with a desire to keep replacing that one person, to that exact place.
It seems like everything is secured and unhinged all at once, transformed and breathing with the warmth of the sun streaming now into the studio … in the aftermath as I lay writing,
I can hear the clock,
The traffic,
The noise of radios and the doorbell to get into the studio.
Unhinging creates, can be a coincidence, can alter a path,
secure the knot,
and the boat will stay close to harbour.
We are urban hermits, moving our stuff around in the studio.
Peter tied a yellow string around the paper on the table.
He balanced on the bars and he hung from them.
He told us the story of his grandfather.
Lake Superior is his favorite Great Lake.
Guy tied himself to the bar much later on.
Peter was ready with a knife to cut him free.
All the k’s are silent
How does a knife and a knot tie your knowledge into silence?
How do I understand what is blank on a page?
How does the lazy carpenter come to save us all?
How does craft cut through bullshit?
And how are we all sailing towards another language?
Here now in the middle of a mighty secure structure, paper strewn, objects suspending and
knots of memory,
hold it lightly.
Again I write down what Peter says, as we read to each other at the end of the day.
“ Knots are emotional”
“ Lin has a grenade”
day three
Guy appears from behind the paper
Immediately I imagine the force of something hidden/then revealed,
The white page looks right now like a pyramid,
And Guy’s one finger appears, flesh against page
The embellishment of a gaze,
The way a wild animal appears
Out of nowhere, we are talking about
  seeing a bear, a coyote, an iguana, even and yes, a raccoon.
The imprint of a body close to a page and pushing yourself against it,
Wrapping yourself in it,
Touching pages someone else has already passed through
The memory is
A direction:
I was going east, the streetcar was packed, it was a summer day, his name was
Peter, he said,” take the money and run” … it’s a lie, he said, “ follow your dreams”
Guy is standing up on a pole, touching another pole,
Our bodies get stretched towards different distances …
I am telling Peter’s story, not the one on the streetcar,
 … it is the one about the solitary camping trip …
how a story is told … with many parts hidden, a story
reveals its own time, secures itself with what is said and
not said;
parts are there and parts are missing,
I love missing …
Once again
We write the room into a fury of various stages …
The pages turn like a sphere
Or a sun,
burning through window light,
And campfires
And how we sense embellishment.
Guy finds something I wrote in a corner of light on a page,
He reads it out loud …
Sutra in yoga means thread …
threads of light
of voice
of water
of pencils
of pens,
the thread of your distance is what secures me.
(At the end of the practice looking into the room … a paper sculpture formed from Guy’s body looks like Josef Boyce from his days with a coyote.)
poem for a step memory
I was somewhere and he said something,
And I was travelling
On a hot summer day.
We were together
On the same streetcar
I remember the specifics of
His step
It was light
He was going somewhere
On someday
And he said something
And my memory
Is of everything around him
The climate of the somewhere
And the direction of the something.