Delia Brett - Contact HighMonday, July 07, 2008
Last year I attended the popular Vancouver intitution of dance, Brief Encounters. I was charmed by the performance of the intriguing Delia Brett who partnered with a puppeteer. A the intermission I saw Brett with a little boy in tow. They were identical and charming. He looked like a little adult, and adult with poise and grace.
Artemis Gordon, dance director of Arts Umbrella on Granville Island, considers dance skill to be important but it must be balanced by presence. After having seen Brett dance I agree with Gordon. Brett has presence in spades.
Brett decided to dance when she was 20. After seeing Dancemakers, a Toronto contemporary dance company, she quit her pursuit of film and TV and chose Peter Bingham's a contact improvisational dance method at EDAM. After my photo session with her and her seven-year-old son, Beckett I asked Brett: Why contact?
"It uses the whole person to develop artistry, imagination and awareness with physcial principles. It is flying because you are free. You develop greater levels of trust in yourself and others." Brett then went to shower praise on Bingham, one of Vancouver's little-known gurus of dance excellence. "He has been a huge influence in my life. EDAM [Experimental Dance and Music] is a place where I feel I belong. There I feel a sense of completeness."
I asked Brett what it was like to be a dancer and a mom. "It's good, but it's hard to be poor and to be a mother. Dance has given me the power and strength I never knew I had before I had Beckett. It is a different perspective in a way that I don't think you could get by just being an artist on the margins of society. It is a bigger world because I am a mother."
Brett and dance partner Daelik (both directors of Machinenoisy performed Vancouver vs Vancouver in collaboration with choreographer Fabrice Ramalingon in Sete, France May 30 and in Thessaloniki, Greece June 14. Perhaps we will see this performance (about the lively and sometimes pugilistic Vancouver dance scene) here soon.
As for Beckett, when I asked him if he planned to be a dancer, he looked me straight in the eye and groaned, "Uh-uh."
© 2008 VLM/Alex Waterhouse-Hayward