Montreal, October 21, 2020 — Last March, we stopped our activities without knowing exactly when they would start up again, or in what form. How can we continue to make art flourish in synergy with audiences when gatherings are restricted? How can we continue creation research when the artists can no longer touch each other?

RUBBERBAND has showed resilience and creativity during this difficult period, and the company’s artists have all been busy with original, vibrant personal projects that have included short films, solos, ambulatory performances, studios and workshops, and cultural mediation.

The team was excited and happy to reunite on September 21 to begin the first 3-week work cycle on Victor Quijada’s new creation, Reckless Underdog. This large-scale work with fifteen dancers is a triptych, offering spectators three different choreographic and aesthetic proposals. RUBBERBAND benefitted from a one-week residency at Théâtre Maisonneuve of Place des Arts thanks to the support of Danse Danse, co-producer of the work.

Coming into creation, it’s always a trip. There’s always a bunch of questions, you know. What have I done already? What have I done before? What has worked? What has not worked? What do I wish I could figure out? […] It feels like the world is on the brink of ending. But we just gonna keep on creating ’til the very last minute. And stay present.

Victor Quijada
Founder, Artictic Director and Choreographer, RUBBERBAND

COVID-19 – Creation during a pandemic requires implacable logistical control. Fortunately, production director Véronique Perreault has made sure that our dancers, artistic collaborators, and employees are protected by the necessary sanitary measures. Wearing masks and safety glasses, disinfecting hands and materials, designating spaces on the floor: everything is put in place so that work can be carried out safely.

Also, contacts in our administrative offices are limited, we wear masks, and keep apart by the prescribed two metres.

AUTUMN ACTIVITIES – Along with eleven other choreographers and dancers, Victor Quijada and Anne Plamondon participated in the recording of [in]verse, a magnificent music and poetry album, reading extracts from Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse in French and in Spanish. This was an initiative of Toronto’s Fall for Dance North festival.

The 7th edition of FLACC (Festival of Latin American Contemporary Choreographers) is being held from September 16 to November 18 this year. On October 14, Victor was the featured guest in a talk entitled First Generation Chicanx and the Politics of Belonging. He touched upon the issues of immigration and identity that motivated him to create Trenzado, his most personal work to date.

Since September, our allophone dancers have been taking bi-weekly French courses remunerated by Service Québec. This is much appreciated, as it allows RUBBERBAND to partially compensate dancers for lost work due to the repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic. Offered by the adult education section of the Centre de services scolaires de Montréal, these classes are a wonderful opportunity for our dancers to take full advantage of living in Quebec and Montreal society.

On Monday, the company’s artists came back into the studio to put the final touches on Trenzado before it goes – we hope – on tour.

In spite of these uncertain times and the approach of colder days, let’s remain optimistic, channel our energy, and keep creating.

Take good care of yourselves! ❤️