Citadel + Compagnie’s Tyler Gledhill sat down and chatted with choreographer Tori Mehaffey about the world premiere of her piece Avoidance that runs Nov. 21-24, and Nov. 28-Dec. 1 at The Citadel: Ross Centre for Dance. (More info and tickets).

What first made you want to choreograph?

I started choreographing at Ryerson University where I studied for my BFA. At first, to be honest, it was simply me taking a risk. I created a solo for an in-class exploration we were assigned. Through the development of this solo and further opportunities I was given to put forward personal works, I quickly became obsessed with the fact that you could create an alternative world or tell a story with the combined elements of music composition, physicality of the body, costuming, stage lighting and so on. Through time I learned it was my way of sharing who I am – a way to embody and shape the personal experiences I have had into a visual space, outside of my mind. It’s the desire to release a part of myself, in hopes it resonates with another in the space.

What is the one thing you want people to know about this work?

Something I want people to know about this work is that the visual ideas you see based around the theme of “avoidance” are available for your own personal interpretation. Any way the piece makes you feel, any storyline you see for yourself is valid and is worth asking yourself about.

Something to consider: How do you avoid dealing with your inner demons? Why do you choose to avoid dealing with them?

Check out Tori’s work, along with work by DA Hoskins/The Dietrich Group and Allison Cummings (more info here!)

Nov. 21-24, Nov. 28-Dec. 1, 8pm
The Citadel: Ross Centre for Dance
More info and tickets.
Nov. 29: post-show Artist Talkback, moderated by Michael Caldwell

Photo by DA Hoskins.