We ask Sara Harton some questions ahead of her performance in Didy Veldman’s / Umanoove’s The Knot. At Pavilion Dance South West on Thu 29 November.
Hello Sara. We are super excited to watch The Knot by Didy Veldman / Umanoove. Can you tell us what it is like to perform in this piece?
To perform in this piece beside such inspiring artists has been a wonderful adventure! Working with Didy has been a real pleasure as well, and a marvellous artistic discovery for me. She is a very dedicated and passionate woman who opens a dialog with each person she works with. The Knot has been a beautiful journey so far!
What type of choreographic journey did you go on for The Knot?
The creative process had different phases. During the first rehearsals, there was a lot of space for research, meetings and exchanges, where the entire team could get to know each other better. We also participated in the development of the choreographic vocabulary. Didy is a very sensitive person who cares about staging something real, something true. She gave us space to create some material and express ourselves in it. Didy also created sequences and fed us with many different intentions and qualities. Every time we come back in the studio, we make changes, we refine the work, we make the piece grow and evolve. The work is never finished! Those moments are very precious to me, they keep the piece alive, sincere and authentic.
How long have you been a part of The Knot?
I have been part of The Knot since the beginning of the creation in November 2017.
What is your favourite moment of The Knot and why?
There are several moments that I enjoy very much, but one that I love is when I invite someone from the audience to come onto the stage with us. At this precise moment, my whole state of mind switches as I am meeting a new person and taking care of him/her. This very human moment becomes more important than my dance or my performance as I truly enjoy making these real connections with members of the public on stage.
What made you want to dance professionally?
Music and movement have always been part of my life. I started to dance around the age of 9 and started professional training at the age of 12. I realised that I wanted to become a professional dancer the day I found out that being a dancer could be a job! At that precise moment, I had a life goal!
Do you have a moment in your life as a dancer that you always remember?
Of course, the life of a dancer is filled with beautiful moments, but also darker ones.
A moment that I will always remember is when I injured my right hip very badly at the beginning of my career. I thought it was the end of it… I had to stop dancing and went through many surgeries. It was a very hard period filled with fear, uncertainty and pain. Therefore, during that year of recovery, I started to do some volunteering, started some studies at university and developed other skills. By the time I came back to dance, I left the company that I was working with and started working with different people on different projects as a freelancer.
Finally, this hip injury was a wake-up call. It made me realise that I only have one body and that I am the only one who can take care of it. Also, this experience brought me to freelancing which was for me one of the best discoveries. I enjoy meeting new people so much, new styles and new artistic universes, and in a way, without this injury, I would probably not be part of this wonderful project The Knot and wouldn’t be writing these lines…
What else are you up to?
At the moment, I am working on different exciting projects, with different companies and choreographers. After the tour with Umanoove/Didy Veldman, I will go back to Montréal and be part of the new creation of Cirque Éloize. I will also perform in New York in a few weeks with the company Trip the Light Fantastic (directed by Kyra Jean Green)!
See Sara perform at PDSW on Thursday 29 Novmber!