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Jennifer Archibald's BYTIYE returns to the stage

Jennifer Archibald's BYTIYE showcases Archibald's signature eclectic blend of classical ballet, contemporary, and street dance, executed with exacting precision, high-energy ferocity and athleticism. Company dancer Madison Costa reflects on the process of remounting this piece before its upcoming return to the stage.

The view of BYTIYE from backstage on CCDT's recent Northern Ontario tour.

 

The process of remounting BYTIYE has gone by so quickly. Since the first casting audition, I knew that this piece was very fitting for our current company. The intricate partner work combined with strong ballet lines, and the sharper, more staccato movements highlight every dancer’s strengths to form an overall dynamic and compelling work for the audience to enjoy.


An aspect of Jennifer Archibald’s work that I particularly enjoy is the integration of improvisational tasks throughout the piece. At first, I found this idea quite intimidating. As we ran the piece more and more, I pushed myself to investigate new pathways with my improv each time. Through this exploration I discovered that the improv aspect made each run unique, as no two runs were ever going to look the same.


Remounting pieces from the CCDT repertoire can be challenging as the current cast has to live up to the high expectations the original cast has set. That being said, this process allowed for a lot of self discovery for the current cast. As dancers, we are able to make a role our own while still being true to the intent of the choreographer ‘s vision.


The original 2019 Company cast performing BYTIYE. Photo by David Hou.

BYTIYE is about a ghost that is slowly taking over the bodies of the dancers, controlling our sudden movements until the inevitable final possession beyond repair. The music joined with the moody lighting helps to create an eerie essence about the piece. The story behind this work is a very captivating one. The company was lucky enough to bring the piece to life on the Teasing Gravity Tour in Kirkland Lake and Deep River, Ontario, earlier this year, and we are so excited to be performing it again in our upcoming school shows and public performance, Salience.

 

Don't miss Madison and the rest of the 2022/23 Company dancers performing BYTIYE alongside works by Olivier Coëffard, Chantelle Good, Deborah Lundmark, and Nicole Caruana, as part of CCDT's upcoming Salience mixed program. On stage at the Fleck Dance on May 26 & 27. Tickets and info here.

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