A Red Deer contemporary dancer is excited to be back in front of audiences in one of the first live shows in Toronto since the pandemic shuttered theatres.
Carleen Zouboules, 23, is half of a duet that has been bringing “Touch” to life since September after a year of on and off rehearsals due to COVID-19 lockdowns.
“When it finally opened at the beginning of September it was quite fulfilling and exciting for all of us,” said Zouboules who currently shares the stage with dancer Evan Webb. They have been rotating the roles with other dancers.
“Coming back, it’s funny because you’re very nervous of course, and you have butterflies, but it also comes back faster than you think. You get out there and you feed off the energy of the audience which is super special.”
She said so far COVID-19 rules have done their job and hopes the measures continue to keep people safe.
“Touch” is an immersive experience created for the Lighthouse Immersive Gallery 2 performance space by Guillaume Côté, with the artists of Côté Danse, in collaboration with Thomas Payette of Hub Studio.
Zouboules, who danced with a few Red Deer clubs before moving to Toronto to get her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in performance dance at Ryerson University, said the show incorporates projections of light that illuminate the dancers by using motion sensors, and dancers are much closer to the audience than usual.
“You can look people in the eyes, and also see their reactions while you’re dancing and moving which is a unique experience. I think it’s so special, especially after the pandemic when people haven’t been able to see live performances. They’re so thrilled to be there. That would be my favourite part.”
She said the show is all about relationship and the connection between two people. The relationship is not necessarily romantic so it’s a journey anyone can relate to.
“It’s just really about the ins and outs of a relationship.”
Putting relationship in the spotlight is something that has appealed to audiences. The show has been extended to run until Jan. 2.
“Reviews have been going really well and everyone’s been very happy. We were extended twice already and we’re super fortunate for that.”
The show could potentially go on tour, but she was not sure where.
Zouboules said it’s her first project with choreographer Guillaume Côté, who has danced most of the major classical roles with The National Ballet of Canada, and has started exploring contemporary dance.
“There’s some phenomenal, phenomenal dancers and artists in the city and I feel super lucky to be involved and have the opportunity to work with such amazing people.”