This ritual is not an accident (2014-2016)
Creation | Andréa de Keijzer & Erin Robinsong
Performance | Andréa de Keijzer & Erin Robinsong
Current Sound Design | Cosmo Sheldrake
Initial Sound Design | Gabriel Vignola
Lighting Consultant | Paul Chambers
Rehearsal Director | Hannah Sybille Müller
Photos | Yuula Benivolski
Funding | Canada Council for the Arts
Creation Partners | Usine C,Yves Sheriff/The 3rd Floor Projects, Hollyhock, The Stable, Kula, Mange Mes Pieds, Theatre Creators Reserve and Artscape Youngplace, Espacio Mexico, General Consulate of Mexico in Montreal
Performances | Touring Ontario and Quebec in Nov 2016
Espacio Mexico, Montréal | 3 et 4 novembre 2016
Guelph youth studios, Ontario | 5 novembre 2016
Hub 14, Toronto, Ontario | 6 et 7 novembre 2016
Factory Media Center, Hamilton, Ontario | 9 novembre 2016
The Barn, Prince Edward County, Ontario | 15 novembre 2016
This ritual is not an accident is about rituals and accidents. Andréa de Keijzer and Erin Robinsong play games with time and scale as personal histories are shredded, recomposed, and the slow-motion accident of climate change becomes intimate. A storm appears onstage. Grapes roll across the stage like tumbleweed. Ripe pears lurch, thud, and bruise at the feet of the audience. Women undergo surgery, first passive, then actively involved in their own operations. Personal histories are shredded, recomposed. This ritual is not an accident dances along fault lines, defibrillating dying questions and startling audiences into ceremony.
CAUTION // This performance includes periods of loud noise, nudity, flashes of profanity and high winds. Please feel free to enter and exit, or cover ears as needed.
The piece begins as a performance, and ends as an experiment. Is it possible, we wonder, to respond to the massive collective violence we are witnessing, where living systems are collapsing and opulence and scarcity are peaking, at the level of urgency we would a fast-motion threat: a car crash, a fire, an attack? What is it about the slow-motion accident that escapes our defense response? We offer a ritual to reset nervous systems collectively.
– Erin & Andréa
INTERVIEW // with Coman Poon | June 2015
What is URGENT?
CRITICAL RESPONSE //
Climate change is big, and people are small. In our culture we are all separate, but now we have to turn, decisively, as a group, or we’re fucked.
I have never encountered an artwork that so specifically, thoughtfully, and irresistibly addresses this dilemma as does This Ritual Is Not an Accident. To be in the room with this work is to grow—emotionally, imaginatively, socially; to awaken sensation in phantom extremities; to become a giant in the slowness of time; to commune with hidden parts of the self and the erotics of the flock. I can’t overstate the profundity of this: Andrea de Keijzer and Erin Robinsong made me bigger. When I was halfway to godliness it clicked: the emergency. It was suddenly so intimate. Every one of us needs this work.
~ Helen Guri, Poet / Editor
Brilliant, witty, clever, engaging, provocative, current, relevant, cutting-edge, multi-layered, satisfying… the disconnected head. Magic!
~ Lynda Raino, Choreographer and Founding Director, Lynda Raino Dance
A leaf blower stirs up a whining tornado. Grapes roll across the stage like tumbleweed. Ripe pears lurch, thud, and bruise at the feet of the audience. Fifty balloons are popped in slow motion. This Ritual is not an Accident dances along fault lines, defibrillating dying questions and startling audiences into ceremony. A stunning invention.
~ Perceval Spöre, Director and Author of Anatomies of Perversion, and Celibate Imaginations
This Ritual is not an Accident enacts a beautiful enquiry. Like scurvy, which can cause the long-healed and forgotten wounds of ship-bound mariners to open again, de Keijzer and Robinsong play games with time. Memories are unclamped. Histories are served alive, freshly shucked. Unoxidised narratives are revealed. But so gracefully are we challenged to reconsider our familiar relations with the unknown, that our mariners’ wounds are not left open. de Keijzer and Robinsong do more than scurvy could ever do, and deftly weave a suture to leave us looking forward to tomorrow.
~ Roddy Rubrique, Editor; Analogue Island News, Professor Emeritus in Performance and Criticism, Vencel College of the Performing Arts, Hungary.
In other local feminist art news, I just wanted to put in a good word for Andrea de Keijzer & Erin Robinsong’s “This ritual is not an accident”…. There are layers and layers of meaning around identity, ecology, connectedness, from which clear understanding gradually emerges.
~ Miriam Ginestier, Artistic and General Director of Studio 303
This is really beautiful work.
~ Jacob Wren, Performance Artist / Novelist