Dance Performance by Evelyn Reid: “Eternal Love” Art Opening

A professional artist for the better part of 20 years, sculptor Yann Normand wanted to do something a little different for his first solo show.

Asking me to perform literally anything I want—“fais ce que tu veux, Evelyn”*—on opening night of “Eternal Love” at the prestigious Galerie LeRoyer in Old Montreal, I created a choreography informed by multiple channels.

Ballet jazz, waacking, and house steps blended into a past riddled with Chinese kung fu, Russian systema, Japanese jujustu, and assorted esoteric teachings to open a sacred space. Calling in the four cardinal directions, the audience was then given the choice to follow the dance through different rooms or… drop out.

A couple did, faces lit by phones. Freedom of choice.

Most moved with me.

Sculpting shapes around the fragility of diplomacy via grenades held together by a single feather in place of a pin, I beckoned guests to follow me past a gutted gallery wall smashed in by a motorcycle with steel thorn-studded wheels, exploring space around a punching bag covered in spikes, rooms removed from Yann’s welded axes dubbed “Lovers” and skulls juxtaposed into the witting shape of a heart.

Before closing the space (thus concluding the performance), I moved through raven wings made with steel and brushed with gold, subtly evoking what is hidden from view much as the black bird is fabled to do**, rituals long forgotten along with their shamans, ancestral practices since replaced by newer gods and constructs, be they fiat currency or the hedonistic pursuit of short-lived pleasure fuelled by the exponential growth of technology.

*That’s French for, “do what you want, Evelyn.”

**In native lore, ravens can speak, hear, and move between worlds. Thus, some mistakingly interpret the black bird as representing darkness and death, the underworld. But select First Nations stories tell of a raven who created the world by giving it light. Divinity and creation also lie behind the veil.

Dance Performance by Evelyn Reid: “Eternal Love” Art Opening

by Evelyn Reid

November 22, 2019

Photo © Evelyn Reid

A professional artist for the better part of 20 years, sculptor Yann Normand wanted to do something a little different for his first solo show.

Asking me to perform literally anything I want—“fais ce que tu veux, Evelyn”*—on opening night of “Eternal Love” at the prestigious Galerie LeRoyer in Old Montreal, I created a choreography informed by multiple channels.

Ballet jazz, waacking, and house steps blended into a past riddled with Chinese kung fu, Russian systema, Japanese jujustu, and assorted esoteric teachings to open a sacred space. Calling in the four cardinal directions, the audience was then given the choice to follow the dance through different rooms or… drop out.

A couple did, faces lit by phones. Freedom of choice.

Most moved with me.

Sculpting shapes around the fragility of diplomacy via grenades held together by a single feather in place of a pin, I beckoned guests to follow me past a gutted gallery wall smashed in by a motorcycle with steel thorn-studded wheels, exploring space around a punching bag covered in spikes, rooms removed from Yann’s welded axes dubbed “Lovers” and skulls juxtaposed into the witting shape of a heart.

Before closing the space (thus concluding the performance), I moved through raven wings made with steel and brushed with gold, subtly evoking what is hidden from view much as the black bird is fabled to do**, rituals long forgotten along with their shamans, ancestral practices since replaced by newer gods and constructs, be they fiat currency or the hedonistic pursuit of short-lived pleasure fuelled by the exponential growth of technology.

*That’s French for, “do what you want, Evelyn.”

**In native lore, ravens can speak, hear, and move between worlds. Thus, some mistakingly interpret the black bird as representing darkness and death, the underworld. But select First Nations stories tell of a raven who created the world by giving it light. Divinity and creation also lie behind the veil.