Isabelle Kirouac

Artist Statement: Together () Apart

Together () Apart is an interactive performance installation for seven performers and an audience of one. It explores social, physical and political notions of borders manifesting and being revealed through movement, somatic investigations, social experiments and interdisciplinary performance making. The concept of border is examined both as a subjective line of division and as a third space of encounter located inside the body, outside the body and in-between bodies. Designed after the concept of border as a space that can potentially both divide and unite, each performer occupies a separate space, intimately meeting each audience member one by one. The format of one-on-one performance offers an opportunity to explore our connection to ‘an other’ and to negotiate the space in-between bodies.

My interest in the notion of border and territory has emerged from my personal experience working and travelling abroad as a freelance artist, continuously crossing national borders and dealing with structures of authority while learning to be at home in a constant state of transition. The border can be seen as a liminal space where cultures meet, where identities are constantly being defined and redefined, and where movement emerges as a negotiation between differences. Each person, side by side with a multiplicity of others, learns to negotiate differences through collaborative decision-making, allowing for new possibilities. Through this collective period of transformation, a new common sense of meaning or purpose is established. Meeting in this ‘third space’ reshapes the organization of body politics by inspiring us to take more responsibility and to cooperate in the creation of new encounters.

I spent many years on the road. Without a place to come back to, my body became my home. I learned to adapt, to cultivate a sense of readiness, to listen and to pay attention to the rhythm of each step. My artistic practice is about attention. Paying attention allows us to constantly be in research, to practice unknowing, to redefine ourselves in each moment. In this constant dance of holding on and letting go, we expose ourselves and witness each other. Through dance, I have been developing a greater awareness of my own body and exploring the nature of my relationships with others. Dance is a process of transformation: an aesthetic of change, which turns fear into curiosity. It is a form of social and political action that allows us to engage in an active dialog between each other, our environment and ourselves. It allows us to bring greater awareness to our senses, to get back in touch with our wild selves, to learn through meaningful experiences, to investigate challenging questions, and to collaborate in the creation of new possibilities. Driven by the urge to create artistic work that calls into being and holds a transformative potential, my artistic practice aims to provoke dialog and shared embodied experiences from which we can learn new ways of experiencing the world, relating to one another and perceiving our daily lives.


Isabelle Kirouac is an interdisciplinary choreographer, performer and educator from a small town in Quebec, currently living in Vancouver. She holds an M.F.A. in Interdisciplinary Arts from Simon Fraser University and a B.A. in Literature from Université du Québec À Montréal. Her ongoing training in improvisation, somatic practices, release-based movement techniques and contemporary circus inspires her work. Having spent many years moving in-between places, Isabelle often develops dances, installations and interactive performances that explore notions of border, place, identity and the poetic of the senses. She has been performing and teaching in Canada, USA, Mexico, Colombia, Spain, Greece, Estonia, Germany, the UK, Israel, Palestine, Morocco and Senegal. Isabelle collaborated and danced with Carpetbag Brigade Physical Theater, Karl Frost/Body Research, Guillermo Gomez Peña/La Pocha Nostra, Felix Ruckert, Theatre Junction, Emilio Rojas, Emmalena Fredriksson, Lea Kieffer, Eman Haram/the Geography of Elsewhere, amongst others.

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Together () Apart: A performance experience for an audience of one – Trailer