The Beach and Other Stories
At home or in public space, images are everywhere. They seduce the eye, blur our shared stories and orient our future. For choreographer and dancer Maria Kefirova, they are rivers of meaning that a mere gesture of tenderness can reactivate. The Beach and Other Stories is a solo piece about photographic infiltration, that it is created in full complicity with the audience.
Somewhere between a neighborhood alley and a darkroom, a storyteller short-circuits the suggestive power of images, recasting our imaginary worlds and rewriting our stories. She lets herself drift from one photograph to another, slips among the various protagonists, comments, laughs, and recounts her own story. Her gestures and words flow along a current that runs freely, activating our sightlines, our memories, the material before us: a jubilant dance inspired by fiction, a rediscovery of the graceful art of play.
Produced by Maria Kefirova + Danse-Cité
Concept, choreography and performance Maria Kefirova
Text Maria Kefirova + Michael Martini
Dramaturgical support Hanako Hoshimi-Caines
Advisors Diego Gil + Sophie Corriveau
Lighting Design Karine Gauthier
Costume Design Jade Tong Cuong
Sound Design Nicolas Basque + Maria Kefirova
Visual Design Consultant Johan Deschuymer
Consultants Mladen Alexiev + Mila Mineva + Jacob Wren + Sebastian Kann + Mira Todorova
Photos Bulgarian Visual Archive – Olivier Tullie
Surtitles translation Elaine Normandeau
Surtitles Operator Benoît Isabelle
Co-produced by Festival TransAmériques
With the support of Agora de la danse + Créations Estelle Clareton + Studios Solidaires ̶ Diagramme – gestion culturelle
Creative residencies Stable + MAI | Montréal, arts interculturels + Toplotsentrala Centre for Contemporary Art (Sofia)
Premiered at Festival TransAmériques, on June 2, 2023
Presented in association with Agora de la danse + Tangente
Written by Myriam Stéphanie Perraton-Lambert
Translated by Jeff Moore
About the artist
Maria Kefirova (Montreal)
Maria Kefirova is a performer-researcher with a crystalline mind, known for her experimental works and her ability to take an idea to its logical conclusion, turning the stage into a laboratory. A Bulgarian-born choreographer based in Montreal, she is a pillar of the independent dance and performance scene.
Her personal and formally demanding approach positions the body, sound and space as relational interfaces. Over the years, her oblique perspective has led not only to collaborations as a performer, but also as an outside eye and artistic consultant with many uncategorizable artists, including Katie Ward, Paul Chambers, Hanako-Hoshimi Caines, Brice Noeser, and many others. Kefirova also shares the fruits of her innovative practice in creative workshops.
In 2012, after graduating from the prestigious Academy of Theatre and Dance (DAS Theatre) in Amsterdam, she created The Nutcracker with 25 kilos of walnuts, a pair of high heels and four loudspeakers as her on-stage partners. A lavish and joyous offering, the work dismantles the idea of inner and outer limits. The body is celebrated as a complex and paradoxical reality, as in Corps. Relations (2014). In Measuring Distance (2016) she further explores space through an interplay of proximity and distance, allowing her to explore a variety of meeting points. In Boxes Towels (2021), an abundance of surfaces—wallpaper, towels, screens—scrambles the trail of sounds whose mysteries she gradually reveals. The Beach and Other Stories belongs to a body of work in search of balance and consciousness. The choreographer here joins forces with author Michael Martini to explore a more immediate relationship with the audience. Through a skillfully constructed narration, the duo unveils a photographic archive of Bulgaria from 1996-1998, compiled by Olivier Tulliez.
“Kefirova’s compelling cross-disciplinary performance and art practice reverberates with her research into affective complexities.”
Philip Szporer, The Dance Current, 2014-02-18, about The Nutcracker
“The woman is a genius.”
Bettina Forget, Movement Museum, 2010-03-11, about Corps.Relations
“D’une rare et lumineuse intelligence.’’
Catherine Lalonde, Le Devoir, 2016-11-18, about Why are dogs successful on stage ?
“The choreographer continues to fascinate.”
Sylvain Verstricht, Local gestures, 2014-01-31, about The Nutcracker