I love letter writing. I have since my grandmother (who I might add lived in the same city as I did) used to write letters to each other when I was a kid. But this fall I wrote some of the hardest letters I’ve ever written. Citadel + Compagnie’s artistic director, Laurence Lemieux asked me to write letters from WWI soldiers to their next of kin in the weeks before the Battle of Vimy Ridge to accompany her dance piece, Jusqu’a Vimy.
It was brutal, reading actual letters from soldiers, just boys many of them – their optimism, their despair, their memories of home and often making light of the situations they were writing from.
I wrote letters, fictional letters based on the characters of the eight local soldiers in the dance piece. Every audience member will receive a letter when the show premieres at The Citadel in Toronto next week.
It’s a powerful dance piece, with an accompanying augmented reality installation, and visuals from Jeremy Mimnagh. I’m not sure I’m going to last 3 minutes without bawling.