A year-long, site-specific performance series created by Tedi Tafel


Calendar is a year-long, in situ performance series starting in January 2010 comprised of 12 events – one a month for the entire year. The series draws its inspiration from the seasonal shifts and cycles of the natural world. Each event is closely tied to the time of year in which it will be presented. Calendar takes a variety of forms from the discrete to the elaborate, and will be shown in a diverse array of spaces in Montreal including an industrial warehouse, a backyard garden and an alleyway. Events vary in length lasting anywhere from mere minutes to several hours occurring at different times of the day. All events are free.

This web site will be updated and disseminated monthly announcing future events and documenting past ones through images, text and sound. This way you can follow the project and consult the site to find out when and where the next performance will be taking place. You will also find writings that were generated during the research and creation process as well as those that will be added over the year.

Calendar grew from a desire to create a long-term work that would follow a full cycle of seasonal changes. To experience these changes directly, artist Tedi Tafel began her research in 2007 by spending one month a season in the Boréal forest of the Laurentian Mountains. While living alone in a small cabin on 300 acres of land1, her goals remained simple: to pay close attention to her surroundings, to listen carefully to her inner responses and to stay present to any images or ideas that might emerge through this intimate contact. All of the main metaphors, thoughts and themes that make up the series were discovered during this time.

Calendar is difficult to define. Certain events integrate performance, light, sound and video while others are simply performances or projections. But all involve the dancing body, elements of nature and urban architecture in varying states of inter-activity. Each event appears to animate the hidden life of the performed site and reveal an imaginary vitality invisible in their everyday existence. And each, in its way, articulates how the human spirit continues to resonate with the natural world even in the most unlikely of places.

The main concern for Monique Jean (director of the sound content for Calendar) is based on the notion of listening and trying to raise new perceptual sensations by transforming the familiar into new auditory experiences. She does this through actions that are at times minimalist, at times encompassing, or through combining concrete and abstract sounds. What they have in common is to favor the notions of presence, the state of listening and a lived sense of the passage of time.

What began back in 2007 as a very personal experience of a particular place continues to evolve as it meets the experiences, imaginations and sensibilities of the performers and collaborators. When moved into the performance sites, the works again change as the ‘life’ of the piece meets and mingles with the specific characteristics of the chosen location. Though each phase of the development is transformative, Tedi has never lost sight of the initial inspiration; the very deep impressions left by the time she spent in the forest and her persistent desire to bring something of this extraordinary experience back into the city.

1 The land referred to here is part of BoréalArtNature, a research and creation centre based in the Laurentian mountains of Quebec. The centre provides a transdisciplinary platform dedicated to the exploration of relationships between ecology and culture. BoréalArtNature co-produce the 4-month, 4-season residency.

More information

This project was made possible through the generous support of…

Canada Council for the Arts / Conseil des arts du Canada

Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec

Boreal Art Nature

Home page photos: Tedi Tafel
Web design & coding: Benoit Pontbriand