Vicki Tansey

Un texte de Andrea Conway

Paru dans le numéro

Publié le : 4 juin 2024

Dernière mise à jour : 4 juin 2024


Vicki Tansey is a multidisciplinary artist who never cease to explore and mesmerize her public.

Vicki Tansey
Photo Andrea Conway

Back in the seventies, Vicki Tansey started the improvisational dance movement in Montréal, frequently making trips to New York City. While in New York, she decided to consult a mentor with a problem. She is a dancer, but felt she kept leaking other art forms. Her mentor did not see it as a problem. And from that moment on Vicki has not separated the dancer from the visual artist. Vicki doesn’t limit herself to those two art forms. She uses her voice, she writes, you name it, she does it. “We have all of these senses, why not use them!” Each art form nourishes the other, resulting in unexpected surprises.

To celebrate her 80th year on the planet, Vicki Tansey booked the 130-seat “Theatre Lac Brome.” One might say she threw herself a huge birthday party. The first part of the event was a vernissage, the lobby adorned with her latest visual artwork. Then came the performance, a full-length dance show accompanied by live musicians, moving several audience members to tears. Her grandson studying at the National Theatre School later questioning, how it was at all possible to memorize all the deep detailed interconnections that had happened between her and the musicians. Vicki’s answer, the entire happening had been improvised.

During this interview, Vicki Tansey mentioned a conversation she had with a 70-year-old skydiver who was addicted to skydiving. She asked him what it was about the skydiving that he loved. It was not the actual jump; it was that split second he decides to take the jump. That is exactly how Vicki feels about improvising with art. It is the moment she decides to take the leap.

“No matter what art form I engage in and express through, there’s always and fundamentally an approach that is inspired by and a response to ‘making do’—to working with what is there—be it one’s materials, physical space and/or collaborators. There is always something that will result—and that quality of surprise and challenge in not knowing what or even if ‘it’ will work—the essence of true improvisation—is always at the heart of it all.”

What warms Vicki Tansey’s heart is being able to offer mentorship and guidance for adults of all disciplines who are looking to revitalize and grow. Vicki feels that improvisation is an essential tool for creation. With her diverse background, she assists individuals in rediscovering their inner child, by fostering curiosity, exploration, and play. The ability to surprise oneself with delight is an incredible gift. A gift that everyone is capable of, and somehow, we tend to forget how to do this. Want to take a leap and surprise yourself? Let Vicki inspire you! On June 15, from 2 to 5 p.m., she will also present Exits & Entrances : Improvisations in Movement & Sound at 269 Pinacle West in Frelighsburg (450 538-6060 to reserve). During the Tour des Arts, she will perform with musicians André Lafleur and Jean René at the Sutton School of Art on July 13 at 8 p.m..

Andrea Conway, a grateful organ recipient