In Cassils’ first ever dance piece, trans bodies made movement — and a striking canvas — possible.
‘I wanted people to come in and do something with me,’ she says, recalling the first time the piece was performed by a group of women who ‘didn’t know how to engage me.’ She laughs. ‘I didn’t know how to bring [myself] into the moment. And so they tried.’
She’s right. This is Cassils’ first-ever piece. But it’s not the first time she’s collaborated with a group of women who don’t know how to engage her. Over the years, she has worked with an array of performers, including dancers, choreographers, and the like. But it has been on occasion that she’s been in the company of performers who feel most comfortable sharing her space — in the front row.
‘What I’ve said to the women is I think I’m so strong, I don’t need to have a lot of support,’ Cassils says. ‘And I think it’s not that they don’t need support, but I think that maybe they don’t know what an investment I am. They don’t know the work I’ve done. It’s that it’s more of an investment on their part to share the table with me.’
This is Cassils’ first piece of dance; her first time in front of a large group of people.
‘I felt I could contribute to her piece from the very first moment.’
Cassils says this has been an incredible experience. And one that she hopes to never forget.
‘I wanted something beautiful and unique,’ she says. ‘I wanted something that had to do with women, but that I could build.’
For Cassils, it was about putting her own unique vision out there, one that she says she felt she could make a difference in the world.
‘That was the beautiful thing for me,’ she says ‘I wanted something