NO GUILT: Frequently-Asked Questions personæ home

So what's it about, anyway?

No Guilt is a bittersweet documentary about the passing of a signature role from one artist (Susan Macpherson) to another (Peggy Baker.)

Surely you can say more than that?

Well, yes; No Guilt is based on substantially on Paul-André Fortier's Non Coupable (1983.) Susan Macpherson's relinquishing and Peggy Baker's acquisition of the dance make No Guilt inescapably a document of passages - striving, retreat, lament, exultation, falling-back, defiance - and the weight of their carrying-through.

It is apparent that No Guilt raises certain anxieties about gender and authenticity. While John Faichney does not share these anxieties, neither does he dismiss them. In any case, he expresses his own sense of No Guilt in terms of tensions - in movement, performance, narrative and structure - that might suitably be explored in a half-hour television program.

Non Coupable was created for a soloist - why two dancers?

No Guilt changes everything else about Non Coupable; why should the number of performers be any different?

Most choreography is born and dies with the person on whom it is created; but this is not the case for Non Coupable. As Susan Macpherson retires from the work, Peggy Baker (and others) become familiar with it. These two transitions are worlds-apart. But we need to see the before-and-after of each transition to understand the difference.

But there's also a sense in which No Guilt is separate-from and "more than" how it happens to be performed. Seeing the similarities-of and differences-between two versions of Non Coupable may at first only seem confusing, but, eventually, something about the choreography is made clearer.

And note, finally, that Non Coupable isn't just divided between two dancers, but also two costumes, four (five?) settings, and numerous time-scales and intepretive contexts. All these differences are the raw material for the playing-with-transitions that makes No Guilt a work-for-television.

What were the choreographer's/composer's involvements?

John Faichney produced the Culvert sections of No Guilt in January, 1990. With material in-hand to illustrate his approach to the work, he contacted Paul-André Fortier and Henry Kucharzyk to obtain licenses to the choreography and music. At various points over the following years, he provided Fortier and Kucharzyk with progress reports and in-progress versions of material.

Early on, he proposed that Kucharzyk might compose new music for the end-credits; in the end, Faichney and Kucharzyk agreed that the existing music, as adapted, was preferable to anything composed after-the-fact.

Fortier's involvement was somewhat more intense. In addition to being featured in rehearsals and interviews (1994), he returned to Toronto to assist Peggy Baker with her preparation for the Orchard sections (1995), and remained to be present at the shoot. Nevertheless, Fortier was insistent, throughout, that No Guilt was the project and responsibility of its director/producer.

John Faichney is grateful to Paul-André Fortier and Henry Kucharzyk for allowing the adaptation of their work for television.

When was it first screened?

No Guilt received its theatrical premiere October 15, 1996, at the Moving Pictures festival, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

No Guilt received its television premiere December 9, 1996, on the Bravo! network (Canada).

How much did it cost to make?

Around CDN$ 75,000, of which about 40% was raised through grants and donated services.

Why did it take so long (seven years) to make?

See previous item.

Is there a French version?

Yes! No Guilt is available in a mixed French/English version (dialogue in French and English, French subtitles under English dialogue.) Please direct inquiries for licensing the French version to Personæ.

Is there a theatrical (film) version?

No Guilt was always conceived as a television program; it made sense, throughout, to produce it toward that context. While transfer of the final master videotape to film is technically possible, this would, in itself, do little to make it possible to show No Guilt theatrically.

Exhibitors interested in for-profit, theatrical exhibition of No Guilt should contact Personæ for license information.

How can I reach Personæ?

It's easy to send us email.

You can also call us at

(416) 820-6739

Or you can write to us at

80 Bellevue Ave.
Toronto, Ontario
M5T 2N7 Canada

What else has Personæ done?

No Guilt is its only signficant project.

Who's answering these questions, anyway?

John Faichney, directory/producer of No Guilt, personally maintains the Personæ site.

Got a question? send us email and your question will be answered (or possibly evaded) here, within days! more frequently-asked questions...