After two years of research and planning, Theatre Conspiracy is digging into the creation of the documentary-style play Extraction. Our international cast and team of theatre artists are in residence at The Cultch in Vancouver for the next couple of weeks to experiment before a work-in-progress presentation at Your Kontinent: Richmond International Film & Media Arts Festival on July 21. Read the rest of this entry »
"Through the biographies of four performers, the bilingual, documentary-style play Extraction looks at lives transformed by the rapid growth of Beijing and Fort McMurray, Chinese investment in Alberta’s tar sands and the evolution of Canada/China relations.
Extraction, directed by Amiel Gladstone, will run March 5-9, 2013, as part of the season at The Cultch in Vancouver. Theatre Conspiracy was presented with the annual Rio Tinto Alcan Performing Arts Award, a $60,000 prize that will support the development and production of Extraction."
Hébert is one of Canada's most astute political writers. Today she does a really good analysis of how arts funding, including public broadcast funding, lead indirectly to impact around the world and commercial box-office success. Read the rest of this entry »
On June 1, 2011, SunTV broadcast an interview with veteran Canadian dancer and choreographer Margie Gillis see link below, which quickly turned abusive towards the guest. In a message on his facebook page, Canadian dancer Louis Laberge-Côté, currently a teacher at Nationaltheatre Manheim in Germany, offered this assessment.
In response to the Sun News Network interview with Margie Gillis
By Louis Laberge-Côté
Contemporary dancer / choreographer / teacher / arts lover / taxpayer
If by attacking dance artist Margie Gillis on the Canada Live show aired on June 1st, Krista Erickson, anchorwoman for the Sun News Network, intended to publicly insult a well-respected artist on a sensationalist broadcast news channel, she certainly achieved her goal. Of course, Miss Erickson is allowed to have her own opinions and she has the right to express them. But when it comes to journalism, shouldn’t it be somewhat of a moral obligation for the reporter to put aside her personal opinions to look at a situation from different perspectives, gather information from different sources and, obviously, allow her guest to express her point of view? Isn’t it ridiculously unprofessional and profoundly inhumane to invite a woman such as Margie Gillis just to publicly bully her, with no possibility for real discourse, in the name of a few minutes of “great television”?
That's where we're at today, as the dominant technology of our living room becomes obsolete practically overnight. HDTV is sending those heavy, awkward boxes out to the curb, to be replaced with newer, more expensive, and quicker-to-obsolescence machines.
I'm designing media for a new theatre show - Macbeth: nach Shakespeare by Heiner Muller. I'm building a throne of televisions that will show piles of corpses whenever the King sits on it... I thought it might be easy to gather free TV's through craigslist, but I never imagined how quickly the cathode-ray sets were being discarded.
This class-warfare Macbeth takes the moral clarity out of the story: Instead of Macbeth murdering a wonderful King out of pure bloody ambition, we start the play with Macbeth committing murders for the King's benefit. Peasants strung up for not paying rent, rebellious lords skinned alive for disloyalty. So when Macbeth decides to murder up instead of murdering down, the moral leap isn't that big: what's one more dead body on the pile?
I think I have frostbite in my little toes. But it was worth it to Critically Mass.
I also did an interview with Openfile.ca, a new online / local news service, about the question of whether critical mass is needed in the New World of Bike Lanes. I'll post that when it's written up.
The big question today was - what would become of the pseudo-counter-mass which was meant to draw riders off into the bike lanes, to celebrate them and avoid angering the Easily-Angered Car Gods?? Well, it looked like there wasn't much of an issue - Jamie Ollivier was there, doing his thing, and the main Mass did ours.
In case there was any doubt that I really liked Dayna Hanson's Gloria's Cause, here's proof how I was going on about it right after the show.
A snippet from Jessie Smith's post-show interview with Flick Harrison at Vancouver, B.C.'s PuSh Festival.
@ the Push Festival 2011
Gloria's Cause is a knock-down drag-out fight between dance, movement, theatre, and rock, and the winner is We the People. If I had to help you get a grip on the show, I could call it a Rock Opera. Or I could say it's as if Frank Zappa dosed the Tea Party with mushrooms, and then jammed with them on Jerry Springer.
There were at least two separate moments in the show when I was more moved than I've ever been by dance, and I mean an emotional arrest of the kind that happens seldom in a cynical viewer's lifetime. Read the rest of this entry »