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I have two shows in this year’s SummerWorks festival: To Live in the Age of Melting: the Idea of North 2.0 (a LiveArt Installation and performance by myself and Elysha Poirier) and, a new play, Graceful Rebellions by Shaista Latif, which i have directed and helped to create.
The festival opens tomorrow and thus, I am currently feeling…um…uncomfortably close to the excitement, adrenaline, and insanity which is creating brand new work for a festival.
Every time I put new work before an audience, as the artist I find myself wanting it to be perfect, and perfectly ready. But in Reality is: putting work in front of an audience for the first time is actually simply the utterly necessary and somewhat painful step in discovering more about the work, and finding out how it lives and breathes. Live performance has to be live, in front of people before it fully comes alive. You take it as far as you can in your never-long-enough rehearsal/ creation process, and then…you take it on the live ride.
And so here goes.
Graceful Rebellions is a new show which started as part of the Young Creators Unit at Buddies in 2013, where it was a 25 minute show; now it’s a 50 minute show with new characters and a whole new story line. Shaista is a beautiful young writer and performer; it’s a very personal and powerful show about being a young, queer Afghan-Canadian woman.
And because one adrenaline rush wasn’t enough for me this year: Monday, i open the doors to my first-ever installation work, with Elysha Poirier: To Live in the Age of Melting: The Idea of North 2.0.
All week we’ll hold “Office Hours” where the installation is open to the public (5 to 8 pm), and we’ll be collecting stuff related to the North and what people here in Toronto think and have experienced about the North. We’re inviting people in to bring us objects which speak of the North – anything from a song to an ice cube to a parka – something that has a story attached to it. I’ll be recording people’s stories about their objects, and asking a bunch of other questions about your experience / ideas of the North. In the North, my colleague Laakkaaluk Bathory Williams will be gathering stories from people in Iqaluit about the South. I will be using the content of these conversations / stories to create a new piece, which i’m calling The Idea of North 2.0, inspired by Glenn Gould’s 1967 radio doc The Idea of North. And, my own (several) trips to the Canadian Arctic. That BRAND NEW CREATION will be performed, along with my piece Northwest Passage, on Aug 15, 16 & 17. Details and tickets can be found here.
WISH ME LUCK!!!! xoxox