5x sensual silence

It takes me so much longer to put together these lists these days. I’m not in a receptive mood, but I’m not in a creative mood either. I’m oscillating between contemplative practices and social sensory stimulation. Trying to find a way just to exist in the world without coming or going too much. In the course of that here are a few things that have come up for me.

  1. Listen to Mulatu Astatke – New York Addis London (full album) via Broken Trancy Things
  2. What Do Your Sexual Fantasies Say About You? via Slutever
  3. Helmholtz Resonator via the book I’m currently reading Dramturgy of Sound in the Avant-Garde and Postdramatic Theatre
  4. Bob Dylan on Sacrifice, The Unconscious Mind, and How to Create the Perfect Work Environment via Brain Pickings
  5. Inspired by the art work of WITCHORIA revisted on The Hoodwitch
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That’s a wrap.

Wow. What a weekend. What a festival. Thank you. Thank you to everyone that conspired to share their talents, and to bring this far fetched dream to reality. We far exceeded my wildest dreams of what this festival could be, and what it could mean for so many beautiful, wonderful, humans. 

For me it’s meant the opportunity to live my creative values, to give back to my community in a meaningful way, to be part of something larger than myself, to create new works & opportunities that are selfish in the best way possible. I have been consistently taken aback by the waves of love & generosity everyone has poured into every aspect of this festival. .
I keep saying it, but this festival was a stone soup production. To put it bluntly I just decided I was going to put my cash on the line with no hope of return & do whatever it takes to make this festival something that would feel like home. But once I provided the pot & the stone that drew people together their contributions far exceeded my expectations in every way. 10 amazing artists, over $1,000 grossed, audience packed to the rafters, and especially the love.

There were many people that introduced themselves to me for the first time this weekend to tell me how much they enjoyed the festival, and started out with “im not really an artist” or “I’ve never performed before but, I’ve had this idea” and that’s the most beautiful thing of all. There is a thirst. So many people with ideas stirring waiting for a pot to boil in. They want their opportunity to be part of creating something magical. I’m honoured to have connected with so many hearts & hope it contintues well into 2017.

There are so many more things I could say but can’t find the words.

I love this little city so much. I love these brave, willing, weirdos so much. I love creating art that isn’t for the final report numbers. I love creating space for creative connections. I love you for giving me space to do what I love.

Thank you all for your immeasurable support.

Take care & god bless

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5x self love

I’ve been participating in the 7 day self love challenge over on facebook. While I might reprise some of that writing here for y’all, meanwhile I wanted to share some links to things that I’ve been contemplating as I spend some time lovingly navel gazing.

  1. Nobel Winning Physicist Frank Wilczek on Complementarity as the Quantum of Life and Why Reality is Woven of Opposing Truths  via Brain Pickings
  2. Solo-Polyamory, Singleish, Single & Poly via Psychology Today
  3. Our Individual-Collective Midnight Anxieties via dear soul Kyle Golemba
  4. How to Flush Negative and Draining Emotions Before They Lead to Physical Illness via Hearty Soul
  5. Gabor Mate: The Myth of Normal via Crazywise
  6. Bonus: Tonight I will be completeing Danielle Ayoka’s Full Moon ritual. You can read more about it here
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OVERHEAR by Out of the Box Theatre

The next, and probably last, performance piece I am working on this year is Overhear by Out of the Box Theatre. Torien Cafferata approached me with the opportunity to be a part of this uniquely intimate experience & I couldn’t resist.

If you are interested in learning more you can check the Facebook event here.

I don’t want to spoil anything for those planning on attending, but this has been an extremely emotionally demanding piece for me to create. This is the last project on my plate before beginning my fruits & flowers phase. I’m excited to see how it will be received, and to hopefully understand a little more about catharsis role in art & healing from this project.

If you can make it out I would love to hear your experience receiving the piece, and I look forward to sharing my experience creating it after. 

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5x body of/in work

You may have noticed that I have taken a break from publishing these lists every week. In short, it’s summer, and I’m tired. However as I re-entered the studio this week to continue work on Dear Devotion a couple of these links really jumped out at me, so I wanted to share. I’m more interested in sharing the work than the links at this time, so I make no promises how regularly I will post these lists. For now, here are some pieces I am reflecting on in my body of/in work.

Enjoy

  1. Creepy Ghost tunes by mass marriage via Weird Canada
  2. Hacking the Canon via Canadian Art
  3. Stop Treating Emotions Like Character Flaws of the Powerless via The Establishment
  4. Diva in Full Swing via Howl Round
  5. Am I A Dancer Who Gave Up? via the wonderful Alicia Ward
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Dreaming of the last supper

I dreamt I was a queen poisoned by loves hand, but it was only a role in a grand production, of which I had no say, and yet the blood and bile tasted real.

Before I left the death marked banquet where my subjects and friends entreat me stay I held each of them tenderly to my breast, a solemn goodbye. I would not wither and writhe before their eyes as a spectacle and a farce in hallowed death, instead I retreat to the belly of the castle in the wings, only inviting my newly crowned king to stay with me, whom had just the scene before murdered my true king and master whom I loved dear, and by whose hand I knew the elixir brewed. Yet still tender affection I held for both the actor who played him and for his part, but not enough to spare him witness to what he had wrought. Like a wounded animal I retreated as I felt my stomach lining begin to dissolve.

Just before the fated goblet scene, backstage between my lovers death and mine, we had talked of the sado-masochistic ecstasies of religion, the self abasement of the Catholics, the zealous fire of the baptists. My vengeful soon to be king, or at least the actor playing him, looked at me with such blood thirsty lust as we spoke. I could neither advert my gaze or rebuke him for I understood how our fates were linked and it was in my part to submit both as actor and grieving queen. I was enamored with him and our linked demise, how could I not feel affection and love for someone so central in my life? As the hunter and the hunted; I could feel him licking his chops against my skin as our eyes locked. A moment of give and take. His third to be wife-upon-my-death approached me all hair of mermaid and remarked upon how fierce I seemed in my velvet head, she entreated me to visit them, and teased me with her tales of hostages for sport. We laughed and made merry, this was only a scene change to the main event, backstage at the water cooler, nothing to be thought of. Yet I could feel my time running out as surely as so could she.

When he had murdered my true king it had been after careful cunning and consideration with his true wife, a beautiful and severe sight all dressed in rich red, but her performance was too affected. She kept touching her face and biting her lower lip in such a grandiose show of concern no one could much believe her she cared one way or the other who lived or died. Yet it was this caring that drove her to madness and a quiet death off stage announced by some unnamed messenger boy. A necessary device to urge the murderous king to ally with the young prince, wronged and exiled from his betrothed bride whom the subjects adored. With his fair golden locks shining the way forward no one would see the black heart and cold piercing eyes actually spurring the charge. I watched this scene unfold from the back of the audience with one of the stage hands obsessing about how to best market this tragedy to the paying masses, I helped her take photos of the charming prince, invite them with news of his recent engagement I offered, everyone loves a romance.

Thus began the final act in darkness. I concealed in the wings where I could see nothing. Calling to my love and true king with all my heart, warning him of the fated surprise hid behind the rocks, but it was dark and the storm raged loud, he could not hear me because the play was written thus, but I cried with all my heart anyways. When the deed was done I wept and held the bloodied blade to my chest refusing to return it to the company to be washed and used in the next scene. I wanted to preserve it as the hallowed sacred object that it was, savoring the last drops of my beloved heart. They granted my pathetic wish “we always have another” the stage hand assured me. My fellow players looked on contemptuously and amused as tears stung my eyes and a painful lump welled in my throat.

Fate hung about me closely everywhere I turned. There was very little I could do on or off stage that was not per-ordained. I accepted this with quiet grace and mostly kept to myself, never liking it but not resisting. I played truly from the heart. The love I felt was true, the good byes I said were lasting, my feelings for my vengeful king were both conflicted and tender, my affection for the players and stage hands sincere, I drank knowingly of the poisoned goblet playing my part willingly in my death.

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Dear Devotion: a process of discovery

The idea for Dear Devotion first came to me sitting in the doorway at the top of the stairs in the hallway that separated this tiny French bistro from my ballet studio. I was probably about thirteen, and I was waiting to be picked up again. My parents were often late to get me if they were fighting which happened a lot lately. So I would bring books to read, but mostly I would write. This one day particularly riddled with angst I wrote a poem called Dear Devotion. I’ve always been highly critical of my work so I knew that objectively the poem wasn’t very good, verging on overtly sentimental and forced tragique, but the idea at the heart of it was fire.

I journaled about it for days, and weeks, and months turning that idea over, never quite satisfied with my conclusions, but I felt like I was starting to unravel a riddle far greater than I was. The poem was simple stanzas that repeat about a woman falling in love, getting married, making a home, and burying a man who can not, or will not, love her. She devotes her life and love to him but it’s never enough, and in the end bitterly rebukes him for all they have lost as he lays dying.

It was around this time that I was introduced to Taming of the Shrew and A Doll’s House. I was struck by how these women resembled the woman of my poem, of my mother, and of what I imagined for myself. Still a young girl I lacked the experience to contend with their noble struggles but I felt a natural affinity for them all the same. Kate’s longing and green sickness, and Nora’s determined naïveté. Somewhere over time these became woven into my tragic aesthetic and I knew I would write a play about them, but I needed a third to round out the comparison, all good things come in three. I read lots looking for the third thinking she would be a more contemporary heroine when I accidentally stumbled across Antigone at university at around age 17. Her fierce loyalty would round out Dear Devotion, and in my mind the three women became inseparable.

I have devoted much of my time since then to what I would call my research to develop this piece. From learning to write grants to training my body to collecting a million snippets and pins of design ideas to coming to a better understanding of my own history and relationship to these women and my femininity I have grown into the piece for over a decade now. The piece becoming more of itself as I have become more of mine.

Last night I presented what I will call my first public exploration of that work at a house party in the Sound & Silence HQ that I put together that very afternoon with the support of my dedicated friend and conspirator Tristan Hills. I took a thousand and one raw ideas I’ve been harvesting for years and wrought them into a shape that resembles the direction the piece is taking.

First we shaved my head, a cleansing as much as an aesthetic task. Then I rolled around in his backyard and marked the beats and transitions that I wanted to play with. After that we retired to the basement where Tristan showed me how to use Audacity to record the rough underscore for the piece in what felt to me like a record breaking time. The record breaking part definitely had to do with Tristan’s ability to intuit my needs as I abstractly explained what I wanted each part to sound like, and he let me muck around recording guttural screams and a hundred tracks of snippets of things that we didn’t end up using, while also fixing audio quirks that I didn’t know were issues, then at the last minute he lay down a beautiful guitar track in one take that cinched the whole thing together. It is no small estimation to say I could not have delivered the performance I did without him. The final step was to prepare the fake blood and paint my face doll white. The performance went off without a hitch, not to say perfectly, but beautifully imperfect and raw.

I can feel it in my bones that this piece is ready to be delivered into the world, and this small step is the first contraction. Just as this has been a long gestation period I intend wrestle with this at great length, but the time is finally right to commit my body to the pains of labour uncovering the gems that have been compounding thus. If ever I were to have a thesis project in my unschooled life this would be it. I look forward to sharing more discoveries as they arise. For now you can listen to the track we recorded for the performance below.

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