- We <3 him! RT @TicketsTonight: @afivancouver director of #ptSeafarer @PacificTheatre is our #FeaturedArtist this week http://t.co/BhEeCFUGJO, 16 hours ago
- Wishing a very happening opening to our clients & friends at @VIDF as they kick off the 2014 festival. Can't wait to be there tonight!, 17 hours ago
- RT @krystinpellerin: Great @GeorgiaStraight interview with @AdamGuettel. We open his musical Floyd Collins in #yvr next week! http://t.co/VFqs431mVd @PeteratPSP, 20 hours ago
- RT @VancouverOpera: RT @michdas: Last weekend for VancouverOpera's fabulous production #DonGiovanni. Don't miss it! http://t.co/tCb69Ycbno via @janetsmitharts, 22 hours ago
- Yowza - we see four LMPR clients in @MyVancouver's 'Things to do this Wknd!' #FF @VancouverOpera @VIDF @ChanCentre http://t.co/out1toMvMF, 22 hours ago
- Words of wisdom from Yo-Yo Ma in Sarah's quote of the week. http://t.co/vef0EnqNKT, 23 hours ago
Outrageous, awesome, inspiring, quirky, bold, unapologetic, endearing – the list of adjectives that can adequately describe Tara Cheyenne Friedenberg is endless.
As a dancer, choreographer, actor, and all around artistic genius, Tara’s one-woman performance, Porno Death Cult, on this weekend at Vancouver’s Firehall Arts Centre was truly a spectacular interruption from the humdrum of everyday life.
Tara began the show with movements that were grotesque, spastic, and almost other-worldly. Face covered in a blanket of thick brown hair, she was a close resemblance to the terrifying creature from the once-popular movie The Ring. Imagine then the audience’s surprise when she then dropped this guise only to take on the persona of timid, lonely Maureen – a woman desperate to be filled with the light of the lord.
Multiple personalities turned into a recurring motif in the hour-long performance, including visits from a self-obsessed yoga instructor, an overbearing preacher, and God who, in an evening focused on the exploration of faith and faithlessness, seemed to fit right in. Truly astounding was the ease through which Tara seemed to slip in and out of each persona. It’s clear that these are characters that have received extensive thought and planning.
Even with a host of fantastic theatrical elements in play – funky lighting by designer James Proudfoot and an oh-so fun to look at makeshift altar as the set – Tara’s signature wit and humour still stole the show. Gosh this girl is funny!
Porno Death Cult runs for two more nights and is a definite contender for top spot in this weekend’s over-abundance of incredible dance performances in Vancouver. Get your tickets ASAP, because judging by last night’s packed house, they won’t last long.
In honour of this week’s Coastal First Nations Dance Festival taking place at UBC’s Museum of Anthropology (MOA), as well as MOA’s upcoming presentation of Claiming Space: Voices of Urban Aboriginal Youth, the LMPR team celebrates four important First Nations writers who have challenged stereotypes, told history from a perspective often silenced, and inspired millions of readers.
Rachel Lowry – Kiss of the Fur Queen by Tomson Highway
A title that has been on my radar for some time is Tomson Highway’s 1998 debut novel, Kiss of the Fur Queen. The first few enchanting chapters reveal a descriptive writing style that is so musical in nature; it longs to be heard out loud. Poignantly, the forthcoming chapters depict the unspeakable tale of two young, Cree brothers from Northern Manitoba – Champion and Ooneemeetoo Okimasis – who are taken from their family and sent to a Catholic residential school. Forbidden to speak their language, use their real names, and forced to endure horrifying abuse, the boys persevere to fulfill their destiny as artists through the watchful guidance of a wily trickster figure, the Fur Queen.
Laura Murray – Raven Brings the Light by Roy Henry Vickers and Robert Budd
We had the privilege of working with celebrated Canadian artist and storyteller Roy Henry Vickers last spring when LMPR was hired to publicize the release of the book Raven Brings the Light, co-authored by Vickers and historian Robert Budd.
Vividly portrayed through the art of Vickers, the stunning tale tells the First Nations legend of how Raven brought light to the world. It is a beautiful story that belongs to the people of the Northwest Coast, passed along in the oral tradition for thousands of years. It is a story that resonates throughout generations regardless of age, belief, or cultural identity. In fact, fans lined up hours for the book signing in Vancouver and all 300 copies sold out in 90 minutes.
Brian Paterson – Three Day Road by Joseph Boyden
An unflinching look at the horrors of WWI’s trench warfare and the rarely accounted contributions and sacrifices of Canada’s First Nations soldiers.
The novel consists of two narrative threads. The first, told in retrospect, follows the struggles two young Cree volunteers, Xavier and Elijah, who enlisted as snipers and joined the battlefields of France and Belgium.
The second takes place in 1919 when Niska, a medicine woman, picks up a traumatized and damaged Xavier in Northern Ontario. As they make the tree-day canoe trip back to their home, she recounts stories from her own past in the hope they might reconnect and heal the young soldier.
Sarah Cruickshank - Through Black Spruce by Joseph Boyden
A masterful storyteller, Boyden has crafted an engaging and compelling tale that intricately weaves two opposing narratives – one set in the fast-paced fashion world of New York City, the other in the rustic landscape of northern Ontario.
At the onset of the novel, we meet Will Bird, a legendary Cree bush pilot who chronicles his harrowing life story while confined in a comatose state. Will’s beautiful and self-dependent niece Annie has recently returned from her own perilous journey to sit beside his bed and share the stories of where she’s been: searching for her younger sister Suzanne who has been missing for two years.
Ten Little Indians is a collection of nine powerful short stories set in Seattle, Washington, introducing characters from all walks of urban life with ties to the Spokane Tribe. In this extraordinary collection, Alexie challenges stereotypes while, at the same time, vividly describing each character as they come to terms with their own identity. Each story is filled with a balance of humor and pathos, presenting the conflict between First Nations culture and the mainstream white contemporary American culture with exuberant humanity.
It’s arguably the most common, well-worn subject on the planet – the tale of a boy, a girl, and the love that binds them. Consequently, it’s then a rare and special occasion indeed to experience this familiar narrative presented in a fresh and innovative language; it’s cause to sit up, and pay attention.
David Raymond and Tiffany Tregarthen of Out Innerspace Dance Theatre certainly had the attention of every member of the audience during Tuesday night’s opening performance of Me So You So Me presented at The Cultch. Drawing inspiration from Japanese historical and pop culture, classical Indian tabla rhythms, and cartoons, David and Tiffany have created a performance that reveals projections of the self, told through the eyes of a partner.
The show began with a single, strikingly brilliant light encased in a sideways-tilted lampshade pointed out towards the audience. The first of many creative lighting manipulations, the lampshade appeared to float unsupported in space – an eerie and spectacular sight. Additional lighting effects included the smart use of words and images projected onto the dancer’s bodies, and the repetition of bold and bright squares of light that the dancers would move in, amongst, and around.
While it’s obvious that Tiffany and David are wonderfully accomplished dancers, they refrained from merely showcasing their technical skill, and instead embraced a full body physicality that deepened and strengthened each of their characters. Tiffany growled and hissed her way through much of the performance, and David’s hulking, brooding physicality never disappeared, even during the faster, technically challenging elements.
What struck me most about this performance – and what felt truly inventive when compared to other dance shows – was how the choreography was constantly morphing before my eyes. David and Tiffany never dwindled on one “segment” for very long, choosing instead to offer just a taste before moving onto the next idea. This speedy progression kept the audience on the edge of their seat, and I do mean this literally; at one point the woman next to me seemed close to falling off her chair.
It’s no doubt a quirky show, and despite the quirkiness, or perhaps because of it, I left the theatre with the sense that I had witnessed something deeply special. Moreover, I was left wanting more. I therefore recommend that you take in this exceptional performance from this truly talented duo, before it’s too late.
Me So You So Me runs at The Cultch until March 1.
Bringing Art Back to the Olympics
Over at Huffington Post blogger Jon Packer has made a case for art to be restored to the Olympics. The short article touches on the fascinating history of art and the Olympics, including the fact that medals used to be awarded in the areas of painting, sculpture, music, and literature. Parker goes on to speak about the immense health and social benefits associated with art, and argues that there are therefore ample cultural, societal, and fiscal grounds for art to play a more central role in the international event.
Art Destroyed in the Name of Art
Maximo Caminero was charged with criminal mischief after he shattered a $1 million vase at Miami’s Perez Art Museum in protest the establishment’s lack of support to local artists. The vase belonged to an exhibit from Chinese artist Ai Weiwei who, in his past, has also smashed a valuable vase in the name of art. Weiwei’s reaction to the damage? He wasn’t impressed.
Vancouver Art Gallery Receives Photography Donation
Canadian photographer Edward Burtynsky has generously donated 34 of his famed photographs to the Vancouver Art Gallery. These works, spanning three decades and taken from eight different series from 1983 to 2013, will be part of an upcoming exhibition, set to open on March 1.
Maggie Estep Dies, Age 50
The poet and novelist instrumental in popularizing slam poetry has passed away of a heart attack. Known for her fearless stage presence, Estep first came to fame through regular appearances on MTV in the early Nineties. She also performed in large-scale stage events including Lollapalooza, Woodstock, and the Free Your Mind spoken-word tour.
In this video from 2010, Maggie is seen reciting a poem titled Emotional Idiot on HBO’s Def Jam Poetry.
A New Way to Fuel Creativity
According to new research from Harvard Business School researcher Francesa Gino, deceitful actions can actually enhance creativity. As Gino says, “By acting dishonestly, people become more creative, which allows them to come up with more creative justifications for their immoral behavior, and therefore more likely to behave dishonestly.”
A Room of One’s Own is LMPR’s photography series that showcases the beloved spaces belonging to members of Canada’s artistic scene. With a nod to Virginia Woolf’s essay by the same name, we present self-portraits from artists, arts media, and arts administrators in a room they call their own.
This week we spoke with award-winning writer, director, and performer TJ Dawe. A fixture in the Vancouver theatre scene and national Fringe circuit, TJ has created and performed 13 solo shows, including his most recent, Medicine. He has directed such works as Never Shoot a Stampede Queen and One-Man Lord of the Rings, and co-wrote the play Toothpaste & Cigars, which has been made into the movie The F Word, starring Daniel Radcliffe.
TJ is on-stage in Vancouver this week to present a new work- The Fugue Fugue - as part of Boca del Lupo’s Micro Performance Series.
This is TJ’s room:
This is what I refer to as the arts district of the living room. The apartment I share with my girlfriend mostly consists a big, open, L-shaped room. This is part of it. We’re in the West End, by the way. Right near Stanley Park.
Q: What makes this room ‘yours’?
This room is mine because there are four little 3D printed versions of me on one of the shelves.
Q: Identify three items in the room that you love, and explain why they’re special to you.
The books. I’ve got more books elsewhere in the apartment, but the two bookcases immediately behind me hold the collections of some of my favourite writers, all grouped together: Margaret Atwood, Charles Bukowski, Graham Greene, Salman Rushdie, Carol Shields, Michael Chabon, Brian Michael Bendis, and many others. They’re people who’ve dedicated themselves to artistic creation. Who’ve built impressive bodies of work. Who never stopped exploring and pushing the boundaries and taking chances and finding new ways to take the audience on a ride.
Having their books in my line of sight every day reminds me of what can be done. And they also invite rereading. Rereading a book is a particular pleasure. You get so much more out of a good book the second time around. And the third. And the fifth.
The instruments. Some of them are mine. Some are my girlfriend’s. She plays more than I do. She’s a singer/songwriter. She plays around town. She’s released an album. I just play for fun. One of those guitars was a university graduation present. I took three days to choose it. It plays so easily. It even smells good.
Learning new songs is like unlocking a code. It’s solving a puzzle. It’s learning a set of secret dance steps. Not too long ago I learned the song “Something’s Wrong” by Hurray for the Riff Raff. Simple lick. But it takes a bit to get. And now that I’ve got it, I can’t stop playing it. I’ll do it at the open stage my girlfriend hosts at the Cottage Bistro one of these months.
The burgundy chair. My uncle ran a furniture consignment store called The Sellution for many years. My family got this chair from him. It’s my favourite chair. It looks good, and it’s damn comfortable, especially considering how hard it looks. It’s as comfortable as it doesn’t look, as a friend of mine once put it.
It’s great to sit and read in, with the leaves of the big plant known as Philip reaching toward me. It’s the place where stories unfold, where the magic gets released from the pages.
TJ presents a compelling new one-man show- The Fugue Fugue - from February 13-16, 2014 at The Anderson Street Space as part of Boca del Lupo’s Micro Performance Series.
Founded in 1939, the Royal Winnipeg Ballet (RWB) is Canada’s oldest ballet company and the longest continuously operating ballet company in North America. Under the artistic direction of André Lewis, the RWB tours extensively each year, performing both classic and contemporary works on stages of all sizes.
Laura Murray Public Relations was hired to provide a full service marketing campaign for RWB’s western tour of Romeo + Juliet with stops in Vancouver and Kelowna. The project scope including graphic design, advertising buy, online marketing, social media, promotions, and media relations.
Romeo + Juliet had a vast and glowing presence throughout the Lower Mainland. Bus sides, contest boxes, online advertisements, posters, and rack cards stood out to dancers and dance-enthusiasts everywhere they looked.
The media relations campaign saw enormous success, which included the front cover of the Vancouver Sun’s arts section and a Global Morning News interview, as well as coverage on The Georgia Straight, The Province, Langley Times, Vancouver Courier, Metro News, The North Shore News, Inside Vancouver, Vancouver Vantage, Vancouver Mom, Review Vancouver, Entertainment Vancouver, among many others.
Click on the image to read each article.
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