One morning, a young geneticist awakes with a box on his head. The box is simple, unadorned cube and a familar, comfortable shade of brown. At first he thinks it's a dream, or a morning like when you're a sick child and your eyelids stick together, but he soon learns that the box is permanent. His questions begin to loop: am I alone, or is there someone else out there?

Unable to find out, and unwilling to kill himself, [boxhead], the star of the show by the same name, decides: "If I can't change the quality of my life, at...

Boxhead, it's lonely in the city

It’s hard to say anything bad about Andy Jones. He’s just such an affable guy. The kind of guy you just want to sit around drinking and laughing with and listen to him talk.

The opening scene of An Evening with Uncle Val sees Jones begin this one man show as Uncle Val, sitting at a table writing to his dear friend Jack back in his hometown, a village somewhere far away from St. John’s. The year is 1986, and Uncle Val has been banished to live in the suburbs of St. John’s with his daughter Margaret, her husband Bernard,...

Living it up with Uncle Val

Early on Wednesday, a Facebook friend sent me a video of neuroanatomist Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor giving a talk at conference this past March (it’s worth a look). In it Dr. Taylor describes the morning she awoke with a blood clot in her brain causing a massive stroke. Being a brain researcher, she saw the stroke as a great gift for her, and her insights into the event are her gift to us.

[boxhead] from Toronto based Crow’s Theatre in association with Mammalian Diving Reflex, covers some of...

Boxhead, vancouver's a hard place to get to know people

_We are deeply disgusted with the contemporary theatre (verse, prose and musical) because it vacillates between historical reconstruction (pastiche or plagiarism) and photographic reproduction of our daily life; a finking, slow, analytic, and diluted theatre worthy, all in all, of the age of the oil lamp._

That wonderful quote is from Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, one of the founders of the Italian Futurist Movement. It was inside the program for the BellaLuna/Theatre at UBC co-production of Return of the Futuristi. It touches upon an intriguing paradox that...

Return of Futuristi! Susan Bertoia and a vacuum; photo: Ali Sohrabzadeh

As soon as the lights dim, the red stage curtain performs a striptease, rising and falling flirtatiously. After this warm flush, a beautiful Italian woman invites us to use fax machines and cell phones during the show.

Before we know it, a wounded man in a leg cast miraculously rises from his crutches because he (mistakenly) sees a murderer – but there’s no resolution. This sintesi is over and the next one begins.

The show is Bella Luna's The Return of FUTURISTI! Futurism was an Italian avant-garde movement that started in 1909 and thrived until 1914 in its...

The Return of the Futuristi, Kris Tung, Joe Procyk, Stefano Giulianetti, Louis Chirillo, Astrid Varnes; photo: Ali Sohrabzadeh

By a large paper tree, a woman in a paper dress sings about the butterflies fluttering all around her, among the peach flowers and the willow trees.

On her strange, blue shoes she moves gracefully, and the horse-hair whip that she holds in her hands flows from pose to pose. Cai Lun (He Ling) is in a garden thinking about what she can give the Emperor to write on, as he's endlessly dictating missives to all corners of his realm. It's Ancient China, and her current options are silk (too expensive) and bamboo (too heavy). And so, the woman in...

The Life of Paper, Lenard Stanga and He Ling. Photo: Michael Ford

The array of choreographers included in the latest EDAM presentation The Body Eclectic was intriguing enough to draw me from my abode: Jai Govinda, Artistic Director of Mandala Arts and Culture; Emily Molnar, former Frankfurt Ballet superstar; and Peter Bingham, contact dance guru.

There are very few dance companies in Vancouver that have not experimented with Bingham at EDAM. EDAM offers training and workshops in contact dance, a form which focuses on improvisational kinetic experimentation. The company is also known for the many creative collaborations it has encouraged over the years by giving dancers the physical space to rehearse in...

Body Eclectic

Meg Walker and Anna Russell attended sound-garden-scape: Gastown by Eric Powell, May 16, co-presented by VIVO Media Arts Centre. Meg Walker attended Surf and Turf Soundwalk, May 18, curated by Jean Routhier.

AR: Why did you check out the sound walk that you went on? 

MW: For me, I have an affection for new music generally and I remember becoming curious about the nuances of sound-related thought when I first read R. Murray Schaefer's writings a few years ago. He and others ran a project for several years called the World Soundscape Project, and I believe they invented the term...

necessary equipment for the sound walk

Of course eating people is wrong. But sometimes it’s necessary.

Our social and evolutionary conditioning is so deep that when imagining possible cannibal scenarios for ourselves – a plane crash in the Andes, say – we like to believe we’d starve before eating a fellow passenger. Yet, looked at rationally, if we were starving and meat, whatever its source, was just lying there, why shouldn’t we eat it? Why can’t we see that left leg as just a piece of meat rather than a piece of Kevin?

Bone in her Teeth, Peter Anderson and Tanya Podlozniuk; photo: Tim Matheson

I had seen the images for months. Svelte dancers bound and supported by prostheses and canes. They had created quite a stir in the national dance community. It wasn’t just the imagery. I had heard about Marie Chouinard’s new piece bODY rEMIX through various channels, it is a piece that has gathered critical acclaim across Canada.


There was definitely a lot of buzz about this show... and I can tell you one reason why. bODY rEMIX is one of the first times I’ve had the chance to see a full-length dance piece on...

Body Remix: David Rancourt and Lucie Mongrain Photo: Marie Chouinard

The Electric Company and The Virtual Stage have based their co-production of Jean-Paul Sartre’s 1944 play No Exit on an alluring idea. The stage set for the play is normally a hotel room, where three dammed characters are locked in the hell of each other’s company for all eternity.

In this production, the three are placed in a closed room separate from the audience instead, and we can see them only by live video feed. The space on stage becomes the hallway and back rooms of hell adjoining their prison. An inside-out existence for an existentialist play.

Arriving fifteen minutes...

Jonathon Young (the Valet, foreground), with Andy Thompson (Cradeau), Lucia Frangione (Estelle) and Laara Sadiq (Inez). photo: Tim Matheson.

If you’re new to the contemporary dance scene in Vancouver, you may not realize that the Experimental Dance and Music (EDAM) studio on the main floor of the Western Front is the centre of the city’s choreographic universe. Many of Vancouver’s top choreographers and dancers have trained or performed with the EDAM company at some point in their careers.

Veteran artists like Barbara Bourget, Lola MacLaughlin, Jennifer Mascall, Jay Hirabayashi and current artistic director Peter Bingham were all founding members. Much of the cream of the next generation are, or have been, principal dancers with EDAM—performers like Anne Cooper, Delia...

Body Eclectic