So the One Trunk Festival of New Hybrid Performance was nearly two weeks ago...and I wanted to make note of it before my recollections got too tattered.
There were three pieces, the first of which revolved around the Louis Riel statue at the Legislature.
The final piece featured Winnipeg Contemporary Dancers performing to Keri Latimer's music in front of a screen with images by Kristian Jordan superimposed by text by Chris Rutkowski.
The second piece on Central Park was the one I contributed work to, as did cellist Natanielle Felicitas and visual artist GMC Chomichuk.
I got up and read my little essay on the park/on the process of working collaboratively. I'd forgotten how very bright stage lights can be and so stood there and talked to the dim outlines in the audience. As though I knew them very well.
I felt a bit less lonely when I finished and exited stage right, where the performers, Andraea Sartison, Ardith Boxall, and Gwen Collins (who put together the piece with with assistance from dancer Tanja Woloshen) were waiting. As I moved past them in the muffled dark, they touched my arm, patted my back, and whispered good job.
I got back to my seat just as Greg Chomichuk flicked on the light to his overhead projector at the far end of the stage. He spend the remainder of the piece drawing (re-drawing?) the three paintings he'd created in-situ. After thirty seconds, Sartison, Boxall, and Collins came out onto the darkened stage point and watched him draw.
Then the music began. The three performers began to dance, mimicking the children-at-play audible in Felicitas' recording and described in my poem.
The final part of the performance saw the three performers approach a music stand and recite this part of my poem.
Which, frankly, was fucking awesome. Every poet should have a chorus of women reciting their work! (But I do have to say that the Central Park piece prioritized the text best. But that's a writers' bias talking...)
I was trying to take pictures and listen and see and analyze so my memories of the piece...are a little blurry. (I wish I'd thought to shoot video, even just on my phone...)
The third piece was situated in Elmwood Cemetery. Video/puppeteering duo jaymez and Grant Guy took the sound recorded by Andy Rudolph, the video/stills of Deco Dawson, and the writing of Melissa Steele, and came up with a piece with flickers of light and sound and colour, with just-visible outlines of parents and children, with clippings and snippets of text somehow on top.
Melissa Steele's introduction to the piece was complicated by the fact that Guy and jaymez had a lot of set up to do. Keep talking, they said, when at one point she glanced behind her, to the assemblage of low and high-tech tools, to see how they were doing.
Once the all three pieces had been presented, there was a brief intermission where I got a cup of tea, did some multi-disciplinary chatting and leered at the Greg's paintings, which were on display in the lobby.
And then it was the strat-planning part of the programme, where organizers asked the audience What next?
And I think I can answer for all of us, artists and audience members, when I repeat: Keep talking.