Watch for Blood On The Dancefloor at SFU Goldcorp Centre for the Arts

Blood On The Dancefloor
photo: Bryony Jackson

Next week, SFU Goldcorp Centre for the Arts welcomes the West Coast premiere of ILBIJERRI Theatre Company’s Blood on the Dance Floor by Jacob Boehme. Presented by DanceHouse, SFU Woodward’s Cultural Programs, and Talking Stick Festival, Blood on the Dance Floor takes the stage February 6th to 9th.. Rooted in Aboriginal Dance, theatre, and storytelling, this award-winning work, is based on the deeply personal experience of performer Jacob Boehme, a renowned dancer, writer, and choreographer from the Narangga and Kaurna nations of South Australia. Blood on the Dance Floor unapologetically shares Boehme’s emotionally honest story of gay, Blak, and poz identities; and explores the struggle, heartache, and enduring spirit of someone living at the intersection of Aboriginal, queer, and HIV-positive communities.

“This work comes at a landmark moment in the history of HIV. With the increasing availability of preventative medication, HIV transmission rates are decreasing and life expectancy for those with the virus is increasing,” says Jim Smith, Artistic and Executive Director of DanceHouse. “However, in both Australia and Canada HIV rates in Indigenous communities are sadly on the rise. Blood on the Dance Floor is a poignant work that shines a powerful and captivating light on the stigma, the discrimination, and the silence that surrounds HIV/AIDS in Indigenous communities. But the work also embraces our need for community, our deepest fears, our secret identities, and what blood means to each of us — questioning how this most precious fluid unites and divides us.”

When Boehme was diagnosed with HIV in 1998, he reached out to his ancestors in search of answers. Blood on the Dance Floor pays homage to Boehme’s ancestors’ ceremonies through a series of vignettes combining video and sound design, choreography, and visceral narrative that transverses time, space, and characters. From a ‘gay elder’ grieving young men lost to disease and despair, to the current culture of hook-ups and casual sex, deeper moments sketched between Boehme and his father will underscore the legacy of racism, homophobia, and shame permeating the work with both personal and cultural history.

Written and performed by Melbourne-based Jacob Boehme, choreographed by Mariaa Randall, and directed by Isaacc Drandic Blood On The Dancefloor runs February 6 – 9, 2019 at SFU Goldcorp Centre for the Arts. For more information and tickets visit dancehouse.ca 

Warning: For audience members age 15 and up. Performance includes adult concepts (sexual & drug references), coarse language, and loud music. 

Backbone Makes You Sit Up & Take Notice

Backbone, now playing at the Vancouver Playhouse, is edge of your seat entertainment!

The Cultch – Backbone
Photo: Carnival Cinema

Presented by The Cultch, Australian circus troupe Gravity and Other Myths (GOM) will literally throw your perceptions of circus out the window.  Like other contemporary circus/physical theatre troupes, GOM tests the boundaries of the human body.  Backbone strips down any flashy sets and theatrics, to put the 10 acrobats and their mesmerizing abilities front and centre.  The company themselves also strip down to start the performance, swapping and changing clothing as they warm up with some tumbling and leaping. The show feels as though organically flows from beginning to end. Although it appears improvisational the movement is like a finely choreographed dance as the acrobats move from skill to skill.  The warm up leads to balance tricks, many in motion as they walk across the stage while stand (up to four performers) tall on others’ heads or shoulders. An extended set of swinging, and tossing of performers high across the stage keeps the audience’s’ eyes busy following all the action.  Backbone is full of brilliant action, I was afraid to miss a single twist, toss or tumble.

The Cultch – Backbone
pic: Darcy Grant

The company fills the Playhouse Theatre with so much energy and fun, the gap between performer and audience shrinks as everyone shifts to the edges of their seats.  The 10 members and 2 musicians, are on stage throughout the 80 minute show, tagging each other in and out of tricks to quickly change, or take a breathe.  The trust and connectivity demonstrated by the company creates sexy, but not sexual, intimacy as the ten performers become one creative movement.  In spite of the rough and raw sets and costumes of Backbone, the fluidity of their skills form a beautiful work.

Backbone will enchant everyone in the family, get your tickets soon.

Gravity and Other Myths’ Backbone, presented by The Cultch, is playing until November  4, 2018 at The Vancouver Playhouse Theatre, 600 Hamilton St.
for Showtimes and Tickets visit thecultch.com

Australia’s Circa Left Chan Centre Audiences Breathless

Last weekend, Circa, contemporary circus troupe thrilled the house in the Chan Shun Concert Hall at the Chan Centre for Performing Arts at UBC with their touring show, OPUS.  The bold, Brisbane-based performers were accompanied onstage by the Debussy String Quartet, blending the live music and thrilling acrobatics into a one of a kind show.

The Circa: Opus musical repertoire included 4 pieces by the Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich, which were the background for the stunning movements of the Circa performers. With the addition of the live musical performances, Circa elevated, both figuratively and literally, the standard circus human tricks, creating a work that was a sensual, dance-like partnership between the strings and stunts.  Some moments featured just a single acrobat soaring above the stage while others included the full 14 performer troupe.  First appearing dressed in their Sunday best, black trousers and white shirts on the men and simple dresses for the ladies made the troupe’s acrobatics seem even more surprising as they leapt out of the image given by their outfits.  Later they pared the costumes down to simple black trunks and one pieces to create a more sexy, athletic image. 

The Circa performance displays influences of almost every form of athletic movement into their 80 minute performance; artistic and rhythmic gymnastics, tumbling, aerial work on trapeze, silk and straps, and even a bit of breakdancing.  The daring leaps, spins and tumbles brought out audible gasps as the audience was left mesmerized by the Circa performers.  The beautiful Chan Shun Concert Hall’s acoustics carried the strings across the audience only broken by the sounds of the foot falls, performer’s bodies hitting the mat and occasionally the music was so subtle that the athletes’ breathing became an accompanying rhythm to the violins.  Unlike other circus acrobatic shows, the Circa performers kept mostly quiet, only in one act which require some more blind leaps of faith did we hear anything audible from the stage.

From the feeling in the auditorium, Circa: Opus left most of the audience gasping for more and thoroughly exhilarated by what was put before them. It definitely left us hoping for a return engagement of this or another of Circa’s touring shows.

 

Jess Cullen wins Squamish Valley Music Festival Rising Star Contest

SquamishFest13On the eve of the start of the 2014 Squamish Valley Music Festival comes the announcement of Jess Cullen as the winner of Virgin Mobile Presents Squamish Valley Music Festival and Galaxie’s Rising Stars talent competition. The Australian-born singer/songwriter has won the opportunity of the summer, a chance to perform in from of the Festival’s 35,000 fans, in addition to a $3000 cash prize.

Contestants submitted videos to the Rising Stars talent competition online and thousands of fans voted for their favourite artist. Five judges made the final decision in selecting the grand prizewinner.

Executive Producer of the Festival Paul Runnals says, “We had some absolutely outstanding applicants this year, it was an incredibly difficult decision but the artistry Jess Cullen presented in her video submission was what really stood out to the judges. We are very excited to welcome her to the 2014 Festival lineup.”

Jess Cullen grew up in Australia, spending her early years with a dusty untuned piano and her parent’s old country albums, to eventually pursue a University music degree while preparing for the release of her first album. She spent five years touring England and Europe, before deciding to plant her folky/rock roots in Vancouver. Jess’ melodies on her self-titled debut album have been praised for the sophisticated balance of catchy classic rock tunes, softer introspective folk, pop sensibility, and witty lyrics. Her rich and powerful voice, along with her passion for songwriting, ultimately won over the hearts of the fans and judges, as well as the Rising Stars title. She is scheduled to perform on Friday, August 8th on the Meadow Stage at the Festival.

The 2014 Virgin Mobile Presents Squamish Valley Music Festival, headlined by Bruno Mars, Arcade Fire and EMINEM, takes place this weekend, August 8, 9 & 10 at the Logger Sports Grounds and Centennial Fields in Squamish.

For the full line-up and more festival info visit SquamishFestival online and follow the Fest on Twitter @squamishfest  #vmsquamish & Facebook. Follow Jess” performance behind the scenes on Twitter @JessCullenMusic

Boy And Bear roars into Vancouver

Boy and Bear – April 6, 2014 – Commodore Ballroom

The Australian indie folk-rock act, Boy and Bear made their way onto the Commodore Ballroom stage before a very enthusiastic, sold-out audience.  For their first visit to Vancouver the quintet filled the room with a diverse crowd, of many Australian expats and people ready for their first taste of the buzz worthy band.  Originally scheduled for a much smaller venue, the buzz drove the step up to the larger Commodore Ballroom.

BoyAndBear_73021Coming onstage to the strains of ELOs Evil Woman, the affable group broke right into song taking the audience right along with them. Lead singer, Dave Hosking’s smile and congenial  stage presence made the fact that no one spoke until three songs into the set not even matter. When the band did chat, they seemed genuinely pleased impressed with the audience’s energy and to be visiting Vancouver for the first time.  So much so that drummer Tim Hart recited a selection of facts he’d learned about Vancouver, something he does at each ‘first time’ stop on the tour.
Touring in support of their latest album “Harlequin Dream” Vancouver was their last Canadian stop before the North American tour wraps up in Los Angeles April 9th and they then move the tour to Australia.  BoyandBear_73024

If you can’t find Boy and Bear on tour, find them on Twitter @BoyandBear, Instagram @BoyandBear or Facebook.com/boyandbear

DJ Anna Lunoe shines at Shine

Anna Lunoe – Shine Nightclub – January 30, 2014

Anna-Lunoe-Breathe-Remixes 300piAustralian DJ/Producer/Singer/Songwriter Anna Lunoe spun her way into the hearts of the crowd at Shine Nightclub in Vancouver late on Thursday night.  A small but enthusiastic crowd eagerly awaited the performer to take her turn on the decks.  While it appeared some headphone issues caused her initial few tracks to sound a bit off, it didn’t seem to deter those filing on to the dancefloor and by the time she changed her headset she was in perfect form. A great mix of familiar samples from the 90’s and 00’s made the tunes accessible and catchy, a perfect way to warm up to the audience. Once it was time for Anna to play some of her own original tracks the house had filled considerably as had the dance floor.  It’s hard to tell if the energy from the audience fed her’s or if her own infectious dancing behind the booth fed the audience’s through the night.
This was a return visit to the city for Anna Lunoe, after playing an opening set for The Weeknd’s two sold out shows this summer at the Orpheum.  She continues to tour, including a set at Coachella Music Festival later this spring, in promotion of her recent single release, Breathe and collaboration with Flume, I Met You, .

For a taste of Anna Lunoe’s music listen to Breathe & I Met You below:


Then follow Anna on Twitter @AnnaLunoe, Instagram @AnnaLunoe, Facebook and Soundcloud.

Tame Impala isn’t tame

Tame Impala – Commodore Ballroom – May 27, 2013

TKevin Parkeruques, tokes and tie dye were the order of the night as Western Australian band Tame Impala performed before a sold out Commodore Ballroom on Monday night. Following up from their weekend gig at Sasquatch Festival, the psychedelic rock act brought a lot of expats to the room and a lot of people took the sixties/seventies vibe to heart by smoking some ‘herbal’ supplements for the night.   The cloud of smoke in the air added to the atmosphere of the the band’s retro sound and simple stage show.  The back lighting and simple music visualisation projection kept a mysterious aura around the group. Band leader KevingVocals seemed almost incidental as the band blasted the room with non-stop dream-like psych rock for over 90 minutes, barely pausing between tracks. While the excessively long tracks occasionally seemed self-indulgent, most of the audience was happily grooving Tame Impalaalong the entire night. The crowd’s easy mood was punctuated by burst of applause and cheers during Tame Impala’s single “Feels Like We Only Go Backwards” and a group sing-a-long during the encore of Happy Birthday to celebrate keyboardist Jay Watson’s birthday and wrap up the night.
Tame Impala continues their summer tour with club dates and music festivals around North America and Europe.

Find Tame Impala online, like on Facebook, follow on Twitter @TameImpala or on Instagram @tame_impala