Honour: Confessions of a Mumbai Courtesan brings attention to sex trafficking

Honour: Confessions of a Mumbai Courtesan brings attention to sex trafficking

This year The Cultch is partnering with Diwali in BC, a new organization spearheaded by Rohit Chokhani, to launch the organization’s inaugural year. Diwali in BC has chosen the artistic theme of Shakti, feminine power. On October 17 we hosted the launch of this new initiative with a reception and the opening of Encounter (Oct 17-22).

The celebration of the power of the feminine continues with this Friday’s (Oct 20) opening of Honour: Confessions of a Mumbai Courtesan.

Created and performed by Dipti Mehta, Honour: Confessions of a Mumbai Courtesan is the story of a mother and daughter living in the red light district of Mumbai. Dipti Mehta has been using this production to shine a light on sex trafficking, and a portion of her profits is donated to an organization called Apne Aap, a company dedicated to helping at-risk and prostituted women and children.


According to Equality Now, trafficking women and children for sexual exploitation is the fastest growing criminal enterprise in the world. This, despite the fact international law and the laws of 158 countries criminalize most forms of trafficking.

Sex trafficking is a lucrative industry making an estimated $99 billion a year.

  • At least 20.9 million adults and children are bought and soldworldwide into commercial sexual servitude, forced labor and bonded labor.
  • About 2 million children are exploited every year in the global commercial sex trade.
  • 54% of trafficking victims are trafficked for sexual exploitation.
  • Women and girls make up 96% of victims of trafficking for sexual exploitation.

We, at The Cultch are thrilled to be have local company Atira Women’s Resource Society as the community partner for this important show.

“Atira Women’s Resource Society is a not-for-profit organization committed to the work of ending violence against women through providing direct service, as well as working to increase awareness of and education around the scope and impact on our communities of men’s violence against women and children.”


Here are a few of the many organizations in the city who are resources for our city’s women:

WAVAW

Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre

Elizabeth Fry Society

Pivot Legal

PACE Society

WISH

SWAN Vancouver

HONOUR: Confessions of a Mumbai Courtesan runs at the Vancity Culture Lab Oct 20- Nov 4. Book tickets online or by phone by calling The Cultch Box Office at 604.251.1363.

FUN FACTS: learn about Indian Classical Dance before you come see Encounter!

FUN FACTS: learn about Indian Classical Dance before you come see Encounter!

 

We are thrilled to be a part of the launch of Diwali in BC; on October 17 we will be kicking off their inaugural year with the opening of an amazing physical theatre piece Encounter from Navarasa Dance Theatre.  Encounter explores dance forms from India we rarely ever get to see in Vancouver; it combines exhilarating physical theatre and dance with elements of Indian classical dance, yoga, martial arts, and folk dances.

You may be interested to know a little more about Indian classical dance (it’s fun stuff to know!), well here is a chance to sound like a pro when you bring your friends to the show.

There are 8 main classical dances generally acknowledged in India:

  • Bharatanatyam, from Tamil Nadu
  • Kathak, from Northern and Western India
  • Kathakali, from Kerala
  • Kuchipudi, from Andhra Pradesh
  • Odissi, from Odisha
  • Sattriya, from Assam
  • Manipuri, from Manipur
  • Mohiniyattam, from Kerala

Here is a little information about six of the main types of Indian classical dance; these beautiful dances are typically what we see in Vancouver:

Bharatanatyam– is a dance of Tamil Nadu in southern India. It traces its origins back to the Natyashastra, an ancient treatise on theatre written by the mythic priest Bharata. Originally a temple dance for women, bharatanatyam often is used to express Hindu religious stories and devotions.

Kathakali– Kathakali comes from southwestern India, around the state of Kerala. Like bharatanatyam, kathakali is a religious dance. It draws inspiration from the Ramayana and stories from Shaiva traditions. Kathakali is traditionally performed by boys and men, even for female roles

Kathak– A dance of northern India, Kathak is often a dance of love. It is performed by both men and women. The movements include intricate footwork accented by bells worn around the ankles and stylized gestures adapted from normal body language.

Manipuri- Manipuri comes from Manipur in northeastern India. It has its roots in that state’s folk traditions and rituals, and often depicts scenes from the life of the god Krishna. Unlike some of the other, more rhythmic dances, Manipuri is characterized by smooth and graceful movements.

By Matsukin – DSC00472, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4085211

Kuchipudi– Unlike the other styles mentioned, kuchipudi requires talent in both dancing and singing. This dance, from the state of Andhra Pradesh in southeastern India, is highly ritualized, with a formalized song-and-dance introduction, sprinkling of holy water, and burning of incense, along with invocations of goddesses.

Odissi–  Is indigenous to Orissa in eastern India. It is predominantly a dance for women, with postures that replicate those found in temple sculptures. Based on archaeological findings, odissi is belived to be the oldest of the surviving Indian classical dances. Odissi is a very complex and expressive dance, with over fifty mudras (symbolic hand gestures) commonly used.

Come experience them!

Photo credit: Christopher Joseph

Encounter runs at the York Theatre Oct 17-22. Book tickets online or by phone by calling The Cultch Box Office at 604.251.1363.

The Goblin Market and 1 Hour Photo are opening The Cultch’s 17/18 season!

The Goblin Market and 1 Hour Photo are opening The Cultch’s 17/18 season!

Next week we welcome two shows to our stages (The Goblin Market at the York Theatre and 1 Hour Photo at the Historic Theatre), and we couldn’t be more excited. It seems we are not the only one. Vancouver critic, Colin Thomas gave us a shout-out in his blog, Vancouver Greenroom:

“There are two piping hot shows sitting on the windowsill this week. They both open next week in venues operated by The Cultch” — Colin Thomas, colinthomas.ca

Want to know more about these shows? Read some of this great press before you see the shows!

The Goblin Market is a contemporary circus re-telling of Christina Rossetti’s poem, following two sisters, their temptation, sacrifice and eventual salvation. Delicious circus is precariously balanced with gritty performances and candid story telling.

“‘Goblin Market’ gets standing ovations everywhere it travels to around the globe. And seeing it within the intimate confines of the York should be eerily, mind-blowingly fun.” – Janet Smith, The Georgia Straight Editor’s Choice

Read ‘Five reasons to check out Goblin Market’ in The Vancouver Sun

1 Hour Photo is the story of Mas Yamamoto, a man whose life was swept up by the major currents of the 20th century. Written and performed by Tetsuro Shigematsu, 1 Hour Photo is a moving portrait saturated with the most vivid colours of our times.

“We’re trying to deepen the experience of listening by allowing the audience to look at different things to enable their imaginations to take flight”— Tetsuro Shigematsu, in interview with The Vancouver Sun

“…on a certain level I just wanted this ritual to continue—to sit at the knee of an elder and be transported to the past”— Tetsuro Shigematsu, In interview with The Georgia Straight

 


The Goblin Market runs at the York Theatre Oct 3-14. Book tickets online or by phone by calling The Cultch Box Office at 604.251.1363.

1 Hour Photo runs at the Historic Theatre Oct 3-15. Book tickets online or by phone by calling The Cultch Box Office at 604.251.1363.

Join us for our Season Kick off Dance Party on Wednesday, October 4 starting at 9:30pm! Everyone welcome! Vancity Culture Lab, 1895 Venables St

SNEAK PEEK: BEHIND THE SCENES OF 1 HOUR PHOTO!

Sneak Peak: Behind the Scenes of 1 Hour Photo!

We are getting closer and closer to the start of our 17/18 season. 1 Hour Photo opens on October 4, in the Historic Theatre!

Written and performed by Tetsuro Shigematsu, 1 Hour Photo is the story of Mas Yamamoto, a man whose life was swept up by the major currents of the 20th century. From growing up in a fishing village on the banks of the Fraser River, to being confined at a Japanese Canadian internment camp during World War II, to helping build the Distant Early Warning Line in the Canadian Arctic during the height of the Cold War, 1 Hour Photo is a moving portrait saturated with the most vivid colours of our times.

If you are like us, you can hardly wait to get a taste of this new show by critically acclaimed VACT. And so here to the rescue, we have a few little glimpses into the behind the scenes world of 1 Hour Photo; just a little taste to wet your appetite!

Check out this great interview that Mark Robins of Vancouver Presents did with Tetsuro (and a few unsuspecting crew members) onsite at the rehearsal hall at PTC Test Kitchen.

And here are a few behind-the-scenes photos taken during the creation of 1 Hour Photo:

1 Hour Photo runs at the Historic Theatre Oct 3-15. Book tickets online or by phone by calling The Cultch Box Office at 604.251.1363.

Great storytelling is coming to the York Theatre September 27!

Great storytelling is coming to the York Theatre September 27!

Vancouver’s preeminent True Storytelling series THE FLAME returns to the York Theatre for an unforgettable evening of poignant and hilarious true tales told live on stage. Inspired by storytelling juggernaut The Moth, THE FLAME is now in its 9th season and boasts over 700 stories told at its sold-out monthly shows and concert events. Join Flame host Joel Wirkkunen and a brilliant roster of risky raconteurs as they boldly step in front of the microphone to share their most personal true life stories!

If you are wondering what kind of things you might hear at this event, here is a hilarious example from The Flame’s 2014 season; Charlie Demers shares the story of the birth of his child.

You can also LISTEN to some audio recordings from THE FLAME a few years ago on Soundcloud or check out some of the stories from THE MOTH here.

The event at the York on September 27 features musical guests Sarah Wheeler and Hannah Epperson.

The Flame: York Theatre 2017 Edition plays at the York Theatre September 27, 2017. TICKETS ONLY $20! Book tickets online or by phone by calling The Cultch Box Office at 604.251.1363.

Lots and lots of ‘buzz’ for Hot Brown Honey at Edinburgh Fringe!

Lots and lots of ‘buzz’ for Hot Brown Honey at Edinburgh Fringe!

There are so many amazing shows coming up in our 17/18 season, and it is really hard to choose our favourites, but here is one that we don’t want you to miss – we think it is going to be one of our most popular!

If you haven’t gotten your tickets for Hot Brown Honey yet, make sure you get them quickly; this show may be in January (9-20th), but the tickets are already going fast!

Right now Hot Brown Honey is tearing up the stage at Edinburgh Festival Fringe! We couldn’t help but share some of the amazing buzz these amazing performers are getting in the twitterverse. Follow these FierceMamas @hotbrownhoney for the latest ‘buzz’.

Hot Brown Honey runs at the York Theatre Jan 9- 20. Book tickets online or by phone by calling The Cultch Box Office at 604.251.1363.

 

A few staff picks for the 2017/ 2018 season!

A few staff picks for the 2017/ 2018 season!

We interrupt you’re summer shenanigans to remind you that before you know it autumn will be here…okay, okay, pipe down with the booing! Though, it may be difficult to think about autumn just yet, we wish to remind you about all the exciting shows coming up in our 17/18 season!

Check out a few of the shows our staff just can’t wait for:

Name: Lisa Mennell

Job Title: Communications Associate

17/18 Season Pick: Goblin Market (Oct 3-14, 2017)

Why: I love poetry and I love circus! This show is based on the narrative poem, Goblin Market by 19th century poet Christina Rossetti. The visuals for this sexy -adult only- circus show are stunning, and I hear that it melds story and athleticism flawlessly. Incredible acrobatic feats combined with classic poetry…what is not to like?!

Name: Elysse Cheadle

Job Title: Head Front of House Manager and Volunteer Coordinator

17/18 Season Pick: Black Boys (Jan 16-20, 2018)

Why: I have been obsessed with Toronto-based Buddies in Bad Times Theatre since I saw their production ‘Obaaberima’ here two years ago. I still get chills thinking about that performance – every element felt so alive and necessary in the telling of their story. Black Boys brings the return of the incomparable Tawiah M’carthy (of ‘Obaaberima’). We are so lucky to welcome back a performer of his calibre to our theatre! I expect ‘Black Boys’ to bring ferocity, humour, honesty, sex, and humanity. What more could you want?

Head Front of House Manager & Volunteer Coordinator, Elysse Cheadle

 

Black Boys runs Jan 16-20. Stephen Jackman-Torkoff, Tawiah Ben M’Carthy and Thomas Olajide by Tanja-Tiziana.

Name: Natalie Schneck

Job Title: Development Associate

17/18 Season Pick: Dublin Oldschool (Jan 30 – Feb 3)

Why: It’s an Irish two hander with DJ tunes and re-connections. It seems gritty and real. I look forward to being invited into a world far away from my own but with (hopefully) some relatable elements.

Single tickets for the 17/18 season are now on saleBook a subscription save to up to 25%!

Vancouver Pride – a great time to celebrate diversity in the arts!

Vancouver Pride – a great time to celebrate diversity in the arts!

It’s that time of year again! Time to dig our your favourite rainbow wear; time to embrace sparkles, sequins and feathers; time to celebrate diversity with friends and family  – IT’S PRIDE!

Although there have been Pride events happening all month,  Vancouver Pride Society has lots of great events planned for the next couple weeks leading up to the Pride Parade on August 6th. Check out their event page here.

The Cultch is proud to be an accepting and open place to work and play for people of all identities and orientations. Over the years we have been honoured to present many LGTBQ2+ performances that have been enjoyed  by all.

Here is a look at a few of the shows in our 17/18 season that celebrate diversity of sexual orientations and gender identities:

Hot Brown Honey – January 9 – 20, York Theatre, Briefs Factory (Australia)

Hot Brown Honey turns up the heat, delivering lashings of sass and a hot pinch of empowerment in the smash-hit that packs a punch of Hip Hop politics. The Honeys will make you laugh, cry, clap and shake what your mama gave you.This stellar posse of phenomenal women make noise as they defiantly smash stereotypes and remix the system.

“Subverting sexual politics is a recurring motif, from a literal “pussy power” routine to a spot of raunchy lesbian beat-boxing.”The Sydney Morning Herald

Black Boys – January 16- 20, Historic Theatre, Buddies in Bad Times Theatre/ Saga Collectif (Toronto)

A raw, intimate, and timely exploration of queer male Blackness. Three individuals seek a deeper understanding of themselves, of each other, and of how they encounter the world, subverting the ways in which gender, sexuality, and race are performed.

The Explanation – April 17 – 29, Vancity Culture Lab, the frank theatre company (Vancouver)

Two heterosexual men – one of whom likes to dress in women’s clothes – just happen to fall in love with one another. An exploration of the constructs we adopt to make our own realities and ways of imagining a life that’s not only endurable but quite possibly magical.

We hope you will join us for these, and more fantastic shows, coming up this season. Purchase a subscription to save up to 25%. Single tickets go on sale August 8!


This week  in the news: President Trump tries to rolls out a new ban on transgender people in the military.

…This week  at The Cultch: Our venues roll out newer and more inclusive bathroom signage!

 We think everyone wins when everyone is included!

CONTEST: Win a night at the theatre with a $200 prize pack from The Cultch!

CONTEST: Win a night at the theatre with a $200 prize pack from The Cultch!

Single tickets for our 17/18 season go on sale on August 8th! We just cannot wait for you to see all of the wonderful shows that we have in store for you this coming season!

A little summer celebration is in order – LETS HAVE A CONTEST!

PRIZE

FOUR seats to any performance in our 17/18 season ($192 value) and four drink tickets ($36 Value)

CONTEST

One winner will receive FOUR seats to any performance in our 17/18 season ($192 value) and four drink tickets ($36 Value).

TO ENTER, for your chance to win a $200 prize pack from The Cultch, do at least one of the following – one entry per action!

  1. WATCH our season trailer (below) and leave a COMMENT on this blog-post telling us what show you’re most excited to see this season (1 entry)
  2. SHARE our season video https://youtu.be/OREBFrVwraE on Facebook (1 entry) with the hashtag #CULTCHCONTEST
  3. TWEET the following (1 entry)

Contest entries will be accepted from the time and date of publishing until 11:59 pm on August 8, 2017 (when Cultch single tickets go on sale). One winner will be chosen at random and contacted through the platform they used to enter.

Join us for a FREE pancake breakfast July 30!

Join us for a FREE pancake breakfast July 30!

We want to have breakfast with you!

It’s summer time (Yipee!) – a time for getting outside, meeting with friends and exploring the city with those you love.

Here at The Cultch we are all hard at work getting ready for the upcoming season (our first shows, Goblin Market  and 1 Hour Photo start October 3rd).  We are all enjoying the sunny summer we have been having, but summers are quieter at The Cultch and we miss you all!

Come hang out with us this Sunday, July 30th and share a few laughs and some delicious grub! We will be flipping pancakes from 10:30 am-1:30 pm. The Pancake Flip-out is a Cultch Community eventeveryone is invited!

Mmmmm, piping hot pancakes slathered in ooey, gooey syrup!

This is an opportunity to meet some of the people in the community, those physically close and those close at heart. Good food, good friends, good community!

Let us know if you can make it – RSVP here!