At Nightfall Reminds Us to Slow Down and Look Around

Auguste

Auguste the shoemaker

“…luminous scenes, swathed in the most beautiful music…just like a child’s poem.” – La Tribune, Sherbrooke

Sursaut Dance Company’s uplifting and unique creations have been entertaining family audiences coast to coast and abroad for over twenty years. Founded in 1985, Sursaut is devoted to the creation of joyous and moving dance pieces for young and family audiences. Sursaut’s shows are well-known for thrilling spectators, young and old alike.

At Nightfall is no exception to the great and whimsical work of Sursaut. Following the story of Auguste, an introverted and overworked shoemaker who never takes breaks or holidays, it reveals a magical tale of discovery. Working around the clock, Auguste knows nothing of the world outside his own shop. He is often worried and tired, and very helpless and afraid when out of his element.

But then he discovers the water forest — a mystical place that is said to open both minds and hearts — and the teeny tiny people that occupy the elusive space where darkness and light intermingle. These mysterious creatures engage in energetic nocturnal dances in which they move and frolic in total abandon. Their spirit exercises an undeniable charm on those who venture into their world, and Auguste is no exception, at last discovering the happiness and joy of stopping and looking outside of himself.

At Nightfall is a breathtaking fantasy that thrills spectators and dazzles the imagination. It is a moving poetic work that celebrates delicacy, simplicity, and the need for human beings to slow down, look around, and maintain an essential link with nature and its cycles.

At Nightfall is on at The Cultch in the Historic Theatre from March 31st – April 3rd at 7pm, with a Matinee on April 3rd at 2pm. For tickets ($12 – $15), order online at http://tickets.thecultch.com/ or call the Box Office at 604-251-1363.

The Enchantment of Bretta Gerecke

Bretta, along with being the set designer, has also directed the play "Elephant Wake"

Bretta, along with being the set designer, has also directed the play "Elephant Wake"

Bretta Gerecke is the set, lighting, and costume designer for Elephant Wake. She graduated from the University of Manitoba with a Bachelor of Interior Design in 1992 and from the University of Alberta with a Master of Fine Arts in Theatre Design in 1996. She is the recipient of 13 Elizabeth Sterling Haynes Awards, an Enbridge Award for Best Emerging Artist, and was short-listed in 2006 and 2009 for the elite Siminovitch Prize. Gerecke is currently the resident designer for the Catalyst Theatre in Edmonton.

I’ve read you were originally interested in pursuing a career as an architect. Can you tell us a bit about your shift to theatre and set design and what drew you towards it?

Theatre is so immediate – so interactive – it is an organic art form. Ever it is an exciting, volatile, unpredictable career – perfect for an adrenaline junkie!

Who or what were your greatest influences when you began?

Influences are tough – I am always drawn to architects and installation artists. I believe there are no real limits in what we do – shoot for the sky and cross your fingers.

Where do you find the inspiration for your work?

Everywhere. I try always to keep my eyes and ears open. It can be a construction site, a concert, a group of protesters. There is nothing more powerful to me than the excitement of going into the unknown.

The set of "Elephant Wake"

The set of "Elephant Wake"

(more…)

And the Winner Is…

Richard Prokopenko of Rio Tinto Alcan, Heather Redfern of The Cultch & Turning Point Ensemble's Owen Underhill

Richard Prokopenko of Rio Tinto Alcan, Heather Redfern of The Cultch & Turning Point Ensemble's Owen Underhill

The Cultch is excited to announce that the winner of the 2011 Rio Tinto Alcan Performing Arts Award for Music/Opera is FIREBIRD 2011 by Turning Point Ensemble!

With Turning Point Ensemble’s mission of linking the present to great works of the past, FIREBIRD 2011 will consist of two exciting parts: a performance of a new arrangement by Michael Bushnell of Stravinsky’s Firebird, originally composed in 1910 for Diaghilev’s Ballet Russes; and an entirely new Firebird featuring dancers from MOVE: THE COMPANY choreographed by Simone Orlando, and new music by Vancouver composer Jocelyn MorlockFIREBIRD 2011 will be under the artistic direction of Owen Underhill, who is the co-artistic director of the ensemble.

The ensemble believes Firebird’s magic is in its sheer physicality of the magical characters (the Firebird seems to transform balletic norms and gender stereotyping) and the sense of spectacle as inspired by the collision of the natural and supernatural world.  The Firebird therefore has a flexibility that lends itself to rethinking of its basic themes into a contemporary world.

(more…)

SPONSORSHIP PROFILE: Like The Cultch, O’Doul’s Restaurant & Bar is a Vancouver institution!

(Note from The Cultch: O’Doul’s has generously sponsored catering for each and every opening night from The Cultch’s 09/10 Season, and has partnered with The Cultch for over 3 seasons!)

O’Doul’s has been a tradition on the Vancouver dining scene for over 30 years and in the words of Mia Stainsby, restaurant critic for the Vancouver Sun “..it’s never been better.” In its most recent incarnation the focus is on local and sustainable cuisine, an extensive and user-friendly wine list and on presenting the best of the vibrant local jazz scene, 7 nights a week.

(more…)

Sam and Ben and the Big Oops

Sam and Ben and the big oops promotional poster

"Sam and Ben" promotional poster

Don’t miss your chance to join us for the premiere of Sam and Ben and the Big Oops — a new and exciting play from The Cutch’s Curators-in-Resident Brendan McLeod!

Sam and Ben and the Big Oops is an original one-woman/one-act play centred on upcoming children’s entertainer Sammi Sam, who lives to please and inspire everyone around her:

the children she entertains, her long-term boyfriend Ben, and his affluent parents. When she accidentally becomes pregnant, she and Ben must choose whether or not to have a child during a financially and socially unstable time of their lives. The decision forces them to re-evaluate their life goals, and their relationship to both their families and each other. Part naive children’s show, part interpersonal drama, Sam and Ben and the Big Oops takes on contemporary social mores with abnormal humour and pathos.

And it packs a lot of talent.

(more…)

Tennessee Diary: A Sneak Peek at Theatre Replacement’s Creative Process

The Greatest Cities in the World is based on interviews and interactions with residents of the large collection of small towns in Tennessee that are named after world-famous cities– like Paris, London, and Rome.  Collected and transformed into a multi-media performance by Theatre Replacement, the play takes the words of one world and makes them specific to our experience of living in Vancouver, examining everyday life and mapping out what it means to be a citizen of our constantly shrinking world.

Moscow mayor

The Mayor of Moscow

The Greatest Cities in the World is the winner of the 2010 Rio Tinto Alcan Performing Arts Award for Theatre, and is directed by James Long and Maiko Bae Yamamoto, and features musical composition and direction by Veda Hille.  It’s on from March 9 – 13, 2010 at 8 pm at The Cultch.

(more…)

A Conversation with Robert Chafe, Artistic Fraud Artistic Associate, Playwright & Co-creator for “Fear of Flight”

Robert Chafe playwright and co-creator of Fear of Flight playing at The Cultch

Robert Chafe

What happens in this show?
Fourteen singing passengers endure turbulence, paranoia, their fear of flying and their fear of what’s waiting on the ground, during a bumpy transcontinental flight. There’s Joyce on her way to her sister’s lesbian wedding, and the invariable familial grilling of her continued singledom. There’s Blandy, the tough-as-nails fourteen year old, flying to say goodbye to her dying mother in Florida. There’s Glynis, the naïve ball of optimism, flying to Vancouver because Jesus asked her to.

How did Fear of Flight come to be?
It all started many years ago when Director Jillian Keiley and friend and actor Torquil Colbo created a five-minute movement piece to explore their shared fear of flying. They concocted the plan on the lawn of the Sir Wilfred Grenfell College Fine Arts Building. Flash forward ten years and Jill and playwright Robert Chafe are back at the college in residency and asked to create a show utilizing the 30 second and third-year students. Fear of Flight was born. Since that time the original student production played at the 2006 Magnetic North Festival in St. John’s, before a pared down (14 person), ramped up (new a cappella score) professional production debuted in 2008. That production travelled to the Magnetic North festival and Toronto’s Factory Theatre last spring, and now comes to the Cultural Olympiad.

(more…)

Best Before – A Curatorial Statement

by PuSh Festival Executive Director Norman Armour and Senior Curator Sherrie Johnson

In keeping with our curatorial vision to nurture creativity, foster innovation and stimulate dialogue and exchange, PuSh commissioned the German company Rimini Protokoll to embark on a new creation for our 2010 Festival with the simple premise that the work embody the notion of futurism.

Electronic Artist Brady Marks

Electronic Artist Brady Marks

Rimini Protokoll (www.rimini-protokoll.de) is the label given to a unique triumvirate of directors: Helgard Haug, Stephan Kaegi and Daniel Wetzel. Founded in 2000, this internationally acclaimed group has created over 20 new works of theatre—all sharing a very distinct house style. Having studied together at the Institute of Applied Theatre Studies, Justus Liebig-Universität Gießen (Giessen, Germany), and working in various combinations, the three artists behind Rimini Protokoll devise new work out of the material provided by real life. They have become the central figures in a documentary movement that has taken centre stage in German theatres over the last few years.

Rimini Protokoll has a distinct vision of the world, but what stands out in their productions is their belief in the impact of their work on society. They tackle major social issues with their innovative and visionary productions—works that redefine the very boundaries of theatre. Rimini Protokoll are the change-makers in our field; they themselves represent a contemporary futurism as leaders in the documentary theatre movement. International commissions and co-productions are key to the PuSh Festival’s evolving identity. They bring new insights, ideas and approaches to the artistic milieu within which we work, as well as offering a deeper understanding of the world-at-large to our audiences.

(more…)