Con­tem­po­rary art and dance at the fore­front of Fluid Fest

Calgary Herald - - YOU - LOUIS B. HOBSON

Cal­gary’s Fluid Fest, a cel­e­bra­tion of con­tem­po­rary art, dance and phys­i­cal per­for­mance, is back for its 13th year with per­for­mances run­ning Oct. 18 through Nov. 3.

Nicole Mion, artis­tic di­rec­tor of Spring­board Per­for­mance and the cu­ra­tor of the fes­ti­val, ac­knowl­edged “th­ese are tough eco­nomic times for the arts scene in Cal­gary, but we are still here and we are still kick­ing. We’re de­ter­mined to be part of the fab­ric of Cal­gary’s art scene.”

She noted that they are not host­ing any large com­pa­nies dur­ing the 2018 fes­ti­val as has been done with past fes­ti­vals. But they will be bring­ing in larger acts later in the year and in the spring.

“This year’s Fluid Fest will of­fer a much more in­ti­mate con­nec­tion for our au­di­ences and that should prove re­ally ex­cit­ing,” she said.

The per­for­mances in Fluid Fest 2018 will be held in the DJD Dance Cen­tre (111 12th Ave. S.E.) and in cS­pace King Ed­ward (1721 29th Ave. S.W.).

“DJD’s the­atre seats 220 peo­ple and the con­fig­u­ra­tion we need at cS­pace al­lows for a max­i­mum of 100 seats, which means at both spa­ces au­di­ences can get up close with some pretty amaz­ing in­ter­na­tional, na­tional and lo­cal artists. Such im­me­di­acy and in­ti­macy re­ally en­hances the ex­pe­ri­ence,” promised Mion.

She says what makes a fes­ti­val like Fluid Fest suc­cess­ful is hav­ing clus­ters of ac­tiv­ity, so they’ve pro­grammed a num­ber of mixed bills as with Di­a­logue: My Tongue, Your Ear in the first week.

“In this show (at DJC on Oct. 19 at 7 p.m. and again on Oct. 20 at 9 p.m.), we have three Cana­dian chore­og­ra­phers who are re­ally ex­pand­ing the bound­aries of con­tem­po­rary dance and bal­let and bring­ing the two dis­ci­ples much closer to­gether.”

Di­a­logue fea­tures new works by Wen Wei Dance and Les­ley Telford, who both hail from Van­cou­ver, and Cal­gary ’s Yu­kichi Hat­tori, a for­mer prin­ci­pal dancer with Al­berta Bal­let.

Mion says that the first week of Fluid Fest fo­cuses on Pan Asian artists from across the coun­try.

“The suc­cess of a movie like Crazy Rich Asians il­lus­trates there is a hunger for di­ver­sity and we have sought out some im­por­tant voices for our fes­ti­val,” she said.

Mion is ex­cited that The­atre Cal­gary ’s artis­tic di­rec­tor Stafford Arima and Kodie Rol­lan, the de­vel­op­ment co-or­di­na­tor at Al­berta The­atre Projects, will par­tic­i­pate in se­lect panel dis­cus­sions high­light­ing Asian in­flu­ence in the arts.

On Oct. 20 at 8 p.m. in cS­pace King Ed­ward, Fluid Fes­ti­val will be host­ing a new work by Cal­gary In­dige­nous per­form­ing artist Justin Many Fin­gers en­ti­tled High Trails.

Search­ing for words to de­scribe this new work, Mion said, “It’s great dance-the­atre, drag the­atre and In­dige­nous the­atre. Justin has writ­ten, chore­ographed and di­rected this no-holds-barred Indigi-drag-pas­sion-play about a clos­eted drag queen who grew up on his reser­va­tion idol­iz­ing Buffy Sainte Marie. When he falls in love with a cow­boy, he has to re­think his life.”

The show fea­tures drag artist Miss VLT Bingo Stom­per in what Mion said will be “an un­for­get­table ex­pe­ri­ence.”

Week two of Fluid Fest will host a dou­ble bill called Kit­tly-Ben­der & Jezebel at the Still Point at cS­pace King Ed­ward at 8 p.m. on both Oct. 24 and 25.

“Ains­ley Hill­yard from Ed­mon­ton has cre­ated a show for her­self and her French bull­dog, which is truly dis­arm­ing, funny and heart­felt. She is shar­ing the evening with Toronto’s Kemi Projects Jen­nifer Dal­las, who has cre­ated a dance piece for a clown.”

The sec­ond week will also fea­ture an Art Party in which Cal­gary’s Swal­low-a-Bi­cy­cle The­atre has in­vited 10 di­verse artists to create site-spe­cific shows all over the build­ing. Mion said the third week of Fluid Fest puts the em­pha­sis on mu­sic and dance and will fea­ture Lis­beth Gruwez in her trib­ute to Bob Dy­lan.

For tick­ets and more in­for­ma­tion about the show go to the web­site at flu­id­fest.com.

At both spa­ces au­di­ences can get up close with some pretty amaz­ing in­ter­na­tional, na­tional and lo­cal artists.

BON ADRIELA

Pam Tzeng per­forms in Kick­Start, part of the di­verse lineup of acts planned for Fluid Fest.

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