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Photos are for illustrative purposes only. Pricing in effect Friday Feb. 23 to Thursday Mar. 1, 2018. Overwaitea Food Group LP, a Jim Pattison business. Proudly BC Owned and Operated.
2 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT FEBRUARY 22 â€“ MARCH 1 / 2018
FEBRUARY 22 â€“ MARCH 1 / 2018 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT 3
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The Grassroots Expo is a forum designed for everyday people interested in learning about cannabis in a nonintimidating and educational setting. Whether you are curious about cannabis or a connoisseur, this is a must-attend event. SAVE THE DATE
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4 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT FEBRUARY 22 – MARCH 1 / 2018
Here’s a sample of what you can expect from our world-class speakers (with more to come): • Real People Sharing Real Stories • Health (Women’s and Seniors) • Pets and CBD • Cannabis and Cancer
• Medical Research Updates • All About Growing • What’s Legal and What’s Not • Educational Programs • Job Fair
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The University of British Columbia
presented by President and Vice-Chancellor Santa J. Ono
Jeremy Rifkin March 8, 2018
Waneek Horn-Miller April 19, 2018
Michio Kaku September 26, 2018
Isabel Allende November 13, 2018
Jump-start your mind and heart with UBC Connects, a new public lecture series featuring global thought leaders. In an age of fake news, social isolation and spiritual apathy, UBC connects the dots—and people—to shed light on the world’s most pressing issues. This series is made possible with the generous support of the R & J Stern Family Foundation. ubc.ca/ubcconnects
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FEBRUARY 22 – MARCH 1 / 2018 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT 5
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The executive director of the B.C. Cycling Coalition wants provincial politicians to amend the Residential Tenancy Act and Strata Property Act to allow tenants to bring bicycles into their suites. > BY CHARLIE SMITH
In our Spring Arts Preview, we look at piano virtuosos on the vanguard, the opening of the Vancouver International Dance Festival, and our critics’ top picks across all genres.
START HERE 12 31 9 39 10 9 30
The Bottle Dance I Saw You Savage Love Straight Stars Straight Talk Theatre
FREE learn-to-meditate workshop
Learn simple, powerful meditation techniques to help you in everyday Master Sri Chinmoyy y y life,, based on the teachings g of Spiritual p
A Series of 4 Weekly Classes Starting Thursday, March 8th @ 7:00pm Vancouver Public Library 350 W. Georgia St. (Alma Room - downstairs) to reserve your seat please call 604.704.2720 www.srichinmoy.org Offered as a community service by the Sri Chinmoy Centre
Tribal divisions and toxic masculinity underline The Insult, while Black Panther brings Afro-futurism into the now and Alex Garland fights the power with Annihilation.
32 Arts 37 Music
With the epic undertaking that is Offerings, Typhoon asks big questions about what it’s like to watch someone slowly slip away.
37 Careers 8 Real Estate
> BY MIKE USINGER
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Vancouver 24/7 #GeorgiaStraight FEBRUARY 22 – MARCH 1 / 2018 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT 7
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ne of Vancouver’s most vocal many cases], but often I call it ‘bike cycling advocates thinks the storage’,” Campbell said. “There’s this province should make it room and you have to get to it down a easy for people to park their vehicle ramp and it’s behind a couple bikes inside their housing units. of doors. So by the time you get down As things stand now, many ten- there, it’s five minutes of extra time. ants and condo owners are required “Some people are actually using the to park their bikes in underground bike-share instead of their own bike garages because they’re prohibited because they can just walk outside and from bringing them upstairs. get one,” he continued. “And they don’t That can leave these two-wheelers have to worry about it being stolen.” vulnerable to theft. If it were illegal to stop people from “These bikes are sometimes expen- bringing bikes into their suites, Campsive,” B.C. Cycling Coalition execu- bell said that landlords and strata tive director Richard Campbell told councils would have to provide incenthe Georgia Straight. “Even if there is tives, such as by adding safer and more bike parking, people might not want accessible underground storage. it down there.” The city requires Last year in bicycle parking to Victoria, police be “no lower than warned about a the first complete Charlie Smith rash of break-ins parking level” in in underground garages, with many an underground lot. Exceptions can bicycles being taken from supposedly be made if an elevator “provides a secure locations. It’s also been an issue direct link to the outside”. in Vancouver and North Vancouver. Campbell said that in the NetherIn some older Vancouver apart- lands, on the other hand, there is a ment blocks, bikes are even more requirement that bike parking must at risk because they’re simply left be more conveniently located than against the wall in underground any car parking. This means that parkades. That’s because the city people often have to walk by their only imposes bicycle-parking re- bike to reach a vehicle. quirements on dwellings built after He suggested that the province 1995 with three or more units or on could make it easier for landlords to older buildings if the owner seeks a develop better bike storage by propermit for an expansion. There’s no viding a provincial-sales-tax rebate indoor bike parking at the new tem- on construction materials used in porary modular housing projects creating these facilities. Campbell pointed out that the upbeing developed around the city. Campbell said there’s an easy way side of more convenient bike parking, to prevent bike thefts and encourage including in people’s suites, is a higher likelihood that people will cycle rather more cycling at the same time. According to him, this could be than drive or use transit to reach their achieved if the NDP government destinations. This can leave more room simply amended the Residential Ten- on the roads and in transit vehicles for ancy Act and the Strata Property Act those who don’t have other options. “You really do need to start adto make it illegal to prevent people from taking bicycles into their suites. dressing these issues holistically,” “There’s bike parking required [in he said. -
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straight talk NDP TARGETS FOREIGN DEMAND FOR HOUSING
The foreign-homebuyer tax is increasing to 20 percent. In addition, the levy, which originally was applied only in Metro Vancouver, will be extended to other regions in B.C. The 20-percent foreign-buyer tax will now also cover the Fraser Valley, Capital Regional District, Nanaimo Regional District, and Central Okanagan. The changes were part of the first provincial budget rolled out by the B.C. NDP since the party lost power to the Liberals in 2001. According to the plan presented by the NDP on housing affordability, the 15-percent foreign-buyer tax that was implemented by the previous government was not enough to stabilize the housing market. The plan notes that “foreign demand is still putting pressure on our housing stock.” The document also states that the extension of the tax beyond Metro Vancouver “ensures that speculation isn’t pushed into neighbouring markets”. On February 1, the Union of B.C. Municipalities released a housing report that suggested an increase in the foreign-buyer tax and extending its application to areas outside Metro Vancouver. According to the report, “estimates of foreign investment provided by federal and provincial data are likely quite conservative.” This came more than a month after Statistics Canada and the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation came up with a report stating that nonresidents, who include Canadians as well as nonCanadians, own 4.8 percent of homes in Metro Vancouver. According to B.C. provincial government data, 4.2 percent of home transactions in Metro Vancouver in December 2017 involved foreign buyers. In the 2018 budget announcement, the B.C. NDP government also indicated that a speculation tax on residential property will be introduced in the fall. The government will also increase the property-transfer and school-tax rates on homes worth more than $3 million. > CARLITO PABLO
According to the plan, seniors, on average, will receive an additional $930 per year. More families are also expected to benefit from RAP because the gross-annual-income eligibility level will be increased to $40,000 from the previous $35,000. The province also announced that it is investing $378 million during the next three years to build rental housing. B.C. will also spend $550 million on the construction of 1,750 units of social housing for Indigenous residents during the next decade. > CARLITO PABLO
Finance Minister Carole James has boosted funding for arts and culture.
PROMISED $400 RENTERS’ REBATE NOT IN BUDGET
The B.C. NDP government is expanding rental-assistance programs for low-income families and seniors in the 2018 provincial budget. However, New Democrats failed to deliver on one of their biggest commitments in the election campaign last year. “We will provide a refundable renter’s rebate of $400…per rental household in B.C. each year,” the B.C. NDP pledged in the party’s platform. “Homeowners get a break on their property taxes each year; renters deserve a break too, especially with the skyrocketing rents we see today.” The rebate is nowhere in the 2018 budget unveiled by the government Tuesday (February 20). What can be found is a promise to review the Homeowner Grant, which reduces the amount of property tax for a principal residence. In Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley, the basic grant is $570. According to the plan for housing affordability that came with the budget announcement, “there is no similar support for renters.” “The Province will review the Homeowner Grant program to ensure both renters and homeowners benefit in the same way,” the plan stated. Regarding subsidies for people living in private rentals, the plan noted that the 2018 budget will invest $116 million over the next three years to increase average benefits under Shelter Aid for Elderly Renters (SAFER) and the Rental Assistance Program (RAP).
FUNDING GOES UP FOR ARTS AND CULTURE
Before the 2017 election, the B.C. NDP promised to double the budget of the B.C. Arts Council. And in its February 20 budget, the NDP minority government has pledged to achieve almost the first two-thirds of that target over the next three years. The B.C. Arts Council provides arm’s-length funding to artists and organizations through a peer-evaluation process. The B.C. Liberal government froze its budget at $24 million annually from 2013–14 until 2017. NDP finance minister Carole James says that this will be increased by $15 million by 2020–21. This means that the government will need to allocate another $9 million in its pre-election budget in 2021 to double B.C. Arts Council funding from where it stood in the final year of the Christy Clark government. This year’s budget will also grant $3 million over three years to Creative B.C. for the film, music, publishing, and digital-media sectors. This came after the legislative committee on finance and government services had recommended that the provincial government double investment in the B.C. Arts Council over four years as well as increase funding to Creative B.C. to expand the B.C. Film Commission’s capacity, renew the B.C. Music Fund, and provide programs to support B.C.’s domestic film, television, digital, and other creative industries. Shortly before this week’s Georgia Straight print edition was about to hit the street, people in the arts, culture, and heritage sectors gathered at SFU Woodward’s to celebrate the spending increase. > STAFF
The Georgia Straight | Vancouver’s News and Entertainment Weekly | Volume 52 Number 2615 1635 West Broadway, Vancouver, B.C. V6J 1W9 www.straight.com Phone: 604-730-7000 / Fax: 604-730-7010 / e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Display Advertising: 604-730-7020 / Fax: 604-730-7012 / e-mail: email@example.com Classifieds: 604-730-7060 / e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Subscriptions: 604-730-7000 Distribution: 604-730-7087 EDITOR + PUBLISHER Dan McLeod ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER Yolanda Stepien GENERAL MANAGER Matt McLeod EDITOR Charlie Smith SECTION EDITORS
Janet Smith (Arts/Fashion) Mike Usinger (Music) Steve Newton (Time Out) Adrian Mack (Movies) Brian Lynch (Books) Amanda Siebert (Cannabis) EDITORIAL ADMINISTRATOR Doug Sarti ASSOCIATE EDITORS
Gail Johnson, John Lucas, Alexander Varty STAFF WRITERS
Tammy Kwan, Lucy Lau, Travis Lupick, Carlito Pablo, Craig Takeuchi, Kate Wilson SENIOR EDITOR Martin Dunphy EDITORIAL ASSISTANT Jennie Ramstad PROOFREADER Pat Ryffranck CONTRIBUTING WRITERS
Gregory Adams, Nathan Caddell, David Chau, Jack Christie, Jennifer Croll, Ken Eisner (Movies), George Fetherling, Tara Henley, Michael Hingston, Ng Weng Hoong, Alex Hudson, Kurtis Kolt,
Robin Laurence (Visual Arts), Mark Leiren-Young, John Lekich, Amy Lu, Bob Mackin, Michael Mann, Rose Marcus, Beth McArthur, Verne McDonald, Allan MacInnis, Guy MacPherson, Tony Montague, Kathleen Oliver, Ben Parfitt, Vivian Pencz, Bill Richardson, Gurpreet Singh, Jacqueline Turner, Andrea Warner, Jessica Werb, Stephen Wong, Alan Woo CONTRIBUTING ARTISTS
Alfonso Arnold, Rebecca Blissett, Trevor Brady, Louise Christie, Emily Cooper, Randall Cosco, Krystian Guevara, Evaan Kheraj, Kris Krug, Tracey Kusiewicz, Kevin Langdale, Shayne Letain, Matt Mignanelli, Mark “Atomos” Pilon, Carlo Ricci, William Ting, Alex Waterhouse-Hayward DIGITAL PRODUCT MANAGER
Chet Woodside LEAD WEB DEVELOPER Jeffrey Li WEB DEVELOPER Tina Luu (On Leave) JUNIOR WEB DEVELOPER Riva Ridley WEB ADMINISTRATOR Miles Keir
ART DEPARTMENT MANAGER
SENIOR DESIGNER David Ko PRODUCTION SUPERVISOR Mike Correia PRODUCTION
K.T. Dean, Sandra Oswald
AD SERVICES ASSOCIATE
DIRECTOR OF ARTS AND SPONSORSHIP
Laura Moore SALES DIRECTOR
Glenn Cohen, Robyn Marsh, Manon Paradis, David Pearlman, Catherine Tickle
CONTENT AND MARKETING SPECIALIST
Tori Macnab ADVERTISING + PROMOTION ASSISTANTS
Maya Keeven (On Leave), Ahlia Moussa
Johnnie Smart CIRCULATION MANAGER
INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY DIRECTOR
CREDIT MANAGER Shannon Li ACCOUNTING SUPERVISOR
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> Go on-line to read hundreds of I Saw You posts or to respond to a message < GORGEOUS REDHEAD W/ GREAT SMILE / 1 ST AND BURRARD
I SAW A: I AM A: WHEN: FEBRUARY 19, 2018 WHERE: Burrard and 1st Ave. I was walking along 1st at Burrard and you moved out of my way. You gave me a big smile. I was too shy to say thank you for your kindness and say hello. You have long red hair and you were wearing a yellow coat and had a backpack. You continued onto the Burrard bridge. I was wearing a green and beige parka with the hood up and green pants. I would love to see that winsome smile again. Can I please buy you a coffee and pastry at Siegels or somewhere else?
SATURDAY EVENING ON THE SKYTRAIN
I SAW A: I AM A: WHEN: FEBRUARY 17, 2018 WHERE: Expo Line I saw you on the SkyTrain, you sat across me. You were wearing black clothes and shoes. I looked scruffy (coming back from my soccer game). I had a cap and headphones on. A drunk guy got on the train and said something to me I guess he wanted to sit next to me by the window? I got up and looked at you, smiling. You smiled back. Love your smile.
CRUMPLED RUMPLED AND INTRIGUED
I SAW A: I AM A: WHEN: FEBRUARY 16, 2018 WHERE: Commercial Drive, Patio I was sitting on a patio tonight on Commercial Drive. You were walking back and forth in a crumpled trench coat, jeans, rumpled blond hair. You eventually came in and spoke to the waitress for directions. I watched you. Turned my head to your direction and made a reason to walk past you to the bathroom. When I came out, you were gone and I lingered on the feeling of tangent strings of energy pulling my attention to you, telling me to seek you out here. Interested?
BARCLAY STREET SMILE
I SAW A: I AM A: WHEN: FEBRUARY 18, 2018 WHERE: West End Your blonde hair and blue eyes caught my attention, then the very nice smile you sent my way. How about a coffee or glass of wine?
WALK THE MOON CONCERT
I SAW A: I AM A: WHEN: FEBRUARY 15, 2018 WHERE: The Vogue Theatre You appeared during the song “Shut up & Dance”. The joy between you and the little boy on your shoulders was infectious. I was the tall brunette with the eyebrow ring standing in the back row. We shared a few big smiles... but as soon as the song ended you were gone. I really liked what I saw. It would be fun to see you again...
VALENTINE’S YOGA PARTY
I SAW A: I AM A: WHEN: FEBRUARY 14, 2018 WHERE: Yoga We were dancing at the yoga party very close, we kept looking at each other. I found you extremely attractive, I can’t stop hoping I see you again. I was too shy to say hi. I hid it, you had no idea I was into you. I wish I didn’t. Nobody ever catches my eye. You were amazing.
SPANISH BANKS SMILE
I SAW A: I AM A: WHEN: FEBRUARY 12, 2018 WHERE: Spanish Banks We passed each other twice running in opposite directions along Spanish Banks on the Family Day holiday. It was a gorgeous day and your bright smile as we passed each time made me think you were enjoying the day much as I was. You had your hair in a pony tail, brilliant blue running gear, and ear buds in. I was wearing a blue shirt, black and white hat, and trying my best to smile back. Maybe we end up running towards a coffee/drink next time?
REDHEAD ON THE 240
I SAW A: I AM A: WHEN: FEBRUARY 15, 2018 WHERE: 240 Bus from North Vancouver I was riding the 240 from North Vancouver to downtown and you got on before the bridge. No idea what it was, but you intrigued me. You had red hair, facial hair, and were wearing a striped shirt, black jacket, jeans, dirty white sneakers and had a band-aid on your finger. I'm sure you felt me glancing up every so often because you kept looking up to me. I had the big pink shopping bag on my lap and the turquoise sweater, with curly short dark hair. Something about you made me think you were someone I would love to get to know. Maybe you thought the same. :)
WAITING FOR THE N35
I SAW A: I AM A: WHEN: FEBRUARY 14, 2018 WHERE: Commercial and Hastings 1 am and you were taking pictures of the East Van snowfall. You said the only relevance of groundhog day was its association with Bill Murray, and that's when I knew you were the real deal. We chatted about working in restaurants and fondue.
JAY, YOU KEPT MAKING SURE I COULD SEE AT THE DAN AUERBACH CONCERT, AND WE HAD A TON OF LAUGHS AT THE MORRISSEY
I SAW A: I AM A: WHEN: FEBRUARY 10, 2018 WHERE: The Vogue & The Morrissey I’m so glad that I randomly met you and Pete at the show, and I’m sorry for leaving without saying goodbye, and am kicking myself for not getting your number... I hope you two made it home safely! I had such a great time with you, and I would love to meet for a beer, a chat, a concert... send me a message. I sure hope this finds you somehow.
Visit straight.com to post your FREE I Saw You _ FEBRUARY 22 – MARCH 1 / 2018 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT 9
INFO sessions Skilled workers are in high demand. Explore ways to get skilled and get ahead in a new career. Program
Music Thursday, Feb. 22, 4:15 p.m. â€“ Blenz coffee
Fashion Saturday, Feb. 24, 9:30 a.m. â€“ room 920
Administrative assistant Monday, Feb. 26, 4 p.m. â€“ room 622
Early childhood education Monday, Feb. 26, 5 p.m. â€“ room 419
Access to careers and education Monday, Feb. 26, 6 p.m. â€“ room 516
Addiction and community counselling skills Tuesday, Feb. 27, 6 p.m. â€“ room 414
Occupational/physical therapy assistant Wednesday, Feb. 28, 1 p.m. â€“ room 4205
Adult special education Wednesday, Feb. 28, 3 p.m. â€“ room 522
Check out more free info sessions at vcc.ca/info Downtown campus 200-block Dunsmuir at Hamilton two blocks west of Stadium SkyTrain station. Broadway campus 1155 East Broadway across from VCC/Clark SkyTrain station.
Readerâ€™s Choice Winners List Available | MARCH 8
E Enter to win a two-night getaway to Victoria co courtesy of Helijet and the Fairmont Empress. Prizing for two includes: round-trip airfare, accommodations in a newly restored Harbour View room and afternoon tea. Watch straight.com for details
straight stars > B Y R O SE MARCUS
February 22 to 28, 2018
he Winter Olympics now finish up in South Korea and the first set of eclipses for 2018 has come and gone too. Not forgotten, though; the ripple effect (the Florida high-school massacre, et cetera) carries on. Sun, Venus, and Mercury, all fresh on the go in Pisces, make the rounds with Neptune, Pisces ruler, and with each other. Adding Chiron to the mix, there are currently five planets transiting the water sign. This f luid planetary assembly can dissipate some of the recent high stress, if only for a short spell. Circumstances can move along a smoother, more natural progression. On the other hand, the daily get-go can be subjected to more than the usual uncertainty, guesswork, and moment-to-moment changeability. Is there true value in it? Whatâ€™s the purpose behind it? Our ideals, hopes, dreams, and ultimate aims now gain more attention. Pisces puts us better in touch with the imaginative, romantic, and spiritual side of life. The sign also taps from an increased desire to surrender to the moment, transcend the ordinary, escape the constraints, and realign with our creative/creator source. When negatively expressed, there is a tendency to align with the projection or fantasy, to seek an escape to avoid the reality. We now gain access to potentials that are at their ripe-and-ready stage. As an exposure archetype, Pisces can open a portal to the desired or to disillusionment. Either way, this is no ordinary moment of time. Every thought, emotion, and action (and every missed opportunity, too) makes a significant contribution to the designing of destiny. Wherever you go, go with all your heart.
March 20â€“April 19
Greater clarity is the result of a natural evolution rather than the force-it or race-ahead program. Allow for things to unfold and they will, perhaps even better than you envision. This advice pertains to circumstances and creative ideas. Let it f low. When it doesnâ€™t, relax, rest up, conserve your energy and resources. Trust in the process. Youâ€™ll get there soon enough. April 20â€“May 20
Pisces month is one of your best for creativity, romance, harvesting potentials, and living in the moment. Still, life holds no guarantees. Trust issues can be at the forefront of your mind. High expectations can be too. You canâ€™t control how others show up for you, but whatâ€™s more important is how you show up for yourself. Sunday, give it your best shot.
May 21â€“June 21
Give way but donâ€™t give up! Potentials are in the process of developing substantial shape and form. More will unfold/be revealed in due course, likely sooner rather than later. Stay focused on the goal but also recognize the journey is just as important. Time is your ally; see it as such. Stay open to the range of possibilities and go with the f low.
June 21â€“July 22
July 22â€“August 22
High hopes pinned on someone or something? Thereâ€™s greater-than-average possibility now, so by all means, stay open to receiving and let inspired moments be your best go-to resource. Five planets in Pisces can keep you swept up in it, but also keep tabs on the reality. Time can evaporate; money can too. Maintain healthy limits regarding consumption of alcohol or drugs.
August 22â€“September 22
No matter what or who claims your attention, Pisces stars keep you signed up on the totalimmersion program. Your imagination and hopefulness can be high; your immunity can be low. Friday, itâ€™s time to switch gears and/or get psyched up for next. Put spontaneity and creativity into play. Sunday through Wednesday, youâ€™ll find yourself on a great roll. Make the most of it. September 22â€“October 23
Feeling swamped by too much or at a loss for how to optimize, improve upon, heal, cope, or plan for next? Perhaps you canâ€™t quite put your finger on whatâ€™s missing or whatâ€™s needed. Past Friday, youâ€™ll start to get a handle on it and make better inroads. Sunday through Wednesday sets the backdrop for more reward or more tangible progress. October 23â€“November 21
If you couldnâ€™t quite sort it out or track it down, you will now. Thursday/Friday, a conversation or scouting mission clues you in to more. Once one thing falls into place, it all does. What comes next is a natural progression. The weekend is ideal for shifting gears. Travel or cook it up right where you are, Sunday, your stars are optimized. SAGITTARIUS November 21â€“December 21 Through Saturday, the more you goâ€”the more you do, read, or tryâ€”the more youâ€™ll know. Take it one step at a time. A stream-ofconsciousness conversation or creative undertaking could get you someplace good. A first could lead to a second. A second meet-up or attempt or a replay could be the charm. Sunday, go by feel. Monday/Tuesday, own it.
December 21â€“January 19
Drinking it in? Swimming in it? Five planets in Pisces can do either/or. Youâ€™ll find you are especially sensitive to moods, feelings, and energy fields, also to noise, drugs, and alcohol. To the plus, if you have something to say or write, or have a presentation to make, youâ€™ll do so with good emotional impact. January 20â€“February 18
Submerged in the process? Dreaming big? Opening your heart to another or to a calling? Yes, invest in the potential, but also keep practical; stick to healthy choices; and do your background check. Friday/Saturday clears up an uncertainty and puts you into a better know. Spontaneity delivers best. Sunday through Tuesday, reward is yours for the making. February 18- March 20
Thanks to five planets gracing Pisces, no doubt you are swimming in the deep end. Go with the flow; give your full attention to the here and now. Donâ€™t worry about what comes next until you get there. Friday could be an over-the-map day. Sunday/Monday keeps you on track and hitting an optimum stride. -
The future may be a great big question mark, but as of the here, now, and soon, a fresh wave of betterthan-average potential will be up for grabs. Donâ€™t get lost in the fear or worry: keep open to exploring; keep willing to take life on. Sunday, aim to do just that. Your stars are opti- B o o k a re a d i n g o r s i g n u p f o r mized. Monday/Tuesday keeps you/ Roseâ€™s free monthly newsletter at rosemarcus.com/. it going strong. 10 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT FEBRUARY 22 â€“ MARCH 1 / 2018
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Wines of Washington cross the border well
Stylish natural living since 1981
here may be a geopolitical border between us, but I’d venture there are as many commonalities as differences between British Columbians and Washingtonians. When we’re talking wine, this is especially true, particularly when we’re discussing attributes of the southern Okanagan Valley and Washington-state wine country. In fact, it’s an odd thought that in other countries there can be an idea of the style of Canadian wine when, outside of our province, the nearest significant Canadian wine region is on the Niagara Peninsula in Ontario, about 3,500 kilometres away. We have a considerable amount of differences in climate, Kung Fu Girl Riesling from Charles terrain, and all the other usual facSmith Wines is a dependable drop. tors. If we’re looking for stylistic elements a little more closely teth- CHARLES SMITH WINES KUNG ered, it simply makes sense for us FU GIRL RIESLING 2015 (Washto hop over the American border ington state; $19.99, B.C. Liquor Stores) This popular Riesling has and look to our neighbours. I was considering this upon receiv- been a dependable drop for what ing a handful of new releases from seems like forever. Those white floral Washington’s Charles Smith Wines in notes on the nose are intoxicating off advance of their upcoming participa- the bat, lifted by lime zest and freshsliced quince. The tion in the Vancoujuicy palate carver International ries an armload Wine Festival. In of both Granny tasting a couple of Kurtis Kolt Smith and Ambrothe wines, a Riesling and a Syrah (arguably my two sia apples, a smidge of buckwheat favourite grape varieties), I couldn’t honey, and muddled lemon. The fruit help thinking I might have difficulty is well concentrated, and the (offlanding on the right side of the border dry) finish goes long. For those fearful of Riesling being too sweet, there’s if I were blind-tasting them. So, in an awfully unscientific per- no need for concern. Generous acidity sonal study, I reached for the two keeps everything lively and balanced, most recent British Columbian ex- and there’s a core of minerality, amples of those varieties to land on allowing solid structure. my desk. Although I was curious to see how many common threads QUAILS’ GATE B.M.V. RIESLING I could find, I recognize I’m look- 2017 (Okanagan Valley, B.C.; $29.99, Holy shit, ing at different winemaking styles www.quailsgate.com/) and vintages, but perhaps the similar this wine is incredible! This is a new see page 14 provenance could still shine through.
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SPRING ARTS PREVIEW
Rachel Kiyo Iwaasa (left) plays pianist, actor, and memoirist in Klavierklang; Vicky Chow (right) soon tackles Ten Thousand Birds (Kaitlin Jane photo); and Rory Cowal (below left) gets gamelan-inspired.
Players who push the piano
soloist and as pianist with one of New York’s leading new-music ensembles, the Bang on a Can All-Stars. In Vancouver, she’ll get a chance to show off her unparalleled athleticism with a performance of BOAC cofounder Michael Gordon’s Sonatra, before turning her attention to the Three young artists are pioneering unconventional new music of John Luther Adsounds on one of classical music’s favourite instruments ams, who creates unusual Black and glossy and as unfathomable as and immersive listening experiences. Sonatra, as its title suggests, is a mashup of deep space, the grand piano exerts an immense gravitational pull on the past and present of classic- musical quotes from the Frank Sinatra songbook, B Y A LEX A NDER VAR TY al music. Three young pianists, all with local con- played with the virtuoso skills necessary to tackle nections, aim to ensure that influence continues the classical sonata. A wild ride of endlessly overwell into the future, although the routes they’ve lapping arpeggios, it may well be the most maxedout minimalist piece Chow has ever played. Or chosen are sometimes far from conventional. For Vicky Chow, who’ll soon present two salon tried to play, as she points out. “The tempo is marked ‘as fast as possible’, which is concerts and an ensemble reading of John Luther Adams’s Ten Thousand Birds for Music on kind of impossible,” she says, laughing. But she adds Main, going off-piste was both surprising that it’s in her nature to push her skills as far as they and simple. A decade ago, well on her way to can go. “Through that process you understand what an international reputation as an interpreter your limits are,” she contends. “I’m curious about of the classics and nearing the end of her what this piece will be like in a few more years. Will Juilliard School training, the Vancouver- I be able to play it faster? What’s my limit? And at the born musician was simply helping out a same time, maybe that’s not the point.” friend when she discovered her true calling. “At that time I hadn’t had a lot of experi- RACHEL KIYO IWAASA, Music on Main’s inence performing contemporary works, house pianist and former Queer Arts Festival direcand when you’re in the conservatory or at tor of development, could probably give Chow some school, what you do play isn’t very experi- competition in the notes-per-minute sweepstakes. mental—it’s a very conservative and aca- But speed is not an issue with Klavierklang, which demic kind of new music,” she explains, Iwaasa premiered at World New Music Days last fall on the line from her New York City home. and will reprise as part of a birthday celebration for “But, nonetheless, my friend asked me to soundscape pioneer Hildegard Westerkamp that the play a concert of his music in which the ori- Canadian Music Centre will host in April. Instead, ginal pianist had bailed out a week before—and the collaborative work finds Iwaasa playing multiple that’s when I realized ‘Oh my gosh, I actually enjoy roles: pianist, actor, and memoirist. Developed slowly in conjunction with Westerdoing this.’ ” It probably helped that Chow’s friend was Zhou kamp, Klavierklang examines the bonds between Tian, whose Concerto for Orchestra has been mothers and daughters and the rifts that can separnominated for a 2018 Grammy Award for best ate them; the passing-on of musical knowledge over time; the nature of musical pedagogy; and, perhaps contemporary classical composition. Since then, Chow has had the opportunity to work most importantly, the intergenerational friendship with many more acclaimed composers, both as a that has sprung up between its two creators.
THINGS TO DO
“It is one of the most deeply personal collaborations that I’ve ever been involved in,” Iwaasa notes, reached at home in East Vancouver. “We spent a lot of tea-soaked afternoons talking about everything under the sun: talking about music and what we liked in music; talking about our upbringings; talking a lot about our piano training and how we ended up where we were.” In an odd upending of roles—and one that slipped by many listeners at Klavierklang’s premiere—Iwaasa’s memories are delivered as part of Westerkamp’s background soundscape, while the pianist delivers the composer’s recollections live, at the piano. It’s an indication of how carefully interwoven their contributions are, and of how interested Iwaasa has become in adding an explicitly theatrical dimension to her performances. From playing Frederic Rzewski’s De Profundis—based on Oscar Wilde’s letters—in drag to working with dance innovator Tara Cheyenne Friedenberg, the pianist is increasingly bringing other media into her musical world. “It’s funny: in piano pedagogy, we talk about ‘choreography’ in a kind of an offhand way,” she says. “It’s a word that we just use, particularly if we have to get from one part of the instrument to the other very quickly. We talk about it much less in terms of the effect on the listener.…And that shows up in the way we talk about the audience as ‘listeners’ as opposed to ‘viewers’, when in fact the audience really is both.” AMERICAN-BORN RORY COWAL , a Vancouver resident for the past few years, is also exploring new pianistic worlds. In the case of the pieces he’ll perform as part of Gamelan at the Roundhouse, in April, his instrument will be altered: retuned to accommodate the fixed pitches of Gamelan Alligator Joy, a local ensemble specializing in new music for ancient Javanese instruments. He’ll be performing works by the late Lou Harrison, along with Mode of Attunement, a new piece by Vancouver composer, gamelan student, and bagpipe aficionado Michael O’Neill. “Two things that they have in common,” Cowal reports from his Mount Pleasant home, “is an interest in what Michael refers to as ‘intercultural music’, sort of a synthesis of European culture and Asian see page 15
ARTS High five
1 Editor’s choice DEUTSCH TREAT The Vancouver Cantata Singers have had a long, rewarding connection with German music over the years, including a 1999 recording of Josef Gabriel Rheinberger’s choral pieces by the German music publisher Carus-Verlag, and a major tour of the country at around the same time. So it’s fitting, as part of its 60th-anniversary season, that the smashing ensemble should stage an all-German a cappella choral program, chock full of masterworks by the likes of Rheinberger, Johannes Brahms, and Anton Bruckner, all performed under the baton of Paula Kremer. As a bonus, it’s upping its vocal ante by inviting all past singing members of VCS to join in on Rheinberger’s transcendent Abendlied. Get ready for a gut concert. The Vancouver Cantata Singers present Cantus Missae: Rheinberger and the Romantics at Holy Rosary Cathedral on Saturday (February 24).
2 3 4 5
Five events you just can’t miss this week
In the news
LOCALS NAB GG AWARDS Vancouver curator and grunt gallery program director Glenn Alteen (shown here) and local photographer and Emily Carr University of Art EMILY HELLER (February 22 to 24 at the + Design associate profesComedy MIX) YouTube the bespectacled comedian sor Sandra Semchuk have with the bitter edge and you’ll be an instant fan. been named winners of the 2018 Governor General’s ROY ASSAF DANCE (February 22 to 24 at the Awards in Visual and Media Norman and Annette Rothstein Theatre) Another Arts. The winners are breakout Israeli choreographer shows his conchosen by artists’ peers and siderable stuff at Chutzpah. get a $25,000 cash prize. Aside from running the LUNARFEST (February 24 and 25 at the grunt since he helped found it in 1984, Alteen—praised for his Vancouver Art Gallery plaza) Look for the fivework on cultural inclusion—has done everything from cofound metre-tall husky to mark the Year of the Dog. the LIVE Performance Art Biennale to launch several archival web projects (including Ruins in Progress and Beat Nation). The Saskatchewan-born Semchuk—lauded for her approach to PSS PSS (To March 4 at the York Theatre) Artful photography as a collaborative project—has works in the collecclowns you don’t have to be scared of. tions of the Museum of Modern Art and the National Gallery of Canada. Alteen, Semchuk, and other winners will receive their official medallions at a ceremony at Rideau Hall on March 28. FEBRUARY 22 – MARCH 1 / 2018 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT 13 ROMEO + JULIET (To February 24 at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre) Ballet BC’s new version promises sleek visual style and emotional drama.
enough acidity and tannic structure to keep everything in its right place. (Recently spotted at Legacy Liquor wine just added to Quailsâ€™ Gateâ€™s Stores and Everything Wine.) lineup, with fruit sourced from the wineryâ€™s Boucherie Mountain vine- POPLAR GROVE SYRAH 2014 yard. The B.M.V. Riesling came about (Okanagan Valley, B.C.; $33.99, in a similar way to the Kung Fu Girl: B.C. Liquor Stores) You know, I both were whole-cluster pressed, then thought Iâ€™d grabbed my glass of fermented and aged in neutral oak the Charles Smith Syrah again by for two months. While the latter was mistake; at first showing, the wines inoculated with commercial yeast, come across as quite similar. The the B.M.V. was a wild ferment, which dark berry fruit, some dried herbs, I think has brought more dimension some baking spices, and a generand complexities to the table. Thereâ€™s a ous nature have Poplar Groveâ€™s wonderful texture here, a slight bit of Syrah dovetailing with the Boom grip, which keeps all those pink-grape- Boom!â€™s flourishes. Flavour comfruit, crabapple, Honeycrisp apple, ponents differ here and there, but Bartlett pear, and nougat notes in line. not by much at all; the black licoThe concentration is a tad richer, and rice in the former comes across as the acidity arcs a little higher. Both more minty or anise-y in the latter, of â€™em are cheery odes to the varietyâ€™s that sort of thing. The gap between suitability to this corner of the world. them widened, though, after 15 or 20 minutes in the glass. While the CHARLES SMITH WINES BOOM Washington outing stayed mighty BOOM! SYRAH 2015 (Washington concentrated, our British Columstate; $30 to $35, private liquor stores) bian example softened a touch, The â€œBoom Boom!â€? moniker fits this becoming more elegant, with tanmeaty, delicious Syrah. Bursting out nins integrating well. That extra of the gate with mocha, brambly dark year of age could have played a part berry fruit, and a bunch of cloves and in the difference. cardamom, and with a good chew of All in all, in these specific examples black licorice on the finish, this wine I did see a common thread besides the ainâ€™t shy. Itâ€™s listed at 13.5-percent al- basics of varietal type. The most imcohol, which I thought to be a little portant trait they all carried, however, on the low side; it does harbour a is theyâ€™re all delightful examples of good dose of heat. Itâ€™s still well built, their respective varieties and worthy with great concentration and just of a spot at your table. -
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from page 12
A tribute to the resilience of the human spiritÂ Morna Edmundson, Artistic Director Stephen Smith, Pianist Guest artists Nancy DiNovo, violin Michael Jarrett, percussion
Saturday, March 3, 2018 talk at 6:45 with 7:30 pm Pre-concert composer Carol Barnett St. Johnâ€™s Shaughnessy Anglican Church 1490 Nanton Avenue, Vancouver Adults: $35 | Senior: $30 senior 65 and over Student: $15 with valid ID Ticket prices include all taxes and fees SEASON MEDIA SPONSOR
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Push the piano
from page 13
culture. Lou Harrison was certainly a pioneer of that kind of music. And another thing they have in common is an interest in tuning. Lou Harrison was deeply interested in tuning and microtonal composition, and Michael is too. He really likes to nerd out when it comes to tuning.” But there’s another aspect to this collaboration with Alligator Joy that pleases this classically trained and jazz-savvy musician. Whereas Chow came to the avant-garde almost by accident and Iwaasa has always had a bent for “pieces that would make my relatives’ faces screw up”, Cowal credits community world-music groups with radically expanding his sonic options—and his life in general. “Community world-music ensembles are such a special thing,” says Cowal, who notes that he’s currently learning Ewe music from Ghana with local ensemble Adanu Habobo. “Playing with them has been an important thing in my musical development, ’cause it’s helped me experience the music of other cultures and play that music. And, on top of that, there’s an extramusical benefit in that it’s provided a community for me in every place I’ve worked in.” COMMUNITY IS ALSO a concern
for composer John Luther Adams, whose Ten Thousand Birds will be performed by an ensemble under Chow’s direction as part of her third Music on Main appearance. But Adams opts to view the term in its largest context: how humans fit into the natural world, and how they don’t. Checking in from Chile’s Atacama Desert, he says that he increasingly sees his scores as a way for listeners to connect with the wild through immersive sonic environments. Ten Thousand Birds allows the musicians considerable agency in how they present Adams’s birdcall-inspired melodies, and audience members are free to wander the hall, quietly. “There’s no best seat in the house,” Adams says. “There’s no ideal per-
spective from which to hear the music. And so your experience of it is going to be different from my experience of it. Some people just decide to root themselves in one location and let the music move around them; other people like to wander around. Both are valid ways of experiencing this music—and I think that does, in some way, mimic the way that we experience the big world.” “A lot of composers that are here, in New York, are influenced by being in the city,” Chow says. “Like, you know, here it’s just constantly sirens and construction: it’s a really noisy city, and I never even realized that. Maybe I’ve learned to tune it out or something. But I finally realized how all of the music that I play is a reflection of that. All of the composers who live in the city are being influenced by all of the sounds around them, even by the music that cars are blasting as they drive by, and that seeps its way into the music that these composers are writing. “And then there’s John, somebody who’s really influenced by nature and the sounds of nature,” she continues. “So, for me, choosing to include some of these pieces in my repertoire is very therapeutic on a personal level. To think about music and sound and about how it all comes together almost feels like it fires my brain and my neurons a little bit differently.” One could say the same about all three of these pianists and the works they’re presenting this spring. Whether encompassing memory and theatre, global tonalities and ancient rhythms, or extreme virtuosity and a walk in the woods, they ask us to consider music with open ears—and a deeper, more focused kind of hearing. -
TW O PRESENTS
SH WE OWEKEN S D ON LY
TORONTO DANCE THEATRE HOUSE MIX A RETROSPECTIVE PROGRAM CELEBRATING 50 YEARS
Chow and the Music on Main All-Stars present Ten Thousand Birds at the Roundhouse Community Arts and Recreation Centre on March 3. Rachel Kiyo Iwaasa performs Klavierklang at the Canadian Music Centre on April 6. Rory Cowal performs with Gamelan Alligator Joy as part of Gamelan at the Roundhouse on April 26 and 27.
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FEBRUARY 22 – MARCH 1 / 2018 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT 15
SPRING ARTS PREVIEW
Sounds of spring span classical to cutting-edge MUSIC CRITICS’ PICKS
Festival season is upon us! (Not
2 that in Vancouver it ever ends.)
Three relatively new music festivals— the annual VSO Spring Festival and Vancouver Opera Festival, along with the biennial Sound of Dragon Music Festival—return this year as part of a season that includes everything from deep readings of beloved classics to truly groundbreaking collaborations between wildly disparate cultural groups. Set aside, if you can, your worries about affordable housing and the impending Big One: this spring, we’re lucky to live here. VSO SPRING FESTIVAL (At the Or-
pheum from March 17 to 26) A year before its own centenary, the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra hosts an eclectic 100th-birthday celebration for the late conductor and composer Leonard Bernstein. The Draw: Interpretive virtuoso András Schiff stands out amid an awe-inspiring A chance to say goodbye—and, most roster of top-flight pianists at the Vancouver Recital Society this season. definitely, “Thank you!”—to departing VSO music director Bramwell Tovey. universe. The Draw: A rare chance to Soundscape pioneer and composer hear the chamber music of operatic Hildegard Westerkamp is the subTarget Audience: Grateful ears. composers Giuseppe Verdi and Gia- ject of a rare sonic retrospective. RACHMANINOFF VESPERS AND como Puccini, among others. Target The Draw: A second chance to LAURIDSEN LUX AETERNA (At the Audience: Admirers of Italian élan. hear Westerkamp’s entrancing colOrpheum on March 30) The Vanlaboration with pianist Rachel Kiyo couver Chamber Choir teams up SOUND OF DRAGON MUSIC Iwaasa, Klavierklang, which was a with the Vancouver Cantata Sing- FESTIVAL (At various venues from huge success at last fall’s World ers for Sergei Rachmaninoff’s choral April 3 to 8) Vancouver’s open- New Music Days. Target Audimasterpiece, with the Pacifica Sing- hearted celebration of intercultural ence: Well-tuned ears and those ers coming aboard for its modern music-making returns for its third who wear them. equivalent, Morten Lauridsen’s Lux edition. The Draw: Top ticket this Aeterna. The Draw: Three choirs for time out should be the much-an- ANDRÁS SCHIFF (At the Vancouthe price of one! Target Audience: ticipated meeting of Taiwan’s Little ver Playhouse on April 10) This Giant Chinese Chamber Orchestra spring the Vancouver Recital SoFrugal fans of choral beauty. and our own Turning Point Ensem- ciety presents an awe-inspiring QUARTETTO DI CREMONA (At the ble. Target Audience: Anyone with roster of pianists, from the veteran Vancouver Playhouse on April 3) The curiosity and a valid passport. Paul Lewis to the up-and-coming Friends of Chamber Music present Schaghajegh Nosrati, but the jewel WESTERKAMP in its lineup is the return of the refour young string virtuosos from HILDEGARD the Italian town that, for centuries, BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION (At the liably transcendent András Schiff. was the centre of the violin-making Canadian Music Centre on April 6) The Draw: An interpretive virtuoso
at the mature peak of his powers. Michael O’Neill’s band Beledrone, Target Audience: Essentialists. which incorporates Balinese processional gamelan, Ukrainian singONE NIGHT STAND: NICOLE LIZÉE ing, and bagpipes. Target Audience: (At the Fox Cabaret on April 17) Those who spice their haggis with Music on Main’s composer in resi- sambal oelek. dence presents her neopsychedelic band SaskPWR. The Draw: One of CHOR LEONI 25 (At West Vanthe few modern composers to suc- couver United Church and St. Ancessfully bring pop dynamics into drew’s–Wesley United Church on the concert hall, Lizée gets to really April 28) Vancouver’s preeminent rock out here. Target Audience: men’s choir celebrates a quarterHipsters. Not that there’s anything century of ever-evolving artistry. The Draw: The program for the wrong with that. Lions’ anniversary gala has yet to be THIRD COAST PERCUSSION (At released, but expect a mix of fan fathe Annex on April 21) One of the vourites and provocative commisworld’s great percussion ensembles sions. Target Audience: Anyone finally makes its local debut, thanks looking for a safe but soulful injecto Vancouver New Music. The Draw: tion of sonic testosterone. Over 125 bells from around the world will be used in Augusta Read VANCOUVER OPERA FESTIVAL Thomas’s Resounding Earth; also on (At various venues from April 28 to the bill will be Steve Reich’s Mallet May 6) Collusion or coincidence? Quartet. Target Audience: Min- Just as the Mueller investigation is heating up, Vancouver Opera goes imalists and meditators. all Russian. The Draw: Ancillary WAR AND PEACE (At the Chan Cen- programming at Russian White tre for the Performing Arts on April 21) Nights covers everything from poet British masters of Renaissance po- Anna Akhmatova to Sergei Prokoflyphony the Tallis Scholars turn their iev’s kid-friendly orchestral romp attention to a mix of new and old in Peter and the Wolf, but the operatic an Early Music Vancouver program meat in this tuneful borscht has to be that highlights the horrors of war and the main-stage production of Peter the beauties of its opposite. The Draw: Ilich Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin. Masterpieces of vocal music, from Target Audience: Comrades and Josquin des Prez’s “Kyrie” to Arvo connoisseurs. Pärt’s “The Woman with the AlabasBACH CHOIR ter Box”. Target Audience: Pacifists VANCOUVER MEETS ORCHID ENSEMBLE (At and perfectionists. St. Andrew’s–Wesley United Church GAMELAN AT THE ROUNDHOUSE on May 4) One of Vancouver’s most (At the Roundhouse Community august choirs meets free-spirited Arts and Recreation Centre on April Pacific Rim explorers in an unlikely 26 and 27) Spanning music from but infinitely promising collaboraacross the Indonesian archipelago tion. The Draw: Both components and beyond, Vancouver’s annual handle their materials masterfully, gong show immerses listeners in but what will they do when East a brassy bath of sounds both an- meets West? Target Audience: The cient and brand-new. The Draw: whole Lower Mainland, and beyond. > ALEXANDER VARTY A rare appearance by composer
VSO SPRING FESTIVAL:
The 2018 VSO SPRING FESTIVAL is an exciting exploration of musical and literary legends, featuring Carl Orff’s magnificent Carmina Burana, the legendary Pinchas Zukerman performing Mozart, Mahler’s beautiful Symphony No. 4, young classical superstars Joyce Yang and Augustin Hadelich, and the music of the great Leonard Bernstein.
1) CARMINA BURANA!
3) WEST SIDE STORY
SATURDAY, MARCH 17 8PM, ORPHEUM Bramwell Tovey conductor Tracy Dahl soprano Benjamin Butterfield tenor James Westman baritone UBC University Singers & Choral Union Langley Fine Arts School Treble Choir
SATURDAY, MARCH 24 8PM, ORPHEUM Bramwell Tovey conductor Tracy Dahl soprano
BERNSTEIN Chichester Psalms ORFF Carmina Burana
2) A BERNSTEIN CELEBRATION MONDAY, MARCH 19 8PM, ORPHEUM Bramwell Tovey conductor Augustin Hadelich violin Joyce Yang piano
BERNSTEIN Symphonic Dances from West Side Story MAHLER Symphony No. 4 in G Major
4) ZUKERMAN PLAYS MOZART MONDAY, MARCH 26 8PM, ORPHEUM Bramwell Tovey conductor Pinchas Zukerman violin/viola Amanda Forsyth cello MOZART Violin Concerto No. 5 in A Major R. STRAUSS Don Quixote
BERNSTEIN Overture to Candide BERNSTEIN Serenade BERNSTEIN Symphony No. 2, The Age of Anxiety
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16 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT FEBRUARY 22 – MARCH 1 / 2018
PREVIEW ADDED FEB 21
Choreography Medhi Walerski
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rogram 3 BEGINNING AFTER Cayetano Soto New Work Emily Molnar N Bill Sh haron Eyal & Gai Behar
ay 10 11 12 Queen Eliizabeth Theatre balletbc.com PERFORMANCE SPONSORS
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FEBRUARY 22 â€“ MARCH 1 / 2018 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT 17
18 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT FEBRUARY 22 â€“ MARCH 1 / 2018
SPRING ARTS PREVIEW
Theatre ups the Cancon on strong spring roster TH E AT RE CRITICS’ PICKS
It’s spring, and Vancouver’s
2 theatre creators are in full bud.
I didn’t go into this exercise with any Cancon agenda, but it just so happens that all the shows I’ve highlighted are by Canadian playwrights, and three-quarters of them are world premieres by local writers. I couldn’t fit everything I wanted to into this preview. In March, head to the Gateway for Ruby Slippers Theatre’s I Lost My Husband, Leanna Brodie’s translation of Catherine Léger’s hilarious play about a woman who loses her spouse in a bar bet. Plan a trip to West Vancouver in May to see Daniel MacIvor’s The Best Brothers at the Kay Meek Centre. And virtually everything in the Cultch’s season is exciting, kicking off in March with The After After Party, a show whose debut at the 2016 Fringe made me laugh so hard that I ached for days. And you still have a couple of weeks to catch director Lois Anderson’s stunning production of Fun Home at the Arts Club; with its John Ng stars in Nine Dragons, Jovanni Sy’s murder mystery set in colonial, early-1900s Hong Kong. Tim Nguyen photo. emotional complexity and pitchperfect casting and staging, it’s one Target Audience: People who need ME AND YOU (On the Goldcorp NINE DRAGONS (At the Gateway of the very best shows of the cur- hope in devastating circumstances. Stage at the BMO Theatre Centre Theatre from April 13 to 21) Gatefrom April 12 to May 6) Melody An- way artistic director Jovanni Sy has rent season. BUTCHER (At the Cultch’s Historic derson’s mask work has graced our penned a murder mystery set in colFORGET ABOUT TOMORROW (On Theatre from March 21 to 31) Play- stages for decades (and, in shows like onial Hong Kong in the early 20th the Goldcorp Stage at the BMO wright Nicolas Billon’s thriller—in The Number 14, toured the world). century. This coproduction with VerTheatre Centre from March 7 to 25) which a war criminal reckons with Now Anderson turns her hand to tigo Theatre and the Royal Manitoba When Jill Daum’s husband, actor one of his victims, at times using a writing with this story of two sis- Theatre Centre has already been seen and Spirit of the West singer John Slavic-like language created espe- ters who don’t always see eye to eye. in Calgary, where reviewers praised Mann, was diagnosed with early- cially for this play—has caused a stir The Draw: The visuals—Anderson’s its “whip-smart” script and gorgeous onset Alzheimer’s, Daum started in productions throughout Canada. masks help define the sisters over the design. The Draw: Style and intrigue. writing this play based on their This is Vancouver’s first chance to ages—and the actors: Patti Allan and Target Audience: Mystery lovers, experiences. Mann not only en- see it. The Draw: The writing. In his Lois Anderson are skilled physic- time travellers, adventure seekers. couraged her; he wrote two songs other plays, including Iceland, Bil- al performers with wicked comic for the show. The Draw: Daum’s lon has shown a gift for dramatic chops. Target Audience: Anyone THE EXPLANATION (At the Cultch’s contributions to the Mom’s the and emotional complexity. Target who’s ever clashed with a sibling—or Vancity Culture Lab from April 18 to Word plays demonstrate her heart Audience: The brave: apparently, you who’s looked in the mirror and won- 29) Two straight men fall in love in James Fagan Tait’s exploration of the and humour. And those two songs. need a strong stomach for this one. dered whose aging face that is.
fluidity of gender and sexual identity. Bonus: choreography by Noam Gagnon. The Draw: The premise and the talent: it’s too long since we’ve seen a new work from Tait, who has a knack for playful theatricality. And Kevin MacDonald and Evan Frayne are consistently compelling performers. Target Audience: Gays, straights, bicurious—the whole spectrum. WET (At the Russian Hall from May
10 to 27) ITSAZOO brings us the Vancouver premiere of David James Brock’s award-winning script about a Canadian soldier returning home with a head injury at the height of the Afghan war. Her already fraught home life is shaken up by a visit from a war buddy. The Draw: The company. ITSAZOO has earned a reputation for solid productions of gritty, thought-provoking works. Target Audience: Are you tough enough? The “immersive” venue—the Russian Hall’s basement—carries a warning for the claustrophobic.
LES FILLES DU ROI (THE KING’S DAUGHTERS) (At the York Theatre
from May 17 to 27) Children of God creator Corey Payette teams up with Julie McIsaac for this trilingual—English, French, and Kanien’kéha (Mohawk)—musical set in the 17th century about two Mohawk siblings and their relationship with a young French girl who has been sent over to New France as a settler bride. The Draw: History. Target Audience: People who want more than the colonizer’s perspective.
C’MON, ANGIE! (At the Firehall Arts
Centre from June 1 to 9) The latest offering in Touchstone Theatre’s “Flying Start” series sees emerging playwright Amy Lee Lavoie tackling issues of consent in a morning-after two-hander. The Draw: Relevance. Target Audience: The sexually active. > KATHLEEN OLIVER
“Great bursts of laughter” – Jeu Magazine
Meghan Gardiner Photo: David Cooper
CATHERINE LÉGER LEANNA BRODIE DIRECTED BY DIANE BROWN PRODUCED BY RUBY SLIPPERS THEATRE IN ASSOCIATION WITH GATEWAY THEATRE BY
STUDIO B | MARCH 15 – 24, 2018 - TICKETS AND INFORMATION GatewayTheatre.com | (604) 270-1812 GatewayTheatreBC
FEBRUARY 22 – MARCH 1 / 2018 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT 19
SPRING ARTS PREVIEW
Dance rolls out kitschy carpet, ropes, and a choir D ANC E
music by Donovan Dorrance, Gregory Richardson, and vocalist Aaron Marcellus, pushes tap-dancing to its technical extremes. Target Audience: Tap nuts, but also dance fans with a sense of rhythm.
As the Straight’s Spring Arts
2 Preview hits the stands, Ballet
BC is in the midst of premiering its monumental new story ballet Romeo + Juliet, the Chutzpah Festival’s programming is in full swing, and DanceHouse is getting ready to raise the curtain on Toronto Dance Theatre’s 50th-anniversary tour. In other words, it’s one of the busiest dance weeks of the entire year. But there’s more, much more, to come, as Chutzpah continues, the Vancouver International Dance Festival opens, and several companies plan an unusual spate of late-spring showings. Here are some of the standouts to watch for in the coming months.
PROGRAM 3 (At the Queen Elizabeth
Theatre from May 10 to 12) Ballet BC closes its season with two of its most striking works, Cayetano Soto’s dark riff on mortality Beginning After and Sharon Eyal and Gai Behar’s strange and primal Bill, as well as a premiere by artistic director Emily Molnar. The Draw: Molnar’s piece should be epic, with its dancers collaborating with the Phoenix Chamber Choir performing Latvian composer Pēteris Vasks’s haunting vocalise Plainscapes. Target Audience: Choral crowds who want to try out ballet, and ballet fans who want to get their choral on.
VAST (At the Scotiabank Dance Cen-
tre from March 1 to 3) Dance artist Amber Funk Barton’s group work is always fun to watch, drawing as it does on athletic contemporary movement, street style, and pop culture. But now, as part of VIDF, the talent behind Risk and The Art of Stealing is debuting her first fulllength solo. She’s drawing on her own travels and Carl Sagan’s writings about our “vast” universe. The Draw: The cosmic and the personal. Target Audience: Sci-fi fans, wannabe astronomers, and travel junkies.
DANCE DOUBLE-BILL (At the Nor-
man and Annette Rothstein Theatre on March 10 and 11) In this Chutzpah pair-up, Bulgaria’s Derida Company riffs on love as a disease in the charged duet F 63.9. It joins with Black Label, Jerusalem-based Machol Shalem Dance House artistic director Ofra Idel’s arresting solo for Tzvika Iskias, exploring the story of the performer’s immigration from Ethiopia to Israel. The Draw: Rare voices from across
With Hardly Ever, Francesco Scavetta brings his gaudy décor and pressing questions to the Scotiabank Dance Centre.
the planet. Target Audience: Global IYOUUSWE (At the Roundhouse Community Arts and Recreation Cencitizens and the culturally curious. tre from March 15 to 17) Nine dancers BETROFFENHEIT (At the Vancou- flow across the stage in veteran New ver Playhouse from March 14 to York City choreographer Young Soon 17) Kidd Pivot artistic director Kim’s look at whether we can mainand choreographer Crystal Pite tain our independence (“I”) when we and Electric Company Theatre form bonds with others (“you”, “us”, cofounder Jonathon Young turn and “we”). The Draw: Modern dance unimaginable grief into a dark as gorgeously fluid as it is finely craftexistential carnival of suffering and ed. Target Audience: Anyone who’s survival. The Draw: The unforget- ever been in a relationship. table, genre-mashing production arrives back in town trailing lo- HARDLY EVER (At the Scotiabank cal and international prizes, in- Dance Centre from April 5 to 7) Backed cluding Britain’s highest theatrical by chintz carpet and wallpaper, plus a honour, an Olivier Award. Target spectacularly gaudy couch, four danAudience: Those who know what cers pose questions, sing, and play on it’s like to be racked by obsessive themes of truth and deception. Italianthoughts. And, of course, those born, Norwegian-based Francesco lucky enough to score tickets to Scavetta’s company, Wee, has been creating buzz in Europe for years, and this sold-out show.
CONTES CRUELS (At the Firehall Arts Centre from May 23 to 26) Les Productions Figlio choreographer Serge Bennathan takes inspiration from Grimm’s Fairy Tales and other texts in an exploration of courage and power. The Draw: The dance veteran’s blend of poetry, music, and dance is like no other. Target Audience: Bookworms and those who believe in fairy tales.
now he’s bringing his quirky genius here. The Draw: An outrageously kitschy stage set, with polyester-heavy costumes to match; and the chance to face big life queries like “Have you ever really liked a politician?” Target Audience: Adventurers who prefer their SECOND NATURE (At the Scotiabank Dance Centre from May 24 to 26) Aeridance offbeat. osa, Vancouver’s most gravity-defying DORRANCE DANCE (At the Van- dance troupe, is known for performing couver Playhouse on April 13 and 14) off skyscraper walls and along treetops. South of the border, tap has rightfully But for Julia Taffe’s new work, it moves been hoofing its way onto mainstream indoors, using rope and rock-climbing contemporary-dance stages, and now rigging to create a piece inspired by the DanceHouse gives Vancouverites a life cycle of bamboo. Composer Jordan lesson in one of the companies leading Nobles provides the score. The Draw: the way. Michelle Dorrance is the per- High-flying dance that could only fect ambassador for her art form: deep- have been created on the West Coast. ly respectful of its history, but boldly Target Audience: Mountain climbers, pushing into the future, as proven in eco activists, and arts audiences who this mixed program. The Draw: Her like their dance vertical. > JANET SMITH new, full-length Myelination, with live
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FEBRUARY 22 – MARCH 1 / 2018 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT 21
22 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT FEBRUARY 22 â€“ MARCH 1 / 2018
SPRING ARTS PREVIEW
Shock value, TV names rev up comedy scene COM E D Y
yourself away from CNN for a couple hours and go hear a musical and comedic take on the scourge of the White House—with some celebrity-bashing thrown in for good measure.
As the weather improves, it’s
2 time to come out of your house
and take a look around. There’s all forms of comedy happening this spring to warm the cockles of your funny bone (including the big JFL NorthWest comedy fest from March 1 to 10; see our special guide to it next week).
BRAD UPTON (At Lafflines in New Westminster on February 23 and 24) Seattle’s Upton is such a regular visitor to the Lower Mainland, we take him for granted. But the guy is a master. The Draw: The older you get, the more things piss you off, and it’s apparent in Upton’s act. But there’s no trace of bitterness with him. Or if there is, he masks it well. Target Audience: Lafflines draws well from the locals, but Vancouverites should remember that it’s but a short SkyTrain trip away. If you’ve never been, or it’s been a while, this is a good weekend to check it out. SIRIUS XM TOP COMIC SHOWCASE (At the Comedy MIX on
March 7 and 8) While celebrity comedians get most of the publicity, Vancouver’s own standups are some of the best in the country. Every year, the 604 is well-represented in the finals of this national competition. Last year, our very own Gavin Matts went to Toronto and brought home the title (plus a cool 25 grand). The Draw: You get a nice cross section of our city’s talent, as approximately 10 acts compete per night. Target Audience: If your ADD makes it difficult to focus on a 45-minute set, this is the show for you. There’s no filler here. The hopefuls do a tight seven minutes of their best material for the judges.
LETTERKENNY LIVE! (At the Or-
pheum on April 5) It’s the Trailer Park Boys of a new generation. The CraveTV hit about life in the small fictional town of Letterkenny, Ontario, is so popular that it’s spawned a 26-city tour. The Draw: The 90-minute show promises original sketches and standup sets from Jared Keeso (Wayne), Nathan Dales (Daryl), K. Trevor Wilson (Dan), and Mark Forward (Coach). Target Audience: True patriots, eh?
COMEDY SHOCKER XVI: SWEET 16 (At the Rickshaw Theatre on
April 7) These days, everyone’s shocked and offended by even the most innocuous comedian. It’s amazing that Comedy Shocker has survived—and f lourished—for as long as it has, 16 shows and counting. The Vancouver-based quarterly founded by ex-con, ex–drug addict Mark Hughes has even taken
JIMMY CARR (At the Vogue The-
atre on May 20) When a band plays, you want to hear what you know. With comedians, it’s out with the old, in with the new. No one told Jimmy Carr that. Will his The Best of, Ultimate, Gold, Greatest Hits World Tour consist of all oldies but goodies? We’ll see. The Draw: He’s one of the best jokesmiths in the U.K. and he gleefully loves to cross Jon Dore (left) has a straight face that makes his absurdist laughs even funnier; whatever line society lays down. But Kevin Hart is big in movies, but he’s a hyper-energized standup master. his jokes are so well-crafted, and he its taboo busters on the road. The should be enough to sustain the looks so gosh-darned innocent, he Draw: Some of your favourite com- evening. Target Audience: Pull gets away with it. Target Audience: edians performing material they can’t perform everywhere. This time around, it’s host Hughes along with Colin Lamb, Byron Bertram, Ron Vaudry, coproducer Sam Tonning, and headliner Simon King. Target Audience: If mainstream comedians upset your sensibilities, stay clear of this show. Nothing is off-limits here, so be ready to take a joke.
If you need some quick hitters to tell back at the office, you’re sure to pick up a few here. But be careful who you repeat them to. KEVIN HART (At Rogers Arena on June 16) The littlest big star in comedy needs a freakin’ arena for his most intimate of shows. Hart is so damn excitable and enthusiastic, he probably doesn’t even need a microphone. The Draw: You’ll never get to experience Hart in a comedy club and it’ll be years before he ever descends to a lowly theatre, so this is as close as you’ll get. But Hart is no f lash in the pan. He’s been one of the best for a long time. Target Audience: Those who want the excitement of a sporting event but don’t care about hockey. > GUY M AC PHERSON
JON DORE (At the Comedy MIX on April 13 and 14) TV’s Jon Dore may not be on the small screen every week anymore, but he should be—he’s one of the funniest humans around. Thankfully, he’s a regular visitor to Vancouver, so we can get our fix of his drollery. The Draw: Dore’s bearded straight face makes his already hilarious absurd, silly, antagonistic style even funnier. Throw in the odd belch and it’s comedy gold. Target Audience: Tired of the same old standup formula? With Dore’s unpredictability and crowd work, you never know what to expect. JAMIE LEE (At the Comedy MIX from April 19 to 21) She’s married and not afraid to talk about it. And at only two years in, she’s not that jaded yet. Or is she? She’s also been a standup for longer, though, so she’s got other things on her mind. But as the author of Weddiculous: An Unfiltered Guide to Being a Bride, she’s now an expert. The Draw: Lee has tons of TV credits to her name, both on-air and writing. But it’s only in a club setting that she can really let loose. Target Audience: Ladies and gentlemen. Women will appreciate her snark, while guys will get a glimpse into the female mind. RANDY RAINBOW (At the Vogue
Theatre on April 29) Rainbow was making viral videos before the ascension of the Donald, but it was the Trump bump that really pushed him up to the next level. The Draw: How do YouTube videos translate to the live stage? Great question. You’ll just have to go to find out. But Rainbow’s engaging presence
FEBRUARY 22 – MARCH 1 / 2018 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT 23
SPRING ARTS PREVIEW
Galleries eye war and peace V IS U AL AR T S CRITICS’ PICKS
The eternal struggle between
2 war and peace—between the
human inclination to engage in bloody conflict and the equally human longing for harmony—finds expression in a few exhibitions this spring and summer. Genocidal civil war, the potential for nuclear holocaust, and the possibilities of uniting our sharply divided planet all engage viewers through performance, video, film, photography, painting, drawing, and interactive installation. Other social issues also preoccupy artists, including spatial justice and sustainability and the basic human right to shelter. That these immense matters prey on our Artist Nancy Spero’s 1967 ink-on-paper work Bomb and Victims is part of individual psyches, casting us into a Bombhead, the VAG’s powerful group show about our fears in the nuclear age. slough of despond, is also a subject installation. The Draw: Mend Piece Victoria-born, New York–based for contemporary artists. participants report experiencing artist has created a crowd of disNAUFUS RAMÍREZ-FIGUEROA: joy and hope while contemplating tinctive characters, finely drawn REQUIEM FOR MIRRORS AND Ono’s idealistic words: “Mend with in ink or pencil and suggestive of TIGERS (At the grunt gallery from wisdom, mend with love. It will vintage cartoons. Ladouceur creFebruary 22 to April 21) Renowned mend the earth at the same time.” ates often inexplicable narratives, Guatemalan-Canadian artist Naufus involving what he calls “cartooniRamírez-Figueroa is represented BOMBHEAD (At the Vancouver fied archetypes” and including by six media works documenting Art Gallery from March 3 to June little elephants, bubble babies, recent solo and group perform- 17) This powerful group show abominable snowmen, anthropoances. The artist’s preoccupation poses questions about art’s engage- morphized natural elements, and here is with personal aspects of ment with the realities and fears of a funny, sad everyman known as the civil war that raged in Guate- the nuclear age. From the bomb- “Schmo”. The Draw: Long overdue, mala from 1960 to 1996. Despite ing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki to Pearl Path is Ladouceur’s first solo the brutal nature of his subject, he the radiation-spewing meltdown exhibition in a Canadian art museum. brings elements of both humour at Fukushima Daiichi, the art on It will bring together the largest numand ethereality to his work, draw- view attempts to reckon with the ber of his works yet assembled and ing odd and individualistic forms known and potential cultural and will be accompanied by what promand figures out of the broader tell- environmental impacts of atomic ises to be a highly collectible book. ing of history. The Draw: Requiem and nuclear technology. At the same represents an important return to time, guest curator John O’Brian at- GERMAINE KOH: HOME MADE the place where Ramírez-Figueroa tempts to reckon with art’s role in HOME (At the Richmond Art Gallaunched his career. Now based in shaping our understanding of the lery from June 17 to August 26) This Berlin and Guatemala City, he im- subject. Among the 29 local, na- two-part installation—one small, migrated to Vancouver in the early tional, and international artists in- site-specific structure inside the 1980s, graduated with a BFA from cluded here are Carl Beam, Gathie gallery and another mobile one outEmily Carr University in 2006, and Falk, David Hockney, Jenny Holzer, doors—is part of Germaine Koh’s performed, with growing strength, Roy Kiyooka, Carel Moiseiwitsch, onoing series of wee, habitable and Nancy Spero. The Draw: What structures inserted into unexpected in a number of local venues. with escalating tensions and reck- places. On her website, one of our YOKO ONO: MEND PIECE (At the less threats issuing from nuclear leading concept-driven artists deRennie Museum from March 1 to powers on either side of the Pacific scribes her “Home Made Home” 31) First conceived by Yoko Ono Ocean, this show could hardly be series as operating “simultaneously in 1966, this audience-activated, more timely. It also complements as a commercial enterprise with soantiwar work has had a number of some of the themes revealed in the cial objectives, and as a creative proiterations and incarnations. Con- big Takashi Murakami show, on ject for reimagining the possibilities sisting of fragments of broken cer- concurrently at the VAG. for lived and civic space”. The Draw: amic cups and saucers set out on Koh’s smart, engaging, and ima table top, the 2016 version at the JEFF LADOUCEUR: PEARL PATH maculately constructed work speaks Rennie Museum invites gallery (At the Burnaby Art Gallery from directly to the leading concern of visitors to sit down and put the ob- June 15 to August 19) If you’re look- those living in the Lower Mainland: jects back together using somewhat ing for an artist capable of rendering housing. It challenges us to examine crude materials such as tape, twine, personal misfortune and existential ideas of livability, affordability, and and rubber cement. The repaired, angst into scenes of surrealistic com- sustainability while advocating for Wabi-sabi–esque objects are then edy, Jeff Ladouceur is your man. Over social change. > ROBIN LAURENCE displayed on shelves as part of the the course of his inspired career, the
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24 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT FEBRUARY 22 – MARCH 1 / 2018
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Takashi Murakami: The Octopus Eats Its Own Leg is organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago and curated by Michael Darling, James W. Alsdorf Chief Curator / Takashi Murakami, Klein’s Pot A, 1994–97 (detail), acrylic on canvas mounted on board in plexiglass box, Colección Pérez Simón, Mexico, © 1994–97 Takashi Murakami/Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved
FEBRUARY 22 – MARCH 1 / 2018 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT 25
Two of Cuba’s hottest new artists
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Tickets and info at chancentre.com 26 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT FEBRUARY 22 – MARCH 1 / 2018
At VIDF, Shen Wei synthesizes East and West > BY JA NET SM IT H
horeographer and painter Shen Wei has spent more than two decades living in China, and more than two decades in New York City. He says he now feels like he’s reached a kind of full integration of East and West. That’s especially clear in the strange, poetically beautiful pieces Folding and Rite of Spring that are coming here for the Vancouver International Dance Festival. Both blend Asian and North American styles into a singular language—one distinctive enough that the Boston Globe once called his creations “so strikingly original they defy categorization”. “It’s amazing to think that until 20 years ago, Chinese culture was a closed culture,” Shen marvels over the phone from Paris, where he sporadically takes a creative hiatus to visit museums, watch films, rest, create, and find inspiration. “Now, over the next 20 years, we’re kind of all integrated into one world. “Learning the differences between East and West has helped me open new ways to see,” he adds. “I can really see the good sides of both cultures and really deeply digest them. I don’t just live in both places but I’m also passionate about both cultures as well.” Shen was born in 1968 in Hunan, during the Cultural Revolution, to a father who was a Chinese opera director and calligrapher and a mother who was a theatre producer. He started studying classical Chinese opera at nine, as well as traditional painting and calligraphy. With the opening of China to western styles, he began training in modern dance in Guangzhou in
costumes, makeup, and sets for Folding. “It’s not about a real 21st-century person, more about a creature of human life—that’s why the whole thing looks so surreal. I’m talking about the big picture, the meaning of life.” Rite, on the other hand, is an abstract exploration of Igor Stravinsky’s piece, danced to Fazil Say’s four-handed piano version, and stripped down to black, white, and grey for costumes and sets. But even here you can see the synthesis of East and West, with bodies swirling with calligraphic grace. “I was looking to express a new way of moving,” Shen says, “with movement from both eastern and western culture.” Featuring strange dancers in beehive-shaped headdresses, Shen Wei’s In both pieces, Shen’s painterly surreal Folding was inspired by Chinese philosophy. Stephanie Berger photo. eye heightens the worlds he cre1989, then moved to New York in company,” says Shen, who, as he does ates as he sculpts the space. “As a 1995 to pursue it further, eventu- with most of his pieces, designed the visual artist, you’re always sharper ally launching his own company, Shen Wei Dance Arts. His work has now toured the world, most interestingly circling back to China on a regular basis. He choreographed part of the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics opening ceremony, and Folding, one of the pieces coming here, began as a creation for the company he once performed for, Guangdong Modern Dance Company. In Folding, enigmatic figures in bizarre beehive-shaped headpieces float around the stage in long red and black skirts to the hypnotic sounds of Tibetan chanting and John Tavener’s haunting score. Shen’s own painting, inspired by an 18th-century Chinese watercolour, serves as the backdrop. The choreographer tells the Straight he was inspired by ancient Chinese philosophy when he was creating the piece. “I was trying to make something timeless and philosophical for the Chinese dance
FIVE MORE PICKS AT VIDF
as a choreographer; you see things more exactly, you see the line or the space,” he explains. What Shen creates with his dazzling on-stage worlds may not just draw on eastern and western art forms, but help to build bridges between continents. “My generation has had the ability to travel in both cultures and maybe that can lead to a new future,” he says optimistically, before retiring to his self-imposed Parisian solitude again. “Maybe in the world of the future we can accept each other—even when we have a different way of seeing beauty.” The Vancouver International Dance Festival presents Shen Wei Dance Arts at the Vancouver Playhouse next Friday and Saturday (March 2 and 3).
> BY JANET SMITH
Isabelle Poitier dances the feverish solo Les Choses Dernières, Montreal choreographer Lucie Grégoire’s strikingly cinematic work. Angelo Barsetti photo.
Diversity is the buzzword as the Vancouver International Dance 2 Festival gets ready to kick off, running from next Thursday
(March 1) to March 24. The eclectic offerings curated by Kokoro Dance come from as far away as Mexico and Hungary, with some strong new work from Vancouver itself. Here are just some of the standouts:
• VAST (At the Scotiabank Dance Centre from March 1 to 3) Local choreographer Amber Funk Barton fetes the 10th anniversary of her company, the response., with a world premiere about her own personal travels and the infinite universe. • EDAM (At the Roundhouse Community Arts and Recreation Centre from March 8 to 10) The seminal Vancouver company’s Peter Bingham looks back on his career, with 1995’s Hindsight; Sinking SuZi, commissioned by Ziyian Kwan in 2002; and a new three-hander called Engage the Feeling Arms. • IMAGO (At the Roundhouse on March 20 and 21) Hungary’s Ferenc Fehér mines masculinity in a work that spans the primal, the vulnerable, and the rawly emotional. • LES CHOSES DERNIÈRES (At the Roundhouse from March 20 to 22) Inspired by Paul Auster’s In the Country of Last Things, Montreal choreographer Lucie Grégoire creates a cinematic, feverish solo of female survival for Isabelle Poitier. • STUDIES AND FRAGMENTS ON DREAMS (At the Roundhouse on March 23 and 24) Mexico’s Compañia de Danza Experimental de Lola Lince delves surreally into dreams and wakefulness, night and day. -
FEBRUARY 22 – MARCH 1 / 2018 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT 27
Tara Cheyenne Friedenberg’s I Can’t Remember the Word for I Can’t Remember plays with her own battles with memory. Wendy D photo.
Female dance veterans take a stand on-stage > B Y JAN ET SMITH
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28 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT FEBRUARY 22 – MARCH 1 / 2018
ara Cheyenne Friedenberg’s new dance-theatre piece is all about memory—the things we remember and the things we forget, and, as she puts it “the panic around that”. Of the uncountable things that have stuck in her brain over the years since she was a young dancer, two do stand out: when she was a 13-year-old in ballet school, instructors warned her that her career would be over by 27; later, in university, they put that age at 30 to 35. It’s fitting that the now 45-yearold artist who has defied artistic categories with works like bAnger and Highgate should also buck these predictions. And her new double bill with Chick Snipper, the dance veteran who passed her company over to Friedenberg exactly 10 years ago (when her 21-year-old DanStaBat became Tara Cheyenne Performance), is a sort of celebration of all that. “There’s kind of a theme in the show about women and maturity and what it means not to be a 25-year-old stick-figure dancer,” says Friedenberg on a rehearsal break at the Left of Main studio in Chinatown, “and what it means to dance when you’re over 40: the beautiful difficulty of aging. Me being on-stage—in some ways I feel it’s a fantastic political act to be dancing at 45,” she adds. The title of her new work, one half of the evening called From Where We Stand, is I Can’t Remember the Word for I Can’t Remember—a line gleaned from her own memory battles during the frazzle of motherhood. “It’s a true story after my kid was born,” she says of the title line that she actually said (reserving the full story for the show itself). “I became really interested in gaps in memory and just what memory is—the fact that you only remember something once and every time after that you’re just remembering the memory and so on, like a game of telephone.” The work, which is being described as standup comedy with dance and which she’s developing with theatre director John Murphy, breaks new ground for the performer. Instead of developing a full-blown character as she’s done in
the past, here she plays herself. “When I started working with John, he said, ‘What are you afraid of?’ and I said, ‘Being myself, ha ha,’ ” Friedenberg relates. The theme of memory sent her deep into research about the way our brains fail to process all the info flying at us in the digital age, but also into her own past. “When you have a child, things about your own childhood come back—difficult stuff and wonderful things,” she says. “In the studio, what came up is I have a chunk of time that I can’t remember—and what does that mean?” Interestingly, Snipper, later in her career, is also entering new, more personal territory in her dance work for Anne Cooper—one in which Snipper appears on-stage and speaks live and in voice-over. The work, inspired by Rabih Alameddine’s novel An Unnecessary Woman, looks at the invisibility, the loneliness, and yet the vitality of an “older woman”. “It’s really about ‘What is my role now?’ ” Snipper says over the phone. “I have not put myself on-stage for 35 years, so it took a lot of courage to put myself there. It is a very personal piece for me on so many levels.” Snipper admits the work grew in part out of the cancellation of a much bigger, intergenerational group piece called Big Melt that she was creating. When funding failed to come through for the final portion of the project, she had to abandon it—and it led her to raise the same kinds of questions about the role of older female dancers that Friedenberg is interested in. “Artists are not necessarily ready to retire when we hit a certain age,” says Snipper, whose DanStaBat works were a pillar of the Vancouver dance scene of the 1980s and 1990s. “I have a lot to share with the younger generation. And Tara and I have talked about this a lot. “All I’m saying is when you have a body of work, when you’ve been an artist a long time, you still have something to contribute.” From Where We Stand: A Shared Evening of Dance is at the Firehall Arts Centre from Wednesday to Saturday (February 21 to 24).
TDT transforms past works > BY JA NET SM IT H
or many arts fans across this country, the name Christopher House is synonymous with Toronto Dance Theatre. And that’s as it should be. The national arts icon has spent most of his life, the past four decades, with the company— first as a performer, then as a choreographer in residence, and then as artistic director, a role he’s held since 1994. So House is well-positioned to help the company celebrate its 50th anniversary. But when it came time to mark the occasion, the dance innovator was not about to do a straight-up remounting of all his best pieces over the decades. “The founders of the company planted some very powerful seeds: they really engaged in collaboration, in creating new work, and in developing a strong group of dancers,” reflects the choreographer, who was recently named to the Order of Canada, speaking over the phone from his company’s historic Cabbagetown headquarters. “Then maybe in the second 25 years it was about me needing to be learning something new and really following my curiosity. At the same time, a more limited definition of contemporary dance has withered away; most people making dance think of themselves as broader artists now. So things have gotten way more stimulating. And that’s one thing this program reflects.” Helped by a grant from Toronto’s Metcalf Foundation for a program called Reimagining Repertoire, House has been able to go into his past body of work and retool, deconstruct, and rebuild it using all the benefits of hindsight—a luxury most people never get in dance, let alone life itself. The result, on the anniversary-celebrating House Mix program that is coming to Vancouver as part of the DanceHouse series, includes pieces like Echo Dark, in which House has zeroed in on the last two sections of a 2005 piece and “tossed all the rest”; 1990’s meditative Fjeld, transformed from a five-movement epic into three chamber pieces set to the music of Arvo Pärt; and the new quintet Thirteen, in which House riffs on the movement themes of his breakout 1983 work Glass Houses, using
MOODS AND MODES Emotion in Music
8pm FRIDAY, MARCH 9, 2018 Dunbar Ryerson United Church (2205 W 45th Ave at Yew St)
Toronto Dance Theatre’s Christopher House mixes new work like Martingales with majorly reworked pieces from the past half-century. Guntar Kravis photo.
a different piece of music from the original’s composer, Ann Southam. As House puts it: “Distance is clarity.” “I’ve always had an ambivalent approach to repertoire,” explains the ever self-effacing choreographer with a small laugh. “I’ve felt that works are more in dialogue with the moment in which they’re created. They can be very fragile and can feel dated or naive; plus production elements can be difficult to remount. “Then my thinking changed. What if we didn’t re-create repertoire as it happened and really harvested from the repertoire the way composers and writers do? What did you maybe miss 25 years ago? What did you try to do but maybe didn’t have the skills to accomplish? I was able to look at what, 25 years later, appears to be the essence of the work. It’s been really exciting to have that luxury, and you can really only do that in an organization like ours.” The program also features more recent creations, including 2016’s 12-dancer Martingales, an elaborate, high-speed game of catch that plays on the theory of probability that gamblers use, all set to composer and frequent House collaborator
Thom Gill’s electronic music. “I’m really excited to bring this program there,” House says. “It’s a kind of a retrospective of mine, but to me, it also shows very different approaches to making and to performing. Also, there’s something about seeing how one creator is both changing and remaining the same.” In both the new and reworked pieces, House’s sculptural artistry and his minute attention to detail and shaping space are the throughline. What House Mix may ultimately illustrate is that the company, on this historic occasion, is not entirely interested in looking backward—even if it was one of only a handful of pioneering contemporarydance companies when it began, and even though it’s had such lasting effects on this country’s cultural scene. (Local names like Ron Stewart and Lara Barclay have performed there.) “The main thing that’s most exciting is that 50 years later we’re dealing now more with the future and moving forward,” says House. DanceHouse presents Toronto Dance Theatre’s House Mix on Friday and Saturday (February 23 and 24) at the Vancouver Playhouse.
Early music taps improv skills > B Y A L EX A ND E R VAR TY
Choral programmes are often organized by similarities of the composers included or the texts being sung or chronologically by the eras they represent. But for this concert we’re experimenting with affective elements of music, grouping pieces together by the emotions they evoke. Of course, all music affects us emotionally, even those by composers who try expressly to not be expressive. Our Moods and Modes concert is more playful in concept, taking us on an evening’s journey through cheerfulness, piety, intensity, playfulness, sorrow and humour. Music of Bennet, Antognini, Bach, Dvořák, Beckwith, Berring, Alfvén, Bernstein, Dowland, Josquin and Bražinskas.
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t’s not necessarily what you think of when you contemplate early music, but there’s something to it: part of what is so attractive about today’s approach to the music of the distant past is that it’s played by a lively cast of iconoclasts and eccentrics. At least that’s what Suzie LeBlanc suggests on the line from Vancouver Island, where she’s getting ready to perform with countertenor Daniel Taylor and the Victoria Symphony. “I think that what attracted me to early music was the fact that so much of it isn’t written down,” the New Brunswick–born soprano reveals. “What you have is a blueprint of what it might have sounded like, and I always thought that was so liberating. Contrary to romantic music, it’s never written ‘piano crescendo here’; really, that’s all up to you. “It’s also got very, very few tempo markings,” she continues. “But what we do have are these treatises on how to get from G to A and how to get from G to B and how to get from G to C, in all the ways that sound elegant. They thought that just playing two notes one after the other, as they were printed in the music, was not always desirable.…So you had pages and pages of basically written-out improv that you could practise— improvisation, but within a system that got standardized more and more as the years went on.” Fastforward 300 years, and that’s essentially the history of jazz, this writer points out. “Exactly,” LeBlanc replies, laughing. The ensemble that LeBlanc will perform with this weekend is, arguably, jazzier than most. Ensemble Constantinople’s array of violin, viola da gamba, theorbo, percussion, and setar (an Iranian cousin of the guitar) isn’t something you’d hear on Saturday night at the Blue Note nightclub, but the group’s instrumental verve and sense of collective interplay will sound familiar to jazz aficionados. In part, that’s because much early music is, like some jazz, built around a repeating bass line. But it’s also because the group’s leader and setar virtuoso, Kiya Tabassian, eschews the formality of the written score.
Vancouver Chamber Choir | Pacifica Singers Jon Washburn, conductor
Opening Night Party with Too Attached March 1, 2018, 6:30pm @ The Fox Cabaret / $15
Suzie LeBlanc has lots of room to play when she’s performing music with Ensemble Constantinople.
“He just learns all the pieces and basically then he’s improvising, because there’s never a score in front of him,” LeBlanc notes. “And Patrick Graham, who’s playing percussion, well, there’s never a percussion part, so he really has to make it up.” The soprano concedes that she does have to follow a preordained melodic line, but says that, when it comes to the mostly Venetian music that will be featured in this week’s Metamorfosi program, she’ll still have lots of room for melodic ornamentation and rhythmic play. “I can’t say we ever perform a piece the same way,” LeBlanc says, “although there are certainly some things that start to find a form.” Early Music Vancouver presents Ensemble Constantinople with Suzie LeBlanc at Christ Church Cathedral on Friday (February 23).
Where Does the Page Stop and the Body Begin? March 3, 2018, 10:30am @ School Creative
Hidden Intersections: By Blood, By Choice: Writing Between the Cracks Exploring Family & Community March 2, 2018, 7:30pm March 3, 2018, 10:30am @ School Creative @ Native Education College
Reopening Old Wounds: Self-Care When Writing March 4, 2018, 10:30am @ School Creative
Love in Lit: Heartbreaks, Heteronormativity, & Cliches March 4, 2018, 4:30pm @ Native Education College
All events are pay-what-you-can unless otherwise specified. For full schedule and line-up visit roommagazine.com/festival. Register for events at growingroom2018.eventbrite.com.
New Star Books
FEBRUARY 22 – MARCH 1 / 2018 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT 29
PHOTO OF MARCUS YOUSSEF AND NIALL MCNEIL (L TO R) BY SIMON HAYTER
BY MED USSEF R O F PER CUS YO IN AND R D E BERL T D MA CREA NEIL AN ELSEA HA E HILL L MC Y CH NIAL ECTED B BY VEDA DIR MUSIC
In Broken Tailbone, Carmen Aguirre recalls the makeshift Latin dance halls her parents helped re-create in Vancouver and ties it all into a story of resistance.
Aguirre heats up the dance floor in Tailbone
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30 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT FEBRUARY 22 – MARCH 1 / 2018
> ANDREA WARNER
After opening night of Broken SALT-WATER MOON
2 Tailbone, there needs to be a yea new collective noun for approxir!
Photo of Sam Seward: David Cooper | Graphic Design: Dafne Blanco
By Carmen Aguirre. Directed by Brian Quirt. A Nightswimming production. At the Cultch’s Historic Theatre on Wednesday, February 14. Continues until February 24
articulate them so clearly. Aguirre’s a vibrant, no-nonsense, innovative artist who beautifully and generously demonstrates the power of radical resistance through dance, music, and developing deeper connections to our bodies, broken tailbones and all.
By David French. Directed by Ravi Jain. A Factory Theatre production, touring mately 100 Vancouverites trying with Why Not Theatre. At the Gateway to twerk. A vigour? An effort? A Theatre on Saturday, February 17. delight? Yes, a delight! Carmen Continues until February 24
Aguirre’s wildly inventive, thoughtprovoking, sexy new show pays tribute to Latin-American dance halls everywhere with a 75-minute dance lesson through the movement, music, and history of South American oppression and resistance. At the start of the show, Aguirre teases that Broken Tailbone isn’t just a title, but something she experienced, and we, the audience, need to earn the story. It’s amazing, Aguirre’s amazing, and to say more would spoil the reveal. Aguirre has previously drawn on her incredible personal experiences, both on-stage and in print, and in Broken Tailbone, she continues to fuse elements of the biographical with the historical. Aguirre arrived in Vancouver as a child with her parents, all of them Chilean refugees. She recalls how her father managed to bring some of his records with them when they fled, and the makeshift dance halls her family helped re-create in Vancouver. Aguirre, a kid, was basically belly-button height, and would prowl the dance floor, watching hips with careful eyes to figure out which couples were having affairs. Aguirre spends a substantial amount of Broken Tailbone rhythmically moving on a stage that butts up against the rows of seats where the audience would normally sit. The audience is standing on the makeshift dance floor—there are a few seats along the perimeter for those who need them—and while Aguirre is continuously guiding everybody through the basic moves, she’s also explaining the carefully curated track list. (DJ Don Pedro is also on-stage, played with easy charm by Pedro Chamale.) Each song relates back to the history of different Latin peoples and movements, and she also ensures that everybody understands the sacred roots of many of the dances. About halfway through the show, Aguirre announces that there will be just one or two more political songs and “then we get to the fucking songs.” Sexuality and sex itself are integral to Broken Tailbone, and every song pulses with life. It’s visceral and sensual, and the rhythm of constant movement, of hips circling and heels digging into the earth, the pelvis as a centre of power— it’s exciting and fun to be engaged mentally and physically in this way. It’s also thrilling to see a 50-year-old woman—Aguirre deliberately mentions her age several times—make space for her desires and needs, and
Three minutes before Salt-Water
2 Moon actually begins, the house-
lights go down and Ania Soul begins to strum and sing a gorgeous, warm song. Mayko Nguyen moves slowly across the floor of the stage, methodically lighting candles. After the end of the song, the audience moves a little, restless. “Lighting the candles will take up the whole 90 minutes,” the woman behind me says in a failed whisper. Luckily, she’s wrong. In all, Soul sings three full songs in the time it takes to light the candles, and by then, the quiet ritual has transformed the room, perfectly setting the stage for the delicate intimacy of director Ravi Jain’s production of SaltWater Moon. Jain’s confident staging of David French’s 1985 play earned him a 2016 Dora Award for direction, and this remount at the Gateway Theatre casts a beautiful spell. Soul sings, “I’m not sorry, I’m not anything/I’m just trying to find my way back to you,” and she remains on-stage throughout the play, narrating stage directions and occasionally playing music. It’s August 1926 in Newfoundland, and the night is warm. The narrator tells us that Mary (Nguyen) is 17, and wearing a yellow dress—in reality, Nguyen is barefoot and wearing jeans and a top—in the front yard of a house when she hears someone singing. It’s Jacob (Kawa Ada), whom Mary hasn’t seen in a year. He left without saying goodbye, and the two spar and flirt and fill in the blanks of the last 12 months, Jacob trying to convince Mary that she should take him back, Mary still furious and desperately hurt. There are complications and class issues, and a world of things standing in their way, such as Mary’s engagement to another man, but we’re rooting for the estranged couple almost immediately. The audience’s investment is thanks in part to the magic in French’s writing. Mary and Jacob’s character skeletons are gendered tropes—she’s angry and tightly wound, he’s a charming, arrogant scamp—and feel vividly real. But of equal importance are the actors. Nguyen’s Mary is fierce and fiery, and Ada’s Jacob is bright and winning, and both actors infuse their performances with an aching vulnerability. They also have incredible chemistry together and bring a shimmer and shine all their own to the already luminous Salt-Water Moon. > ANDREA WARNER
Ezralow wows Chutzpah crowd D ANC E OPEN An Ezralow Dance production, presented by the Chutzpah Festival. At the Norman and Annette Rothstein Theatre on Thursday, February 15. No remaining performances
The Chutzpah Festival has
2 surprised audiences again and
again by presenting some of the riskiest, most avant-garde dance the city sees all year. In the past we’ve watched everything from Sidra Bell’s dark-maned replicants twitching and posing to noise rock in 2013’s Nudity to Gallim Dance’s eerily grinning circus-ring characters in 2016’s Wonderland. But this year opened on a completely different note, with the crowd-pleasing Ezralow Dance, an L.A. troupe that fills its work with Chaplin-esque physical comedy, sight gags, gymnastic stunts, and tricks of the eye. The show called Open served up dance that aimed to entertain—and by every indication it achieved that goal, receiving a standing O during its giddily extended encore set to “Uptown Funk”.
Daniel Ezralow, who has choreographed everything from the Sochi Winter Olympics opening ceremony to Cirque du Soleil shows, has a gift for building instant worlds with multimedia projections and a few movable square screens that shift the space between his fast-flowing short sketches. In one retro number, businessmen with briefcases cavort amid three-dimensional skyscrapers; in another, a strange figure in white, strung with matching white helium balloons, crawls through a sea of moving stars (until a trio of black-dressed witches arrive with their scissors). The biggest hit of the evening, and the most successful marriage of choreography and technology, is the elaborate game that is “Chroma”. In it, the dancers, each wearing one of the rainbow’s bright hues, move between two projection screens. The perfectly synchronized, digitally tweaked videos make it look like they are morphing into one another every time they move behind the screens and emerge again. It’s showy, gimmicky as heck, but fun. Ezralow is also exceptionally good at punch lines. Most of his skits include a killer, from the splash that ends
Where Art Connects Heaven and Earth
a mermaid sequence to the last laugh in a marriage ceremony that has just transformed into a boxing ring. Less successful offerings on the program include an extended ode to the muscular poses of goldsheathed Greek gods, a scene of trees writhing to life, and a pseudo war dance between performers in white and black body paint. But honestly, the pace is so brisk here that the moment you realize you don’t like one sequence, another energized, totally different little one erupts. And there’s also the familiarity of the soundtrack to fall back on: most pieces are set to a greatest-hits list of classical music, with well-known works by the likes of Chopin, Bach, and Tchaikovsky. This is not dance at its most technical or cutting-edge, but instead at its most fun and unpretentious—one Stomp-like number is even performed in construction coveralls and rubber boots. The big draw here is the sense of play that Ezralow and his dancers have about their work. They are having a great time, and it’s obvious the audience is too.
> JANET SMITH
“Really out of this world... See it to believe it.” .
—Christine Walevska, world-renowned cellist
“Simply astounding to watch and a pleasure to the ear.” —Opera Online
“An extraordinary experience for us and children… exquisitely beautiful.” —Cate Blanchett, Academy Award-winning actress
5,000 YEARS OF CIVILIZATION REBORN
All-New 2018 Program from New York with Live Orchestra Sold-Out Shows Across North America. Book Your Tickets Today!
2017-18 60TH ANNIVERSARY SEASON
Paula Kremer, Artistic Director
CANTUS MISSAE: RHEINBERGER AND THE ROMANTICS Saturday, February 24, 2018 7:30pm
Holy Rosary Cathedral 646 Richards St. Vancouver
For more information and tickets visit vancouvercantatasingers.com or call 604-730-8856
Mar 23–25 Queen Elizabeth Theatre 888-974-3698 ShenYun.com/Van
RACHMANINOV VESPERS and Lauridsen Lux aeterna
8pm FRIDAY, MARCH 30, 2018 The Orpheum
Vancouver Chamber Choir | Pacifica Singers Vancouver Cantata Singers | Vancouver Chamber Orchestra Jon Washburn, conductor Russian composer Sergei Rachmaninov’s music for the Orthodox All-Night Vigil - often known in the West as the Vespers - is known as his finest unaccompanied choral work, one of the landmarks of the entire choral repertoire. The Vancouver Chamber Choir combines with the Vancouver Cantata Singers to create a suitable Slavic sonority. As a companion piece, the Pacifica Singers join us for a 21st-century masterpiece and Vancouver Chamber Choir favourite – Morten Lauridsen’s Lux aeterna for choirs and orchestra, an intimate work of quiet serenity centred around a universal symbol of hope, reassurance and goodness. And as a little bonus, Gabriel Fauré’s exquisite Messe basse in Jon Washburn’s orchestral version.
1.855.985.ARTS (2787) vancouverchamberchoir.com FEBRUARY 22 – MARCH 1 / 2018 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT 31
POP UP DANCES
DISCOVER DANCE! SERIES: OURO COLLECTIVE The Vancouver dance ensemble performs excerpts from its full-length work Tangent, which explores private and public behaviour, self-absorption, and extreme individualism. Feb 22, 12 pm, Scotiabank Dance Centre (677 Davie). Tix $12-14, info www.thedancecentre.ca/ events/discover_dance_2017_2018/.
Presented by NEW WORKS in partnership with Vancouver Public Library
PROJECT SOUL & RUPERT COMMON JULIE PETERS & OLIVIA C. DAVIES RABBIT RICHARDS & JENNIFER MCLEISH-LEWIS
ar ts/ timeout
WORLD POETRY DAY
THEATRE DANCE MUSIC COMEDY ET CETERA GALLERIES MUSEUMS
March 18 2018 1PM–2PM
FREE all-ages event Central Library 350 West Georgia Street For more information: 604.331.3603 or firstname.lastname@example.org
TORONTO DANCE THEATRE DanceHouse presents the Canadian dance ensemble in a celebration of its 50th anniversary featuring a retrospective program showcasing five diverse works by choreographer Christopher House. Feb 23-24, 8 pm, Vancouver Playhouse (600 Hamilton). Tix from $35, info www.dancehouse.ca/.
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THE STAR-SPANGLED GIRL The Group Van Theatre Company presents Neil Simon’s play set in 1960s San Francisco. Feb 22–Mar 7, 8 pm, The Red Gate Revue Stage (1601 Johnston Street, Granville Island ). Tix $25/20/15/10, info www.thegroupvantheatre.com/.
2ONGOING JITTERS The Arts Club Theatre Company presents a comedy about four actors, a director, and a playwright with one grand dream of Broadway-bound success for their new Canadian play. To Feb 25, Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage (2750 Granville). Tix from $29, info www.artsclub. com/shows/2017-2018/jitters/.
6 BRAND NEW SHORT FILMS MADE IN JUST 8 DAYS BY VANCOUVER’S HOTTEST NEW FILMMAKERS!
FUN HOME The Arts Club Theatre Company presents a musical about a woman who struggles to understand her father while also dealing with her own coming out. Based on the graphic novel by Alison Bechdel. To Mar 10, Granville Island Stage (1585 Johnston, Granville Island). Tix from $29, info www.artsclub. com/shows/2017-2018/fun-home/. BROKEN TAILBONE Writer and performer Carmen Aguirre leads a LatinAmerican dance lesson that flows into her stories of intimacy, politics, culture, and the forgotten origins of the salsa. To Feb 24, The Cultch (1895 Venables). Tix $35, info thecultch.com/events/brokentailbone/.
rio theatre / videomatica sales / beat street records
$35 advance $40 at door
AfterParty presented with support of UBCP/ACTRA @ SCIENCE WORLD Entertainment includes: DJ Katya, The Charm Offensive, DJ Taco Safari, Jennifer Hershman
SALT-WATER MOON Gateway Theatre presents director Ravi Jain’s version of David French’s story of love, loss, and reconciliation. To Feb 24, 8 pm, Gateway Theatre (6500 Gilbert Rd., Richmond). Info www.gatewaytheatre.com/.
PSS PSS Compagnia Baccalà’s pas de deux of mishaps and acrobatics, inspired by Chaplin and Keaton. Feb 20–Mar 4, York Theatre (639 Commercial). Tix from $22, info thecultch.com/events/pss-pss/.
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CANTUS MISSAE: RHEINBERGER AND THE ROMANTICS The Vancouver Cantata Singers perform Josef Rheinberger’s famous choral work Cantus Missae. Feb 24, 7:30 pm, Holy Rosary Cathedral (646 Richards [at Dunsmuir]). Tix $10-30, info www.vancouvercantatasingers.com/. SPECTRALISM Vancouver New Music presents the Plastic Acid Orchestra in a performance of works by Giacinto Scelsi, Gérard Grisey, György Ligeti, and Mariah Mennie. Feb 24, 8 pm, Orpheum Annex (823 Seymour). Tix $12-35, infonewmusic. org/spectralism-feb24/.
Saturday March 3 Anhe Godhe da Daan “Alms for a Blind Horse” (2011) J UBC Robson Square 7:30–9:30 p.m. Exploring the experience of caste & class marginalization in Indian Punjab today. Chauthi Koot “The Fourth Direction” (2015) J Surrey Centre Stage A portrait of individuals and families amidst the violence in 1980’s Punjab, India. The Gursharan Singh Memorial Lecture
Made possible by the generous support of the Sidhu family, in loving memory of Harjit Kaur Sidhu (nee Gill)
2JUST ANNOUNCED DITA VON TEESE AND THE COPPER COUPE Burlesque revue tour featuring burlesque icon Von Teese. Jun 15, doors 7:30 pm, Queen Elizabeth Theatre (650 Hamilton). Tix on sale Feb. 23, 10 am, $99.50/79.50/65/49.50 (plus service charges and fees) at www.livenation.com/.
2THIS WEEK TALKING STICK FESTIVAL Seventeenth annual festival focuses on the diversity of visual arts, dance, theatre, music, powwow, and film in both traditional and contemporary formats. To Feb 24, Roundhouse Community Arts & Recreation Centre (181 Roundhouse Mews). Tix $5-90, info www.fullcircle.ca/.
TAMAR ILANA AND VENTANAS Kick the cold ass of winter with some Mediterranean and East European heat and light at Strathcona’s Russian Hall this Saturday (February 24). The evening opens with a flourish from the lightning fingers and dancing elbow of virtuoso Romanian-Canadian fiddler Lache Cercel and his Roma Swing Ensemble, to welcome warmer days and nights. And singer and flamenco dancer Tamar Ilana and Ventanas will keep the temperature raised with their presentation Migrations—music from the Andalucian, Sephardic, and Roma diasporas, performed with the band’s contemporary Toronto flair.
18TH ANNUAL CHUTZPAH FESTIVAL International, Canadian, and local artists present dance, theatre, comedy, and music. Includes performances by THE COMEDY MIX 1015 Burrard, Century Ezralow Dance, Roy Assaf Dance, MM Plaza Hotel & Spa, 604-684-5050, www. Contemporary Dance, Idan Raichel, thecomedymix.com/. Comedy club with Troker, Perla Batalla, Mary Walsh, pro-am night Tue at 8:30 pm, showcase Jonathan Goldstein, Deb Filler, and Wed at 8:30 pm, and featured headliners Michael Rubenfeld. To Mar 15, Norman Thu at 8:30 pm and Fri-Sat at 8 and 10:30 Rothstein Theatre (950 W. 41st). Tix $24-55, pm. Cover $8 Tue, $10 Wed, $15 Thu, $18 Fri, info www.chutzpahfestival.com/. $20 Sat. 2EMILY HELLER Feb 22-24
YUK YUK’S COMEDY CLUB 2837 Cambie, 604-696-9857, www.yukyuks. com/vancouver/. Comedy club with Top Talent Tue at 8 pm, amateur night Wed at 8 pm, and professional headliners Thu-Fri at 8 pm and Sat at 7 and 9:30 pm. Cover Tue $10, Wed $7, Thu $10, and Fri-Sat $20. 2DEREK SEGUIN Feb 22-24 VANCOUVER THEATRESPORTS LEAGUE Some of the world’s most daring and innovative improv. #NoFilter (Thu, 9:15 pm); Ok Tinder (Fri, Sat, 11:15 pm); Rookie Night (Sun, 7:30 pm); TheatreSports (Tue, Thu, Fri, Sat, 7:30 pm; Fri, Sat, 9:30 pm). To Feb 28, The Improv Centre (1502 Duranleau, Granville Island). Info www.vtsl.com/.
DEREK SEGUIN Montreal-based comedian performs three nights of standup. Feb 22-24, Yuk Yuk’s Comedy Club (2837 Cambie). Info www.yukyuks. com/vancouver/.
Awazzan “Voices” (2016) J UBC Asian Centre On the UK-based Punjabi language poet, Amarjit Chandan.
32 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT FEBRUARY 22 – MARCH 1 / 2018
CHOR LEONI’S C/4: CANADIAN CHORAL COMPOSITION COMPETITION Chor Leoni presents the finalists of its choral competition. Feb 23, 8 pm, Orpheum Annex (823 Seymour). Tix $30, info www.chorleoni.org/.
ROMEO + JULIET Ballet BC presents choreographer Medhi Walerski’s take on Shakespeare’s classic tragedy. Feb 21-24, Queen Elizabeth Theatre (650 Hamilton). Info www.balletbc.com/.
Film screenings and discussion with special guest, award-winning Punjabi language filmmaker Gurvinder Singh
VISIT ASIA.UBC.CA TO REGISTER
Celebrating Punjabi Language and Culture at UBC
Sunday March 4 4:30–8:00 p.m.
EMILY HELLER American comedian performs three nights of standup. Feb 22-24, The Comedy MIX (1015 Burrard). Info www. thecomedymix.com/calendar-shows/.
THE 10 th ANNUAL HARJIT KAUR SIDHU MEMORIAL PROGRAM
Friday March 2 7:30–9:00 p.m.
DANCERS OF DAMELAHAMID The Dance Centre presents a DanceLab Studio Showing of new works by the Dancers of Damelahamid. Feb 25, 4-5 pm, Scotiabank Dance Centre (677 Davie). Free, info www.thedancecentre.ca/.
GALLERIES VANCOUVER ART GALLERY 750 Hornby, 604-662-4719, www.vanartgallery.bc.ca/. 2空/EMPTINESS: EMILY CARR AND LUI SHOU KWAN 2TAKASHI MURAKAMI: THE OCTOPUS EATS ITS OWN LEG (more than 55 paintings and sculptures are featured in the first-ever retrospective of Murakami’s work in Canada) to May 6
MUSEUMS THE MUSEUM OF ANTHROPOLOGY AT UBC 6393 NW Marine Drive, 604-822-5087, www.moa.ubc.ca/. 2THE FABRIC OF OUR LAND: SALISH WEAVING (exhibition takes visitors on a journey through the past 200 years of Salish wool weaving) to Apr 15
TIME OUT ARTS LISTINGS are a public service provided free of charge, based on available space and editorial discretion. Submit listings online using the event-submission form at straight.com/AddEvent. Events that don’t make it into the paper due to space constraints will appear on the website.
No Insult to the audience RE VIEW S THE INSULT
March 6 – 11, 2018
Starring Adel Karem. In Arabic, with English subtitles. Rating unavailable
At VIFF’s Vancity Theatre
The older I get, the more I think religion sucks.
2 Adherents always talk about the consoling power
of faith. But look at how damn much consolation is needed these days! The Insult is not really predicated on religious belief, but on the tribalism that results when political factions are built around competing sky gods. In this case, the sectarian conflict ref lects Lebanon’s longrunning civil war, which left permanent wounds on the landscape, and on the people. “The war ended in 1990,” one Christian leader tells a TV audience. “But it’s still with us, because we never had a national reconciliation.” That message is heard, sort of, by Tony Hanna (excellent Adel Karem) a brooding, extensively tattooed auto repairman, whose wife is heavily pregnant with their first child. Tony’s always on the edge of exploding, and he seems incredibly offended when Beirut city worker Yasser Salameh (Kamel El Basha, a quietly charismatic theatre veteran) shows up unannounced to change the gutter on his balcony. He refuses, and when the man’s crew does it from the outside, Tony smashes the new pipe with a hammer. Yasser calls him “a fucking prick” and splits. There are more insults along the way. Tony’s not religious, but is a member of a Christian party that feeds on anti-Muslim sentiment; he has a special animus against Palestinians, whose permanent-refugee status in the region rankles some Christians in particular. When Yasser’s boss pushes him to simply apologize to the younger man, he hesitates—just long enough for Tony to say, “I wish Ariel Sharon had wiped you all out.” That doesn’t sit well. The next time they meet, it’s in court, as part of a spiralling legal battle that eventually gets the whole country in an uproar. The subsequent proceedings carry powerful messages about national identity and tribal loyalty. But the movie seems overly aware of that power. From the TV-drama music to the fact that opposing lawyers are supposed to be father and daughter, the whole thing feels constructed less to tell a story than to hammer some pretty basic points across. Still, the well-shot movie does get under the skin of its main characters, who, in the end, keep letting masculine pride stand in the way of their better selves. They justify bad actions by “protecting” women they don’t even listen to. Ultimately, I left the movie realizing I wasn’t mad at religion after all. I was mad at men. > KEN EISNER
BLACK PANTHER Starring Chadwick Boseman. Rated PG
Whether by fortuity, planning, or both, Black
2 Panther couldn’t be timelier. A South Korean
sequence coincides with the world watching Pyeongchang’s Winter Olympics. There’s the release date within Black History Month, not to mention discussions
Dark Blue Girl (Germany)
Tony Hanna (Adel Karem) is a thin-skinned Lebanese Christian who takes a small slight too far in The Insult.
on diversity. And there’s strong female representation amid the industry’s gender shakedown. All of this bodes well for what is a slick piece of entertainment bolstered by an Afro-futurist vision that upends stereotypes of culture, class, and technology. Our hero, T’Challa (a magnetic Chadwick Boseman), comes from the fictional, secret African nation of Wakanda. After five tribes warred over the discovery of vibranium (a metal brought to Earth by a meteorite), they were united by a warrior who ingested a vibranium-infused herb and became the first superpowered Black Panther. The metal spurred the nation to pursue technological advancement in seclusion from the rest of the world. However, political differences over Wakanda’s isolationism lead to a rift between the newly crowned T’Challa—the current Black Panther—and an outsider rival. The brazen and powerful U.S. black-ops soldier Erik “Killmonger” Stevens (a superbuff Michael B. Jordan) seeks to become king so that he can distribute Wakanda’s technology to help black people worldwide. Although the fight choreography and action sequences engage, they’re not as dynamic as Black Panther’s previous appearance in Captain America: Civil War. What compensates is a roster of resourceful women: there’s the phalanx of female elite warriors, led by Okoye (Danai Gurira); T’Challa’s tech-wiz sister Shuri (Letitia Wright); undercover spy Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o); and the Queen of Wakanda (Angela Bassett). Another major star here is the art direction. Visually rich and vibrant, this popcorn f lick is further aided by a smooth narrative f low that distracts from any weaknesses. In the same way that Patty Jenkins’s Wonder Woman rejuvenated an overpopulated genre with a female-based perspective, director Ryan Coogler (Creed) enlivens Black Panther with a blast of fresh elements. Such films prove that diversity isn’t about simply inserting previously underrepresented characters into old content—it’s about how telling stories from unheard perspectives can introduce an expanse of new terrain.
The broken triad of the nuclear family is seen through the eyes of a child. This film elegantly crosses the line between realism and myth, in a work that grows out of the unspoken desires of each character. Tuesday, March 6, 7:00pm Music That Speaks
Six films form this program of local and International shorts with musical overtones both harmonious and oddly discordant. Wednesday, March 7, 6:00pm
In the Shade of the Apple Tree (Germany)
Is one love possible? A documentary filmmaker examines what keeps her grandparents happily married after sixty-five years. Wednesday, March 7, 8:30pm
Details at womeninfilm.ca #viwiff 56 films from around the world + panels, parties and more
> CRAIG TAKEUCHI
Studio Annihilation dodged > BY JOHN L UC AS
t’s probably too great a stretch to suggest that you try to forget everything you know about science-fiction movies before you watch Annihilation. It must be said, though, that in writer-director Alex Garland’s latest film, you will witness an alien intelligence unlike anything you’ve seen on-screen before. Garland adapted Annihilation from Jeff VanderMeer’s 2014 novel about a team sent in to investigate Area X, an uninhabited region contained by a mysterious force called the Shimmer. Other expeditions have entered Area X, but only one person, a soldier named Kane (Oscar Isaac), has ever returned. When the team, headed by the stoic Dr. Ventress (Jennifer Jason Leigh) and including Lena (Natalie Portman)—a biologist who also happens to be Kane’s wife—penetrate the Shimmer’s iridescent veil, they find a rapidly evolving world, beautiful and horrifying in equal measure. Garland admits that he departed liberally from VanderMeer’s descriptions and— apart from a harrowing sequence involving an all-too-close encounter with a hideously mutated bear that the director acknowledges was inspired by Ridley Scott’s Alien—set out to depict something wholly original. “What we were trying to do was to create something that was truly kind of ‘other’,” Garland tells the Georgia
Annihilation’s Alex Garland directs (or possibly hypnotizes) Natalie Portman.
Straight in a phone interview. “It came from the idea of, ‘What would an alien be like?’ And we tend to make aliens like us in some way. The alien in the movie Alien, aside from having two arms and two legs, and a head and teeth and stuff like that, what it really wants to do is eat people or use their bodies in a sort of harvesting process for growing new aliens. So, that is a kind of humanlike set of concerns in many ways. If you have an alien that wants to teach you about a galactic federation or wants to steal your resources or something, these are all kind of humanlike concerns. And what we wanted to do was have an alien who is just completely not like us in any way. And that doesn’t just include its physical form but also includes its intentions and its motivations and the way it thinks and everything.”
It’s heady stuff, and the suits at Paramount argued that it was “too intellectual” to appeal to a wide audience. Garland and producer Scott Rudin refused to make the alterations the studio demanded, which included making Portman’s character more sympathetic and reshooting the ending. As a result, Paramount is giving Annihilation a theatrical release in the U.S. and China—as well as here in Canada, where it hits cinemas on Friday (February 23)— but the rest of the world will log in to Netflix to find that the film has popped up under Just Added. Garland, whose screenplay for his 2015 directorial debut, Ex Machina, earned him an Oscar nomination, is understandably unapologetic about his refusal to budge. “From my point of view, it’s quite simple. At a certain point, I say: ‘Here is a script. The script is a serious intention about how the film is going to be made. Here are some visuals about how it’s going to look. Do you want to make it or not?’ And then from that point, if they say yes, I just do the thing I said I was going to do. It doesn’t massively change, I don’t bullshit people. I just get on and do it. The way I see it is that if the thing is green-lit, it’s not then open to being changed later on. It’s not a game. It’s a lot of hard work with a lot of people who are putting their guts and their heart and soul into it, and it’s just not open to being pissed about with.” FEBRUARY 22 – MARCH 1 / 2018 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT 33
Crazy8s a better film school than film school > B Y A DRIA N M A C K
sually the Straight is regaled with tales of terror, panic, and more terror when we talk to the sleep-deprived survivors of the Crazy8s short-film competition. Not this year. When a chipper Christopher Graham gets on the phone, heâ€™s hard-pressed to remember anything that went wrong during the (intense) eight-day production of â€œExtra-Ordinary Amyâ€?â€”which is astonishing, given the quality and seemingly opulent production values of the 15-minute film. â€œThere were times when I was frustrated, sure, but people really pulled through,â€? says the filmmaker, whose rĂŠsumĂŠ includes a handful of horror shorts. â€œCrazy8s put me into a different scope of filmmaking than Iâ€™m used to. When I came on, I thought, â€˜Oh, weâ€™re
just going to make a thousand-dollar film.â€™ But it was huge. I got the chance to direct an almost union-level set. It was a gigantic learning experience. A better film school than film school.â€? Graham adds that the animal wrangling, catering, and on-screen limo came via sponsorshipâ€”â€œJust because of the name â€˜Crazy8sâ€™â€?â€”on top of the workshops, $1,000 budget, and production/tech package supplied to each of the six qualifying team s, chosen this year from a whopping 228 pitches received by the competition. Technically, Graham manages to sustain the macabre fairy-tale quality required by screenwriter Zlatina Pachevaâ€™s tale of a young girlâ€™s arrival at the Walton Wallace Home for Disturbed Children after she loses both her parents to a mysterious fire. If his biggest challenge was scaling
Director Melanie Jones (middle) with actors Sierra Dicicco and Rhona Rees.
up, Melanie Jones appreciated the chance to dial things down a little after touring the festival circuit with her feature, FSM. â€œI was very attracted to the idea of making a particular kind of short,â€? the writer-director tells the Straight. â€œA little bit weird and a
little bit stylishâ€”or so I hope.â€? â€œShuttlecockâ€? is indeed weird and stylish, and very funny. Cowriter Rhona Rees plays former Olympic badminton hopeful Winnie, on the comeback (and revenge) trail years after being sidelined by an on-court injury. (â€œUntil youâ€™ve taken a cock to the eye at 200 miles per hour,â€? she tells a group of schoolkids, â€œyou donâ€™t know what pain is.â€?) Besides Reesâ€™s very game performance, â€œShuttlecockâ€? boasts some real technical chutzpah in the shape of its slow-motion sequences and a painstakingly choreographed, minute-long take set to the Pack a.d.â€™s â€œBattering Ramâ€?. â€œThere was only a couple of scenes where we had to rush a little bit. But we got every piece that we needed,â€? reports Jones, who otherwise praises the â€œinvaluableâ€? script help provided by Crazy8sâ€™ story editor, Rudy Thauberger.
â€œItâ€™s part of my aesthetic to write the way that I want to cut the film,â€? Jones says. â€œI can credit Rudy with his advice about how we could use the cutting between scenes to actually enhance the comedy. Thatâ€™s feedback that we canâ€™t possibly fathom because weâ€™re too inside of it.â€? So, insane schedule aside, did the â€œShuttlecockâ€? crew encounter any real problems at all? â€œIt was really hard to find a location that would let us get into their space without losing any business,â€? Jones answers with a chuckle. â€œWe had no idea that badminton players were so passionate and intense.â€? The 19th annual Crazy8s gala screening takes place at the Centre in Vancouver for Performing Arts on Saturday (February 24). More information is at www.crazy8s.film/.
1660 EAST BROADWAY @ COMMERCIAL
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34 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT FEBRUARY 22 â€“ MARCH 1 / 2018
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JFL Northwest Presents KYLE HAMILTONSPKYLE KINANESP ICHI THE KILLERSPTakashi Miikeâ€™s,FKLWKH.LOOHUKDVHQGXUHGDVRQHRIWKHPRVW LQIOXHQWLDOSLHFHVRIJHQUHILOPPDNLQJRIWKHODVWWZRGHFDGHVDQGQRZLWUHWXUQVLQDVWXQQLQJ DOOQHZNUHVWRUDWLRQÄƒDSSURYHGE\MiikeKLPVHOIZKLFKPDNHVWKLVEORRG\DQGRIWHQKLODULRXV FODVVLFDSHUIHFW)ULGD\/DWH1LJKW0RYLH (QJOLVKVXEV JFL Northwest PresentsKYLE HAMILTONSPRONNY CHIENGSP SEE WWW.RIOTHEATRE.CA FOR COMPLETE LISTINGS & UPDATED CALENDAR
On the list of topics we do our best to avoid,
BY MIKE US IN G ER
it’s near the top: what happens when death comes slowly, the inevitable end accompanied by the kind of mental degeneration that turns memories into blurry snapshots? That question provides the leaping-off point for wrapping one’s head around Offerings, the epic fourth album by Oregonspawned orchestral indie unit Typhoon. Over the course of the record’s sprawling 70plus minutes, which will resonate with anyone who loves the grandeur of Arcade Fire and Okkervil River, singer and main songwriter Kyle Morton paints a devastatingly moving portrait of a man living out his confused dying days. Offerings also turns things around, coming at the story from the perspective of a long-time spouse trying her best to play nurturing caregiver. That sets up a closing suite of songs that dares to wonder what happens right before the lights go out for good, and that suggests it’s not all bad once the final curtain is dropped. Speaking volumes about a record that is ambitious lyrically and musically, the talking points don’t stop there. Reached in a tour van that’s making its way to Seattle, Morton is thoughtful and
Memories are made of this
As heard on the band’s latest album, Offerings, Typhoon’s orchestral indie rock will resonate with anyone who loves the grandeur of Arcade Fire and Okkervil River.
rambling through endless corridors—a mouse lost in a maze.” But out of the bleakness there’s eventuIn spite of its heavy subject matter, Typhoon’s epic ally hope, starting with the string-laden break-offourth LP, Offerings, still manages to be uplifting dawn ballad “Coverings” articulate as he discusses an album that draws on (“Saw you in a dream before/Standing at my open both the fictional and the personal. door/I would wait to watch you go/Follow you out “I’ve always been obsessed with this idea of in the cold.” memory, having been mentally incapacitated Fittingly, given the scope of Offerings, the myself at certain points,” the singer says open- project can’t be traced to a single event. Morton ly. “Knowing that’s a possibility of happening allows that he was, and continues to be, fascinagain, this almost became a survivalist mani- ated by Federico Fellini’s 8 1/2, which explains festo for what happens when the worst comes. the “asa nisi masa” incantation (a reference to I was interested in this: what kind of memories the iconic nonsense phrase in the movie) in should I be trying to preserve and keep as I get both the first and last tracks. older? Which ones are really meaningful? But “The film deals with the crisis of the creative the other aspect of the record is that there’s this process,” Morton says. “It also has this sort of time we live in where our experiences are so Proustian element where you’ve got someone trycompletely stuffed with stimulus and fragments ing to recapture bits of his past to almost psychoof information. I was interested in the idea of— analyze himself, which is sort of the project that if you could strip all that away—what would be I’ve embarked on with Offerings. So 8 1/2 seemed the fundamental experiences of one’s life.” very symbiotic with the work that I was doing. Offerings can be broken into four parts, start- And I just loved that ‘asa nisi masa’ bit as an ining with the descent into a world where the cantation for bringing up lost memories.” cognitive order we take for granted during our Offerings was in many ways therapeutic. When younger years has given way to completely dizzy- the creative process was under way, a relative close ing chaos. The record kicks off with Morton in- to the singer ended up in the hospital. Although toning “Listen. Of all the things that you’re about Morton is reluctant to get into details, the illness to lose, this will be the most painful.” From there sounds like it was a drawn-out one. Typhoon—which is currently out on tour as “I’ve sort of been def lecting a little on this an eight-piece—eases into the pastoral indie- question, and not just for my sake,” he says. “I prog opener, “Wake”, the most devastating line lost somebody that I loved a lot, and I’m still of which might be “My life one brief unbroken dealing with that. Our whole family is. So for loop—goes round and round with nothing left my family, and this person that we lost—he was to hold on to.” Desperation truly starts to take a very private man—I don’t really wish to share hold in the tension-drenched second track, “Ror- too much. But I think that, in an abstract way, schach” (“And I’m trying to stay sane—mean- everyone can relate to losing someone they love. while, the river of forgetfulness it starts spilling During this loss, I was very focused on the idea the banks”), and then Morton lays out grim re- that, if life is seen as one long process of loss or ality in the incandescent follow-up, “Empiricist” of subtraction, what is the last thing that goes? (“And you say you’re sorry to the guests at your More specifically, with this record, if you’re losparty/But you can’t help wonder, who is this per- ing all of your memory, what is the last thing son you celebrate?”). that you’ll be left with, and will it be enough to That perspective gradually shifts to the care- preserve your humanity?” giver’s—by the time we get to black-hearted The ultimate triumph of Offerings is that it manindie-rocker “Remember”, Morton wrings every ages to be uplifting despite the heavy subject matounce of drama out of lines like “There’s no fu- ter. It’s not by accident that the final track, “Sleep”, ture, there’s no lighthouse on the lake/You’re just starts as an acoustic 4 a.m. reverie, and then ends
with what sounds like a blue-skies after-party, complete with buzzing conversation. “On the balance, I don’t know if it was a positive- or a negative-sum game,” Morton offers. “It definitely took a lot out of me to make the record— it was a lot of time spent in the basement studio racking my brain and exhausting my own very modest skills at engineering. But the conclusions that I arrived at were very therapeutic. Finishing a work—or really finishing anything—for me has this great placebo effect. There’s a sense of accomplishment that carries me for a little bit, mentally speaking. I remember the day I actually recorded the last part. It was like, ‘Okay—what’s next? Oh, nothing—that’s it, it’s done.’ It wasn’t even relief that washed over me. It was more a sense of ‘Well, what does this mean now?’ ” Typhoon plays the Rickshaw Theatre on Saturday (February 24).
in + out
On going big: “I’ve been struck by the rate by which young people are losing their attention spans, so whether or not making a 70-minute concept record in 2018 is a good idea, I guess time will only tell.” On information overload: “Attention span is a form of memory. We’re in a time where everyone reads a news story and then it’s immediately pushed out by the next one. In America, this opening of the floodgates of information has led to a real backslide into a very primitive way of thinking. That’s what Donald Trump personifies. His scapegoating of people is easy when you don’t care to remember the details of how we got here, and America’s fraught past of enslavement and extermination.” On America: “While I was making the record, 2016 was pounding at my door every day. What was happening down here was very much on my mind while I was recording. So it’s very much a political record as well as an existential one.”
PATENAUDE AIMS TO KEE P HE R MU S IC HO NE S T >>> Listening to Marin Patenaude
2 sing “Tall Thin Man in a Black
Cheyenne” may cause that song to become lodged deep in your mind, prone to float up into consciousness at unexpected moments. Maybe it’s Patenaude’s clear and understated voice; maybe it’s her piano’s repeating phrases, and their small variations; maybe it’s how the notes of the simple melody correspond to the emotionally evocative lyrics. Most likely it’s all those things dovetailed together. The music is a very personal and poetic blend of jazz, country, blues, and folk. The song marked a crucial moment in Patenaude’s life, a few years ago just before she moved to Vancouver. She was back living on the family land where she grew up, outside Horsefly, in the Cariboo. “A dear friend came to visit me in his absolutely beautiful
Cheyenne pickup he’d been working on restoring for years—ever since I’d known him—and it was finished,” she recalls, interviewed in her East Van apartment. “He was taking it for a drive up north. It was so exciting when he brought it by my house. We had a great history of friendship. “You can hear the country references—going to sleep to the sound of coyotes. I remember waking up at 5 o’clock in the morning and writing half that song, and just feeling the freedom to do that. I felt I was tapping into a source I didn’t really know I had, and that was the inspiration for me—‘You have to record these, you have to do this more often.’ ” Patenaude grew up in a very music-oriented family that listened to a range of genres, from opera to metal. As a small girl she was already playing festivals
Marin Patenaude has spent a lot of nights alone in the woods.
in the family band with her dad and two older sisters. In her teens she identified strongly with the songs of Joni Mitchell, Loreena
Kyle Morton sounds off on the things that enquiring minds want to know.
McKennitt, Ani DiFranco, and Sarah McLachlan, but decided to focus mainly on an acting career and farming for some 15 years. Then music came roaring back. She attended Capilano University, majoring in vocal jazz, but only began performing again following the intense creative period in Horsef ly when she wrote most of the songs on Marin Patenaude and the Follow Through, last year’s excellent debut. The important thing for Patenaude was to keep the production on the album’s songs honest to their time and place of origin. “I was building my house up there in Horsefly—and building it alone. I would spend a lot of nights up there alone in the woods—well, not completely alone, I had my dog. It was a challenging time. I didn’t have a lot of sense of being part of the community, I didn’t
☞ have a partner, and I didn’t have kids. When you’re living in such a rural place, if you’re not focusing on your family it’s easy to go to a deep dark place—especially when you live in a cabin with no power, no running water, just the wood fire and my guitar and me—which I also loved, I absolutely adored it. Those are precious moments.” Next month, Patenaude is back in the studio to record her second album with the Follow Through— guitarist Cole Schmidt, bassist Darren Parris, drummer Kenton Loewen (who coproduced the debut album), keyboardist Tyson Naylor, and cellist Peggy Lee. And whenever possible, she returns to her source of inspiration, the cabin in Horsefly. “I’m there every chance I get, to put a couple of days work into it. The house is on our family land, so it’ll always be there. It’s an see next page
FEBRUARY 22 – MARCH 1 / 2018 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT 35
from previous page
see as composition. But, again, it’s not a thing that is discussed; it just comes naturally to us.”
art project for me, and I’ve learned > ALEXANDER VARTY more about myself and gained more skills building that house than at any Atomic plays a free show at Performance Works on Saturday (February other time in my life.” > TONY MONTAGUE
Marin Patenaude performs a free show on Friday (February 23) at Performance Works as part of Winter Jazz.
24), as part of Winter Jazz.
Sudan Archives’ Parks fell in love with African music When Sudan Archives was dig-
ging through the record bins of Avant-jazz Atomic is adept 2 Amoeba Music in Hollywood, one at finding form on the fly cover caught her eye. Emblazoned One of the most memorable concerts I’ve ever heard could easily have been a disaster—but instead it turned into a choice lesson on what to do when life hands you a big basket of bitter lemons. The place? Gabriola Island. The time? Almost exactly a decade ago. And the lemons? Well, that particular night, the sour citrus showed up in the shape of a derelict piano. It was supposed to have been tuned and ready for Håvard Wiik to play; his Scandinavian band Atomic had been booked into the oceanside Surf Lodge by jazz entrepreneur Cem Zafir, then a Gabriola resident. Come sound check time, however, it was discovered that several of the old upright’s keys were sticky and that it was as out of tune as the Portsmouth Sinfonia— and the best available replacement was an almost equally beat-up (but relatively well-tuned) Fender Rhodes electric piano. Not exactly what you’d usually want to offer Wiik, who has as nuanced a touch as any pianist alive. But the Norwegian musician and his bandmates rose to the occasion, delivering a fierce and at times downright funky set, with Wiik apparently revelling in the limitations of his unlikely instrument. After the show, my date—not exactly an avant-jazz fan—described it as “like being scrubbed all over with steel wool, but in a good way”. So if sonic exfoliation is your thing, take note that Atomic is playing a free Granville Island show this weekend, as part of the annual Winter Jazz festival. Don’t miss it. In a Skype call from Chicago, Wiik says he remembers that Gabriola show well. And he has some advice for jazz neophytes who might want to take advantage of Saturday night’s freebie. “If you’ve never heard jazz or improvised music before,” he suggests, “I would say, ‘Try not to understand too much, but just enjoy.’ ” Few bands make that easier. Although trumpeter Magnus Broo, saxophonist Fredrik Ljungkvist, bassist Ingebrigt Håker Flaten, drummer Hans Hulbækmo, and Wiik are all ferociously inventive players, their intensity is balanced by a love of melody, which can sometimes turn up in surprising form. Consider, for instance, the horn chorale that emerges, briefly, in “Stuck in Stockholm”, from the band’s latest release, Six Easy Pieces. But don’t take the album’s title too literally. It’s a riff on Wiik’s tune “Five Easy Pieces”, itself inspired by Jack Nicholson’s 1970 feature film, and a witty nod to the complexity of the band’s music. “They [the new tunes] are kind of hard to play,” the pianist says, laughing. “So for us it was a kind of a pun.” Wiik adds, however, that it’s best not to mistake Atomic’s episodic, ever-shifting music as the result of too much compositional heavy lifting. More important, he says, is that with only one change of personnel since they came together in 1999, Atomic’s members have become adept at finding form on the fly. “When you’ve been working with people for 18 years, you start to get to know each other a lot. So I think what’s being perceived as composition sometimes is just interplay— and vice versa,” he explains. “We know each other so well that it’s easier to predict or follow the others in a way that I think some people
FRI FEB 23 SAT FEB 24
Toddcast Podcast presents
LA CHINGA w. WE HUNT BUFFALO + THE THICK OF IT 1pm-4pm
Blues brunch w. rob montgomery 4:30pm-8:30pm
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36 THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT FEBRUARY 22 – MARCH 1 / 2018
with a topless African woman with a large collection of jugs on her head, the album was striking enough for the artist to snap a photo and later look up the collection on YouTube. The LP was African Electronic Music 19751982 by Francis Bebey. Its discovery would change Sudan Archives’ life. Since her childhood in Ohio, the artist—born Brittney Parks—has followed an unconventional musical path. Taking up the violin in the fourth grade after seeing a group of fiddlers play folk music in her classroom, she moved frequently between schools, never taking lessons, instead learning to improvise along with her church band. Some years later, she came across an online video of a tribe in northern Ghana playing makeshift violins constructed out of snakeskin, lizard skin, and horsehair. Seeing parallels between their DIY spirit and her own drive to teach herself the instrument, she fell in love with African music. “The scales they play just sounded totally different to classical music,” Parks tells the Straight on the line from a tour stop in Phoenix. “I found out those instruments were called Hausa violins, which are one-string fiddles. The way they played it stuck with me, and it inspired me to keep doing what I was doing, even though I never had any formal training. I loved how good at multitasking they are, and that the violinists play at the same time as singing. Then, when I heard Francis Bebey, who was incorporating electronic drums with the thumb piano and different rhythms, I starting thinking, ‘Oh man, maybe I should start making some beats and fuse violin with it.’” Armed with a loop pedal and a passion for experimental composition, Parks moved to Los Angeles. There, at an alternative hip-hop night, she ran into Stones Throw records A&R executive Matthewdavid McQueen, who took an interest in her synthesis of electronic samples and coarse percussion. He encouraged her to send through some of her tracks. After steeling herself for nearly a year, she passed him “Come Meh Way”. “I made the track on this really old laptop that would, like, fart every five minutes,” Parks says with a laugh. “I was working two jobs at the time, making coffee in downtown L.A. and waitressing in Highland Park. Whenever I would wake up and have an hour to get ready, I would work on it a little bit. When he signed me, I only had that one song. But I kept making more music, and we released a collection.” That EP was the self-titled Sudan Archives, a selection of six tracks that has been featured in publications including Pitchfork and the New York Times. Hypnotic, repetitive violin loops rub up against layered vocals across the record, with handclaps and R&B hooks fashioning textures that are at points thickly claustrophobic, and at others poignantly sparse. Parks pushes the limit of the violin, mixing pizzicato plucks with long bow sweeps, teaming her acoustic playing with buzzy, low-end electronic samples. It’s both experimental and highly listenable. “Having this record out feels awesome,” she says. “It’s like, finally everybody has a taste of where I’m going—where I’m headed. I didn’t expect it to be this well-received. I just thought it was going to be a first release, and then I could start building up some momentum. It’s amazing it’s got so much attention.” > KATE WILSON
Sudan Archives plays the Commodore Ballroom on Tuesday (February 27).
GEORGE COLLIGAN TRIO WITH BUSTER WILLIAMS AND LENNY WHITE George Colligan is one of the most original and compelling multi-instrumentalists of his generation. Touring with two jazz legends, Buster Williams and Lenny White. Presented by Coastal Jazz. Feb 23-24, 8 pm, Frankie’s Jazz Club (765 Beatty). Tix $25, info www.coastaljazz.ca/.
CONCERTS 2JUST ANNOUNCED TANYA TAGAQ AND LAAKKULUK WILLIAMSON BATHORY Groundbreaking Indigenous artists perform as part of the Beyond Words series. Mar 16-17, Chan Centre for the Performing Arts (6265 Crescent Rd., UBC). Info chan centre.com/events/tanya-tagaq-laakkulukwilliamson-bathory/.
BELLE GAME Vancouver crush-pop band performs tunes from second album Fear/ Nothing. Feb 23, doors 8 pm, show 9 pm, The Imperial (319 Main). Tix $15 (plus service charges and fees) at www.live nation.com/. MIGUEL American R&B singer-songwriter performs on his War and Leisure Tour, with guests SiR and Nonchalant Savant. Feb 24, doors 6:30 pm, show 7:30 pm, PNE Forum (2901 E. Hastings). Tix $49.50 (plus service charges and fees) at www.livenation.com/.
POST MALONE American rapper performs material from new album Beerbongs and Bentleys, with guests SOB x RBE. Apr 27, doors 7 pm, show 8 pm, Rogers Arena (800 Griffiths Way). Tix on sale Feb. 23, 10 am, $84.25/64.25/54.25/44.25 (plus service charges and fees) at www.livenation.com/.
TYPHOON Portland indie-rock band tours in support of upcoming album Offerings, with guests Wild Ones and Amenta Abioto. Feb 24, 8 pm, Rickshaw Theatre (254 E. Hastings). Tix $20 (plus service charges and fees) at Red Cat, Zulu Records, and www. rickshawtheatre.com/, info www.rickshaw theatre.com/1042/typhoon-with-guests/.
GLITCH MOB Electronica trio from L.A., with guests Elohim and Anomalie. May 14, doors 8 pm, show 9 pm, Commodore Ballroom (868 Granville). Tix on sale Feb 23, 10 am, $35 (plus service charge) at www.ticketmaster.ca/.
BLACK VEIL BRIDES AND ASKING ALEXANDRIA American metalcore band coheadlines with English heavy-metal band, with guests Crown the Empire. Feb 25, 6:30 pm, Vogue Theatre (918 Granville).
NIGHTMARES ON WAX Experimental multigenre musician, DJ, and producer performs tunes from latest album Shape the Future. Jun 6, doors 8 pm, show 9 pm, The Imperial (319 Main). Tix $25 (plus service charges) at www.ticketweb.ca/.
Tix $49.05 (plus service charges and fees) at www.livenation.com/.
Friday & Saturday
Feb 23 & 24
THEORY OF A DEADMAN Canadian rock band tours in support of sixth studio album Wake Up Call. Feb 25, doors 8 pm, show 9 pm, Commodore Ballroom (868 Granville). Tix $39.50 (plus service charges and fees) at www.livenation.com/. BROCKHAMPTON American hip-hop collective performs on its Love Your Parents Tour. Feb 26, doors 8 pm, show 9 pm, Vogue Theatre (918 Granville). Tix $27.25 (plus service charges and fees) at www.livenation.com/. TY DOLLA $IGN American hip-hop singer-songwriter and record producer performs on his Don’t Judge Me Tour. Feb 28, doors 8 pm, show 9 pm, Vogue Theatre (918 Granville). Tix $40 (plus service charges and fees) at www.ticketfly.com/.
LENNIE GALLANT Capilano University presents the beloved PEI singer-songwriter known for his emotive and lively performances, fresh off the run of his acclaimed musical, Searching for Abegweit. Feb 23, 8 pm, BlueShore Financial Centre for the Performing Arts (2055 Purcell Way). Tix $32-35 (plus fees), info www.capilanou.ca/ centre/.
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2UPCOMING HIGHLIGHTS DONNY MCCASLIN QUARTET Capilano University and the Cultch present the jazz saxophonist lauded for his part on Bowie’s final album, and as a fearless bandleader of an “extraordinary group playing extraordinary music”. [NPR] Mar 7, 8 pm, York Theatre (639 Commercial). Tix $35 (plus fees), info www.capilanou.ca/centre/. JUNO AWARDS Annual Canadian music awards show, hosted by Vancouver pop superstar Michael Bublé. Mar 25, 5 pm, Rogers Arena (800 Griffiths Way). Tix from $79.95 to $875 (plus service charges and fees) at www.ticketmaster.ca/.
TIME OUT MUSIC LISTINGS are a public service provided free of charge. Submit listings online using the event-submission form at straight.com/AddEvent. Events that don’t make it into the paper due to space constraints will appear on the website.
OPEN TIL MARC H 10TH
CAR SEAT HEADREST Indie-rock band from Virginia, with guests Naked Giants. Jul 13, doors 8 pm, show 9 pm, Commodore Ballroom (868 Granville). Tix $28 (plus service charges and fees) at www.livenation.com/.
WINTER JAZZ WEEKEND Featuring Scandinavian quintet Atomic and roots rockers the Sumner Brothers, as well as Alicia Hansen, Monk’s Music, Marin Patenaude, Jodi Proznick, and Jasper Sloan Yip. Presented by Coastal Jazz and Granville Island. Feb 23-25, Performance Works (1218 Cartwright, Granville Island). Free, all ages, info www.coastaljazz.ca/.
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DOROTHY Los Angeles rock band performs on its Freedom Tour 2018. Feb 23, doors 7 pm, show 8 pm, Biltmore Cabaret (2755 Prince Edward). Tix $70/20 (plus service charges and fees) at Red Cat, Zulu Records, and www.ticketfly.com/.
MIKE WETERINGS, YEAR OF THE WOLF, THE BIG COAST + KYLE & CO. DOORS 8PM SHOW 9:30PM
DEE DANIELS WITH NITECAP Capilano University’s NiteCap accompanies Daniels, who, with her four-octave range, is “as close to a modern-day Sarah Vaughan as you’re likely to get.” [JazzTimes]. Feb 23, 7 pm, Kay Meek Centre (1700 Mathers Ave., West Van). Tix $32-35 (plus fees), info www. capilanou.ca/centre/.
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JIM CUDDY BAND Canadian country-rock band performs on its Constellation Tour. Feb 22, Vogue Theatre (918 Granville). Tix at www.livenation.com/.
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savage love I’m an 18-year-old female. I’m cisgender and bisexual. I’ve been in a monogamous relationship with my cisgender bisexual boyfriend for about a year. I’m currently struggling with a lot of internalized biphobia and other hang-ups about my boyfriend’s sexuality. I don’t know if I’m projecting my own issues onto him or if I’m just being bigoted towards bi men, but either way I feel truly awful about it. But when I think about the fact that he’s bi and is attracted to men, I become jealous and fearful that he will leave me for a man or that he would rather be with a man. (I’ve been with men and women in the past; he’s never been with a man.) I know it is unfair of me to feel this way and he’s never given me any real reason to fear this. We have a very engaged, kinky, and rewarding sex life! But I worry I’m not what he really wants. This situation is complicated by the near certainty that my boyfriend has some sort of hormonal disorder. He has a very young face for an 18-yearold, a feminine figure, and not a lot of body hair. He orgasms but he does not ejaculate; and although he has a sizable penis, his testicles are more like the size of grapes than eggs. He struggles a lot with feeling abnormal and unmasculine. I try to be as supportive as possible and tell him how attracted to him I am and how he’ll get through whatever this is. But he can tell his bi-ness makes me nervous and uncomfortable. I think that because he appears more feminine than most men and is more often hit on by men than women, I worry that he would feel more comfortable or “normal” with a man. I don’t want to contribute to him feeling abnormal or bad about himself. How do I stop worrying that he’s gay or would be happier with a man? I feel horrible about myself for
> BY DAN SAVAGE he’s been too embarrassed to bring up the size of his balls and quality of ejaculations with his parents and/or doctor—I shared your letter with Dr. John Amory, professor of medicine at the University of Washington. “An 18-year-old male with testicles the ‘size of grapes’ indicates an issue with testicular development,” Amory said. “The reduced testicular volume, in combination with the other features such as his feminine face and sparse body hair, also suggest an issue with testicular function.” It could simply be delayed puberty— some people suddenly grow six inches when they get to college—or it could be something called Klinefelter syndrome. “Klinefelter syndrome occurs in one out of every 500 males and is associated with small testicular volume and decreased testosterone,” said Amory. “This diagnosis is frequently missed because the penis is normal in size and the men are normal in most other ways, although about half of men with Klinefelter syndrome (KS) can have breast enlargement (gynecomastia) that can be seen as feminizing. Bottom line: small testes at age 18 means it’s time for a doctor’s visit—probably an endocrinologist or urologist—to take a family history, do an examination, and consider measurement of testosterone and some other hormones. This should help him understand if he ‘just needs to wait’ or if he has a diagnosis that could be treated. There is a real possibility that he has KS, which is usually treated with testosterone to improve muscle mass, bone density and sexual function.” Follow R J Aguiar on Twitter @rj4gui4r.
these anxieties considering that I’m bi ings aren’t always rational. But if we can share those feelings with the person we too and should know better. > ANONYMOUS NERVOUS love without fear of judgment or reprisGIRLFRIEND SEEKS TRANQUILITY al, it can help create a space of comfort and intimacy that no piece of ass will “Many people who encounter us Bi+ ever be able to compete with—no matfolk in the wild just project their in- ter how hot they are or what they may securities onto us with impunity and or may not have between their legs.” As for the reasons you’re feeling inthen blame us for it,” said R J Aguiar, a bisexual activist and content cre- secure—your boyfriend might be gay ator whose work has been featured on and/or happier with a man—I’m not Buzzfeed, Huff Po, Queerty, and other going to lie to you, ANGST. Your boysites. “As someone who’s bi herself, I’m friend could be gay (some people who aren’t bisexual identify as bi before sure ANGST know this all too well.” So if you’ve been on the receiving coming out as gay or lesbian), and/or end of biphobia—as almost all bisex- he could one day realize that he’d be ual people have—why are you doing happier with a man (just as you could one day realize that you’d be happier it to your bisexual boyfriend? “This hypothetical so-and-so-is- with a woman). But your wonderful going-to-leave-me-for-someone-hot- sex life—your engaging, kinky, reter scenario could happen to anyone warding sex life—is pretty good eviof any orientation,” Aguiar said. “But dence that your boyfriend isn’t gay. (I maybe because the potential ‘pool of was one of those guys who identified as applicants’ is over twice as big for us bi before coming out as gay, ANGST, Bi+ folk, we get stuck with twice as and I had girlfriends and the sex we much of this irrational fear? I don’t had was far from wonderful.) And now I’m going tell you someknow. But here’s what I do know: most biphobia (and jealousy, for that thing you no doubt already know: very matter) is projected insecurity. Built few people wind up spending their lives into the fear that someone will leave with the person they were dating at 18. you because they ‘like x or y better’ You and your boyfriend are both in the is the assumption that you yourself process of figuring out who you are and what you want. It’s possible he’ll realaren’t good enough.” And while feelings of insecurity ize you’re not the person he wants to and jealousy can undermine a rela- be with, ANGST, but it’s also possible tionship, ANGST, they don’t have to. you’ll realize he’s not the person you It all depends on how you address want to be with. Stop worrying about the next six or seven decades of your them when they arise. “We all have our moments!” Aguiar life—stop worrying about forever—and said. “But we can turn these moments enjoy this time and this boy and this reinto opportunities for open communi- lationship for however long it lasts. Finally, ANGST, on the off chance cation and intimacy rather than moments of isolation and shame. That way your boyfriend hasn’t spoken to a they end up bringing you closer, rather doctor about his symptoms—bethan drive this invisible wedge between cause he’s an uninsured/underinyou. The key is to understand that feel- sured/unlucky American or because
I’m a 27-year-old woman whose boyfriend recently broke up with her.
Along with the usual feelings of grief and heartbreak, I’m feeling a lot of guilt about how I handled our sex life, which was one of the main issues in our breakup. My now ex-boyfriend was interested in BDSM and a kink-oriented lifestyle, and I experimented with that for him. I attended several play parties, went to a five-day-long kink camp with him, and tried out many of his BDSM fantasies. The problem became that, hard as I tried, I just wasn’t very interested in that lifestyle, and parts of it made me very uncomfortable. I was game to do the lighter stuff (spanking, bondage) but just couldn’t get behind the more extreme things. I disappointed him because I “went along with it” only to decide I wasn’t into it and that I unfairly represented my interest in his lifestyle. Did I do something wrong? What should I have done? > BASICALLY A LITTLE KINKY
All you’re guilty of doing, BALK, is exactly what kinksters everywhere hope their vanilla partners will do. You gave it a try—you were good, giving, and game enough to explore BDSM with and for him—and sometimes that works, e.g., someone who always thought of themselves as vanilla goes to a play party or a five-day-long kink camp and suddenly realizes, “Hey, I’m pretty kinky too!” But it doesn’t always work. Since the alternative to “went along with it” was “never gave it a chance”, BALK, your exboyfriend should be giving you credit for trying, not grief for supposedly misleading him. On the Lovecast, Dan chats with rival advice columnist Roxane Gay: savagelovecast.com. Email Dan at mail@ savagelove.net. Follow Dan on Twitter @FakeDanSavage. ITMFA.org.
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