Tag Archives: York Theatre

Encounter Comes To The York Theatre October 17 – 22, 2017

10 Oct

EncounterChristopherJosephThe best in physical theatre comes to the Cultch in conjunction with Diwali. Encounter is a story about an Indigenous woman, Dopdi, and her communities’ struggle to uphold the Indigenous life and her defiance against injustice. Created for the stage by Aparna Sindhoor, S M Raju, and Anil Natyaveda, Encounter is a tribute to the Indigenous people’s history. It is a passionate story of female power that delves into the struggles and challenges of the indigenous communities of India. Aparna Sindhoor, co-writer of Encounter says “The word ‘Encounter’ has a specific meaning in the Indian (South Asian) context. It is a euphemism for the state orchestrated ‘chance meetings,’ to get rid of (kill, or torture and kill) the so-called enemies of the state.” The performance features acrobatics and original music which pays tribute to Indigenous peoples’ history from around the world. The show runs October 17 – 22, 2017 at the York Theatre. Tickets are available at The Cultch.

Contributing Writer Tiva Quinn reviews Encounter:

Encounter is a dance-play that is political, sensual, humorous and informative. There’s a bit of every possible emotion along the way, but, ultimately, it’s also a story about an enormous tragedy.

The dancers portray members of an indigenous group in India who find that their land is being taken for mining, while their water is being diverted for factories. In order to survive at all, they have no choice but to “steal” water from the wells of a wealthy landowner nearby, and so the military is called to put a stop to this crime.

The dancers also portray members of the military who have been sent to break up the “rebellion.” At one point, they tell us stories about why they joined the armed forces, and most of the stories are relatable – one needs to feed his family, one is saving to send her daughter to college, and of course one is in love with his gun, but there’s no distinction among them when their leader asks them to do “the needful” and try to get information from a prisoner.

In the South Asian context, “encounter” refers to times when the army captures suspected rebels and tortures or kills them. The story opens and closes on a scene of one such torture, and yes, it’s told through dance. The troupe are all very talented and they create some visually arresting tableaus out of these scenes. And in a world where a show like 24 asks us to identify with the torturer, why shouldn’t we have art that asks us to identify with both the torturer and those who are tortured?

If you’re looking for a note of hope, a sense of closure, or a call to action that makes you feel like you can make a difference, there isn’t one. It wouldn’t be especially true to the reality of the situation if there was.

Do I recommend seeing it, though? Yes.

Photo Credit: Christopher Joseph

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Our Review Of Goblin Market On Now At The York Theatre Until October 14, 2017

5 Oct

 

Goblin-Market-1-Photo-by-Loork-1-982x1024Recounting Christina Rossetti’s celebrated 1862 tale of temptation, sacrifice and salvation, New Zealand’s premier circus theatre company, The Dust Palace’s “Goblin Market” receives a standing ovation on opening night.

“Morning and evening

Maids heard the goblins cry: “Come buy our orchard fruits, come buy, come buy…”

Tantalizing and passionate, “Goblin Market” not only captures the mood of the original poem by combining stunning athleticism with jarring music and sound effects, but thrusts the content into the contemporary. Where Rossetti draws on themes of Christianity and sorority, Mike Edward directs this production further into a commentary on mental well-being and modern-day dating.

“We must not look at goblin men, 

We must not buy their fruits”

Beautifully performed by Rochelle Mangan, Eve Gordon, and Edward Clendon, the audience is kept on the edge of their seats in awe of the daring acrobatics and bold visual effects. As notable excerpts from the poem flash and flicker on the backdrop, the performers make use of ropes, a trapeze, each other, and even dangerously stacked chairs to tell this haunting story of lust and temptation. To catch this amazing performance, visit The Cultch for tickets.

By Contributing Writer: Nicole Alivojvodic

Photo Credit: Loork

Contemporary Circus The Goblin Market Takes Stage At The York Theatre October 3-14, 2017

27 Sep

 

Goblin-Market-3-736x1024For the first time in Vancouver two sisters from New Zealand will be performing the re-telling of Christina Rossetti’s poem, The Goblin Market at the York Theatre.  The show is a contemporary circus performed to the story line that follows two sisters, one of whom gets sick after eating bad goblin fruit and is healed because of her sister’s bravery.  The production celebrates sexuality and sisterhood, through double trapeze, mask, projection, acrobatics, spoken word and music. Tickets for this performance start at $22 and are available from The Cultch. Note: The production includes nudity and sexual scenes, therefore, is being presented as an adults only production.

What people are saying about The Goblin Market:

“SPECTACULAR, MAGNIFICENT AND BREATHTAKING are a few of the words that describe contemporary circus show The Goblin Market”
Sara Meij, Nelson Mail

 “… THE MOST REMARKABLE PRODUCTION I HAVE SEEN in the last decade. THRILLING, MOVING, INSPIRING, MESMERIZING (and sometimes even humourous) – it reminded me of why I work in the performing arts in the first place”
Howard Mendelsohn, Centaur Theatre Company

 “…A full house, standing ovation and the most common word on everyone’s lips: SPECTACULAR!”
Janet Whittington, Theatreview

“Superbly choreographed acrobatics featuring the finely muscled bodies and disciplined athleticism of highly trained performers.”
New Zealand Herald

Comedian Debra DiGiovanni At The York Theatre September 23, 2017

19 Sep

DebraDiGiovanniCanadian comedian Debra DiGiovanni is Canada’s favourite female comedian. Lucky for us she’s coming to East Van on Saturday, September 23rd. She will be performing her edgy playful comedy at the York Theatre.   If you aren’t familiar with her humour, you can easily find a YouTube video with her performance.  She was a finalist in NBC’s Last Comic Standing and her first stand up DVD “Single Awkward Female” is now on Netflix.  She is currently on comedy network’s revival of Match Game on which she is a panelist and you can often hear Debra on CBC radio’s Debaters’ program.  Tickets for the show are $25 and available through The Cultch.  This is one show we won’t be missing.

Tiva Quinn Reviews The Coast Is Queer

31 Aug
BackgroundThe Vancouver Queer Film Festival happened this month and I had the opportunity to taken in one of the shows. I’ve been to The Coast is Queer a couple of times over the years, and thought this was the strongest grouping of local queer short films ever – a thought I heard echoed by some of the other people leaving the theatre.

As usual, there was a mix of fiction and non-fiction, and a mix of films focused on lesbian, gay, or trans main characters. It seemed to me this year had more of a unified tone, though, in that nearly every story was upbeat, even the short documentary about gay suicide rates and the fictional piece with a harrowing locker room harassment scene ended on positive notes.

My personal favorites were the opening and closing pieces.

Caw, the first film, is actually the only dark piece in the series, but it features excellent acting and production values that make the darkness work. Two high school girls are drawn to one another – they’re both misfits used to being mocked by the popular crowd, but one of them is different from the other girls in more than just her cynical attitude.

The closing film, Violet and June, is the queer version of a classic boy-meets-girl story. In this case it’s “girl falls for her best friend, best friend is dating an especially obnoxious boy, best friend comes to her senses and they live happily ever after.” Predictable and maybe even a bit cliche? Sure. But the tale is handled in a light-hearted way and a fun visual style that got lots of laughs from the crowd.

Two other pieces were especially memorable for me. Carla and Hayfa, a short doc that picks up 10 years after a difficult coming-out for a young lesbian with immigrant parents. At this point, Carla and her mother are happy to talk about how much they’ve grown to understand, respect and love one another over the years. Limina is a fictional tale centred around a ridiculously cute trans girl whose mission in life is finding secret ways to cheer up some of the depressed adults in her neighborhood. Almost everyone in Alexandra’s world accepts or admires her as she is – even the Priest who feels a need to grumble seems more than slightly charmed by her.

It might be difficult to catch these particular short films in another showing – but it’s definitely worth going over to Vancouver Queer Film Festival for the names of some very talented local directors to keep an eye one.

By Contributing Writer Tiva Quinn

Children Of God At The York Theatre May 17 – June 3, 2017

12 May

ChildrenOfGodThe Cultch, in collaboration with Urban Ink Productions, National Arts Centre English Theatre and Raven Theatre is presenting the world premiere of a powerful new musical Children of God. The show features the children of an Oji-Cree family that are sent to a residential school in Northern Ontario. This is a story of redemption for a mother who was never let past the school’s gate, and her kids, who never knew she came. Children of God offers a blend of ancient traditions and contemporary realities. They will be pulling musical inspiration from Indigenous traditions as well as Broadway hits. This musical is a timely piece that tells the heartbreaking story of the residential schools through the eyes of one Oji-Cree family. Children of God celebrates resilience and the power of the Indigenous cultural spirit. Note this performance does contain swearing and sexual content. Due to the content of the performance, Emotional Support Workers will be available to provide support to audience members who may require it.  The performance takes place at The York Theatre, 639 Commercial Drive with previews taking place May 17th and 18th. Opening night is May 19th with the show running until June 3rd. Tickets are available online from The Cultch.

Mump & Smoot In Anything At The Cultch April 25 – May 6, 2017

1 May

Mump&SmootIanJacksonHave you heard that clowns are in town? Mump & Smoot, a famed Canadian clown duo from Toronto have landed in Vancouver. They bring their latest show, Mump & Smoot In Anything to The York Theatre for a short run. Their show brings a rather twisted world straight from their imagination.  We sent our new contributing writer, Tiva Quinn, to check out Mump & Smoot.  Tiva is originally from Washington, DC and more recently lived in Alaska for a good 13 year stint. She has herself recently landed in East Van and loves it.  She will provide a fresh perspective as a newcomer to East Van. Tiva has a passion for the arts, food, the environment and storytelling.  You can find her participating either on stage or as an audience member at the monthly Story Slam held at the Cottage Bistro. Here’s what Tiva had to say about Mump & Smoot In Anything:

There were scenes during Mump and Smoot’s show where my cheeks hurt from grinning so much. But really, the best thing of all about the show was the audience. Some of you might recall that Vancouver audiences are downright famous for being a bit detached, but when I went to see Mump and Smoot in Anything, the audience cheered, we clapped and hooted for each scene, and sometimes we all chanted, “aww…” in support of Smoot, who gleefully breaks the fourth wall looking for support in his endless contests of will with Mump.

In a lot of ways, what you get is a live action cartoon show. Mump and Smoot’s love/hate relationship reminded me of Tom and Jerry or Bugs Bunny and Yosemite Sam – except in this show the cartoon violence sometimes results in a lot of blood, and sometimes the physical or emotional wounds from characters being hilariously awful to one another take a while to resolve themselves. You can thoroughly enjoy Mump and Smoot as a dark little confectionary, or if you’re like me, and have to mull on absolutely everything, there’s enough stuff in here about the games people play to keep you going for weeks. 

Review By Tiva Quinn

Mump and Smoot in Anything is being performed at the York Theatre from May 2 – 6, 2017. Tickets are available from $20 through The Cultch.

Photo Credit: Ian Jackson

 

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