Seven Duets/Night Journey Learie Mc Nicolls, June 21-23, 2017

June 21 to 23, 2017, Artword Theatre presents a Contemporary Dance Showcase, curated by dancer-choreographer Learie Mc Nicolls. Featured is a new work, Seven Duets, choreographed and danced by Learie Mc Nicolls with Tanis Macarthur, exploring the lifts and falls in dance that can only be done with a partner.

Learie will also perform a new version of his solo work Night Journey, choreographed to selected recorded music by solo bassist Wilbert De Joode. This work was first presented in February (images below right).

Night Journey performed by Learie Mc Nicolls, Feb 22, 2017, real-time projections by Judith Sandiford

Lighting and visual design by Judith Sandiford features real-time projections.

The program will be repeated for three evenings. June 21-23, Wednesday to Friday, at 8 pm, $10 advance (call 905-543-8512) / $15 at door.

Video excerpt below of Seven Duets, June 2017, choreography by Learie Mc Nicolls, danced by Tanis Macarthur and Learie Mc Nicolls.

 

 

 

Learie Mc Nicolls, Parrot+Box for Roots… Sept 25, 2016

Artword Theatre presents a dance double-bill at Artword Artbar, Sunday, September 25, 2016, 8 pm.
1. The premiere of a new work, The Parrot of Paradise, is a Caribbean tale told in dance and spoken word, written and performed by Learie Mc Nicolls. It tells a story of a individual chosen to tell a short tale of a particular incident on a particular island. The story draws on Learie’s own experience growing up in the Caribbean, and is partly autobiographical, partly historical. Duration 20 mins.
2. A 30-minute excerpt of our Fringe hit  Once I Lived in the Box, choreographed by Learie Mc Nicolls, performed by dancers Angela Del Franco, Sharon Harvey, Tanis Macarthur and Learie Mc Nicolls. “Once I lived in the box/ hated the box/ loved the box/ respected the box/ got angry at the box… ” The piece is a sequence of trios, duets and solos, that reveal different aspects of isolation and connection, vulnerability and trust. The full length version of this stunning work premiered at the Hamilton Fringe Festival 2016, to rave reviews.

Sunday, September 25, 2016, 8 pm, $20 (advance reserve 905-543-8512), $25 door, at Artword Artbar 15 Colbourne Street, Hamilton. The evening is part of the 2016 Roots en Route Festival of World Music, Dance, Spoken Word presented by Matapa, in multiple venues in September 2016.

Learie Mc Nicolls (choreographer, dancer) has been a key figure in contemporary dance in Toronto since the 1980s, with Toronto Dance Theatre, Desrosiers Dance Theatre, Dancemakers, National Ballet of Cuba, and his own company, Mythmakers. As a solo dancer, he has been exploring the combination of dance with spoken word, to create a powerful new form of theatrical presentation. Since moving to Hamilton, his dance projects include: at The Pearl Company Resurrection 2014, and at Artword Transformation 2015, Once I Lived in the Box 2016 and an ongoing series Big Dance Little Stage. In 2015 Learie received the City of Hamilton Arts Award for Performance.

DANCE: Once I Lived in the Box, Fringe, July 19-23, 2016

Artword Theatre presents Once I Lived in the Box, a dance work by Learie Mc Nicolls, for the 2016 Hamilton Fringe Festival. Dancer and choreographer Learie Mc Nicolls has created a full-length dance piece about vulnerability and trust.
The piece is danced by Angela Del Franco, Sharon Harvey, Tanis Macarthur, Jamila Bello and Learie Mc Nicolls, in a sequence of trios, duets and solos that reveal different aspects of isolation and connection. Judith Sandiford is producer and lighting designer.
SIX SHOWS: Tues- Fri July 19-22, 2016, at 9:00 pm; Sat July 23 at 6:00 & 9:00 pm. 60 minutes. Tickets $10, or hamiltonfringe.ca/tickets/


Once I Lived in the Box: Sharon Harvey, Angela Del Franco, Tanis Macarthur, Learie Mc Nicolls

Fringe 2016 Review: Once I Lived in the Box,
by Amos Crawley
“It may be a warning. It may also be the best thing you see at the Fringe this year.”

July 20, 2016. Raise the Hammer
www.raisethehammer.org/blog/2988/fringe_2016_review:_once_i_lived_in_the_box

“Once I Lived In The Box is a dire warning. It’s a tired and nearly, nearly defeated voice crying out in the middle of a windy, terrifying night. It is by turns haunting, sensual, humorous, distant and visceral. Like the Otis Redding version of A Change Is Gonna Come that scores a marvelous solo, it’s a show that never once apologizes for the pain of being alive.

Once I Lived in the Box, Jamila Bello, Learie Mc Nicolls

It is a shared experience in that way – it’s us who are being warned: STOP! We hold on to our faked generosity, our small ownerships, our secret hate for dear life as if we ourselves are not part of a continuum-as if we do not all break the same way.

The show begins with the razor edge feeling of a situation that can’t possibly end well. Then quickly we are in the hustle and bustle of a life where life is that which gets swept away-hidden.

The show moves for the most part with the undeniable pulse of heartbreak. We are perhaps doomed and our inner turmoil is a result of the lack of faith we put in one another, of a true generosity of spirit. That’s the price we all gotta pay. Isn’t it a pity?

Once I Lived in the Box, Angela Del Franco

Mc Nicolls and his gifted, dedicated performers unselfishly make the political personal so that at the turn of a phrase or a fade in the music (the evening is accompanied by some of the most exquisite music of the 20th century) we have gone from the world at large to the most intimate trials and tribulations of a love affair.

It may be a warning, but it is not a hopeless warning. There is always joy available. We’re gonna end up in a box anyhow — why live in one too?

It may be a warning. It may also be the best thing you see at the Fringe this year.

Amos Crawley is an actor, director and acting instructor who lives in East Hamilton with his wife, actor and director Cadence Allen, and their young son.”


Once I Lived in the Box, Sharon Harvey

Once I Lived in the Box Review in View Magazine July 21 2016
by Heather Baer

Visceral, raw strength are words which came to mind while watching Once I Lived in the Box, a full-length dance work passionately and creatively written and performed by awarding-winning choreographer Learie Mc Nicolls. Joining him are four beautiful women (Jamila Bello, Angela Del Franco, Sharon Harvey, and Tanis Macarthur) equally talented in their own right and each having a background in various movement forms from hip-hop to yoga and everything in between.

Once I Lived in the Box was inspired by a 10-page poem of the same name written by Mc Nicolls (“…because I have a lot to say”, quips Mc Nicolls when asked at a Q&A session after opening night) and reveals issues of vulnerability and trust as show through a series of solos, duets and quartets interwoven around, in, on and through movable pieces of “the box”.

The passion for and commitment to the piece and to their craft was expressed by the artists in every move from the fluid cadence of limbs to the exact placement of fingers as well as tell-tale glances and nods sometimes working in harmony and other times in opposition. Come and enjoy this unique exposition. The artistry continues for the rest of the weekend at Artword Artbar.


REVIEW of the February 2016 presentation: “Learie Mc Nicolls’ newest creation, Once I Lived in the Box, at Artword Artbar [Feb 3, 4 and 5, 2016], was a powerful, yet intimate, piece of choreography… This piece touched the heart. I hope it will be remounted; it deserves a longer run and a larger audience.” Ellen Jaffe, Ontario Arts Review

 

DANCE: Once I Lived in the Box, by Learie Mc Nicolls, Feb 2016

February 3, 4 & 5, 2016, a new full-length dance work Once I Lived in the Box by choreographer Learie Mc Nicolls, for Black History Month.

Once I lived in the box/ hated the box/
loved the box/
respected the box/
got angry at the box /
raged at the box /
the box was shiny/
the box was misery/
the school of hard knocks/
pulled up mah socks

Performed by dancers
Angela Del Franco,
Sharon Harvey,
Tanis Macarthur
and
Learie Mc Nicolls
with music by Edgardo Moreno.

Learie Mc Nicolls has been a key figure in the contemporary dance scene in Toronto since the 1980s. He has danced with Toronto Dance Theatre, Desrosiers Dance Theatre, Dancemakers, the National Ballet of Cuba, and his own company, Mythmakers. As a solo dancer, he has been exploring the combination of dance with spoken word, to create a powerful new form of theatrical presentation. His Toronto production, Armour, took two Dora awards for Outstanding Choreography and Outstanding Performance.

He moved to Hamilton, where he is devoting himself to help build the contemporary dance scene here. In May, 2014, he performed Resurrection at the Pearl Company, and choreographed the dances in Artword Theatre’s second production of James Street. He has created an ongoing series of showcase dance productions at Artword Artbar called Big Dance Little Stage, featuring dancers from Hamilton and Toronto over two nights. He has recently opened a dance rehearsal studio downstairs at Artword Artbar.


Review by Ellen Jaffe, Feb 8, 2016:

Learie Mc Nicolls Dances outside the Box

Review by Ellen S. Jaffe, for Ontario Arts Review
Learie Mc Nicolls’ newest creation, Once I Lived in the Box, at Artword Artbar in Hamilton {Feb 3, 4 and 5, 2016], was a powerful, yet intimate, piece of choreography. The dancer and choreographer left Trinidad, in 1974, worked in Vancouver, spent many years dancing with various companies in Toronto but now lives and works in Hamilton. Mc Nicolls’ powerful dance, combined with music, spoken words, and visuals on a screen, was performed with a trio of women dancers: Angela Del Franco, Sharon Harvey, and Tanis Macarthur. Edgardo Moreno’s audio soundscape set the pace with electronic music and recorded blues with electronic modulation.

Direction and lighting were by Judith Sandiford. Four dark-coloured oblong benches served as a moveable set—upright boxes, benches, coffins or gallows—perhaps suggesting the boxes we live in (or under), love, hate, respect, recognize, and escape to discover who we are—boxes society puts us in, boxes we create ourselves. The work explored many questions, in a form of dance that told an “abstract, three-dimensional, emotional” story, in Mc Nicolls’ words.

Mc Nicolls danced the first number alone, wearing a dark suit and hat. From the time he came onstage, his fluid, supple movements captured the audience’s complete attention. His every step was poetry in motion—measured, exquisite motion—which expressed emotion. And he ended the set speaking to the audience.

Then Del Franco, Harvey, and Macarthur danced together in solos and duets, moving in and out or balancing on the boxes, in costumes geared to their individual styles. Del Franco’s poignant solo, danced to Nina Simone’s “Isn’t It a Pity?” was a clear highlight. So was Harvey’s solo, conveying grief, love, and strength, accompanied by Otis Redding’s “A Change Is Gonna Come.” The program noted Harvey’s “passion for the internal/external work of the body.”

Macarthur’s dancing was abstract, with inner grace and wit, and her duet with Mc Nicolls was beautifully touching. Their music was vintage slide guitar and Skip James’ “Hard Time Killin’ Floor Blues.” In the finale, to the Staples Singers “I’ll Take You There,” Macarthur and Harvey danced a more spirited duet, while Del Franco and McNicolls enacted a more subtle interplay.
Sandiford’s lighting used LED lights and theatre gels (blue and red) to create changing moods.

Congratulations to ‘Artword Artbar’ for supporting this wonderful work. Created for Black History month, this piece touched the heart. I hope it will be remounted; it deserves a longer run and a larger audience. Judith Sandiford and Ron Weihs, launched Artword Artbar in 2009, and are the producers of Artword Theatre.

Ellen Jaffe, Ontario Arts Review, February 8, 2016.

Transformation, Learie Mc Nicolls, Fringe, July 16-25, 2015

July 16 to 25, 2015. Artword Theatre presents Transformation: A Journey of the Soul’s Healing by Learie Mc Nicolls, remounted for the 2015 Hamilton Fringe Festival.
Learie Mc Nicolls confronts the demons of poverty, violence and fear in his powerful new work, Transformation: a Journey of the Soul’s Healing. An Artword Theatre production, directed by Ronald Weihs, Transformation combines dance, spoken word, soundscape and visual images, to present one man’s struggle to come to terms with his troubled Trinidad childhood and redeem the forgotten child inside him. The live musical soundscape is by Dale Morningstar, and live visuals by Judith Sandiford.

Venue: Artword Artbar, 15 Colbourne St., a Bring-Your-Own-Venue.
Running time: 60 minutes. Eight performances, showtimes:
Thursday July 16 at 9 pm; Friday July 17 at 9 pm;
Saturday July 18 at 9 pm; Sunday July 19 at 8 pm;
Wednesday July 22 at 9 pm; Thursday July 23 at 8 pm;
Friday July 24 at 9 pm; Saturday July 25 at 9 pm  (Final Show)
Tickets $10 at door or online at: http://hamiltonfringe.ca/tickets/
plus a one-time purchase of a Fringe Button ($5), good for all Fringe shows.

Learie Mc Nicolls grew up in Moruga Trinidad.

Learie Mc Nicolls has been a key figure in the contemporary dance scene in Toronto since the 1980s. He has danced with Toronto Dance Theatre, Desrosiers Dance Theatre, Dancemakers, the National Ballet of Cuba, and his own company, Mythmakers. As a solo dancer, he has been exploring the combination of dance with spoken word, to create a powerful new form of theatrical presentation. His Toronto production, Armour, took two Dora awards for Outstanding Choreography and Outstanding Performance. He recently moved to Hamilton, where he is devoting himself to helping build the contemporary dance scene here. Recent projects include Resurrection at the Pearl Company in 2014, and an ongoing series of showcase dance productions at Artword Artbar called Big Dance Little Stage, featuring dancers from Hamilton and Toronto.


Review by Robin Pittis of Transformation in View Magazine July 23 2015

Transformation: An avant-garde dancer teams up with a musician and visual artist to create this challenging masterpiece of poetic theatre. Learie Mc Nicolls is an accomplished and award-winning modern dancer, and he draws on richly personal material of growing up in Trinidad for his poems. Themes of innocence, violence, and faith swirl between Judith Sandiford’s imagery, Dale Morningstar’s creative soundscape, Mc Nicolls’ lithe and free movement, and his vocal commitment to the text. This is a feat of mature creative artistry connoisseurs won’t want to miss. [R.P.]


Peter Malysewich: “…the premier performance of this year’s Fringe.” Transformation by Learie Mc Nicolls

The performance was totally awesome. As a Learie fan, I came prepared to enjoy it and was rewarded with even more than I expected. Held my attention from right from the beginning. But I have to give a shout out to Dale Morningstar who at times was so intense he seem to be Learie’s alter ego, with his masterful timing, that movement and sound became one. A terrific venue, a terrific beer, and a fusion of artists for the premier performance of this year’s Fringe. July 23, 2015, Peter Malysewich, audience member, posting on FB, https://www.facebook.com/groups/11108185093/


Gary Smith: “..Theatre that pricks the social conscience, stirs the imagination and releases thought. Go get transformed.”

For goodness sake, go see Learie Mc Nicolls’ dance drama “Transformation.” This piece of theatre-cum-performance art is a highly polished, professional work that finds inspiration in McNicolls’ narrative and Ron Weihs’ inspired direction. Add Judith Sandiford’s powerful visuals with their icy tinge of realism and you have a work of art.
McNicolls moves with easy grace offering a seemingly improvised (it’s not of course) banter that gives the work energy and rhythm. Accompaniment by musician Dale Morningstar on drums, keyboard, whistle and cymbals is always perfectly in tune with what’s going on.
“Transformation” reminded me of heady nights in Greenwich Village’s once famous Café Bizarre where, during the 1960s, art was deliriously performed for audiences who savoured every moment.
This is theatre that pricks the social conscience, stirs the imagination and releases thought. Go get transformed. Performed at Artword Artbar 15 Colbourne St.
Gary Smith in The Hamilton Spectator, July 16, 2015. Gary Smith has written on theatre and dance for The Hamilton Spectator for more than 35 years. He saw these Fringe shows in previews.


Review: Transformation: A Journey of the Soul’s Healing

By Dawn Cattapan, published July 17, 2015 in Raise The Hammer

Transformation: A Journey of the Soul’s Healing is a multi-disciplinary art piece that encompasses dance, spoken word, live music and image projections. Although initially conceived during 2014 performances, Transformation was first presented earlier this year and incorporates three of Mc Nicolls’ poems in order to bring three distinct characters to life.

Although these characters have other interactions, Learie is able to portray every single character with ease, using his body and voice alone to capture the essence of each; from a small child passing by on a beach to a preacher as he comes to terms with a troubled childhood.

In this sense, the story itself is epic; intense emotions and opinions of family, poverty, war, love, fear, sacrifice and faith are carefully explored as the character gracefully transforms and weaves their way into and out of the changes in their life. Through it all, they continue walking forward, to face each sunrise, and the promise of a new day with unreserved enthusiasm for the promise it may hold.

Mc Nicolls’ strong mastery of dance performance and movement is especially apparent as each transformation takes place with ease and grace that reflect his professional training.

No space or moment is wasted throughout the performance, as Artword Artbar is utilized perfectly in its entirety to capture each transformation, both in music, imagery and movement.

Mc Nicolls and his live collaborators have carefully and consciously thought out each moment, ensuring that they contribute to a powerful and meaningful performance as the music and images move the story forward as seamlessly as its main character.

Although many may feel that contemporary dance is an art form not for them, Learie Mc Nicolls is an apt tour guide for those looking to learn more about it as he conveys his story. This type of performance is reason enough to be excited about the future of the dance and art community in Hamilton.

https://raisethehammer.org/blog/2880/fringe_2015_review:_transformation:_a_journey_of_the_souls_healing

Learie Mc Nicolls “Transformation”, Mar 25-26, 2015

Transformation_poster_Mar_680March 25 & 26, 2015. Artword Theatre presents  “Transformation: A journey of the soul’s healing”, told in spoken word and dance by award-winning choreographer Learie Mc Nicolls,
directed by Ronald Weihs, script by Learie Mc Nicolls, dramaturgy by Ronald Weihs, designed by Judith Sandiford, live music by Dale Morningstar.
Transformation
combines dance, spoken word, soundscape and visual images, to present one man’s struggle to come to terms with his troubled Trinidad childhood and redeem the forgotten child inside him.

Walked I have into the sun’s glare
till my princedom became fear

Wed & Thurs, March 25 & 26, at 9 pm, $10. Call 905-543-8512.


Learie Mc Nicolls in Transformation at Artword Artbar

Learie Mc Nicolls confronts the demons of poverty, violence and fear in his powerful new work, Transformation: a Journey of the Soul’s Healing, at Artword Artbar, March 25 and 26, 2015, at 9:00 pm. An Artword Theatre production, directed by Ronald Weihs, Transformation combines dance, spoken word, soundscape and visual images, to present one man’s struggle to come to terms with his troubled Trinidad childhood and redeem the forgotten child inside him. The live musical soundscape is by Dale Morningstar, founder of the experimental blues-rock band, The Dinner is Ruined. Visual design is by Judith Sandiford.

Learie Mc Nicolls has been a key figure in the contemporary dance scene in Toronto since the 1980s. He has danced with Toronto Dance Theatre, Desrosiers Dance Theatre, Dancemakers, the National Ballet of Cuba, and his own company, Mythmakers. As a solo dancer, he has been exploring the combination of dance with spoken word, to create a powerful new form of theatrical presentation.  His Toronto production, Armour, took two Dora awards for Outstanding Choreography and Outstanding Performance.

A year ago, he moved to Hamilton, where he is devoting himself to help build the contemporary dance scene here. In May, 2014, he performed Resurrection at the Pearl Company, and choreographed the dances in Artword Theatre’s second production of James Street. He has created an ongoing series of showcase dance productions at Artword Artbar called Big Dance Little Stage, featuring dancers from Hamilton and Toronto over two nights. There have been four BDLS productions, June, September and November 2014, and February 2015. He has recently opened a dance studio downstairs at Artword Artbar.

Transformation takes the dance/spoken word paradigm to a new level. Ronald Weihs as director, and Judith Sandiford as designer, pushed Learie to incorporate methods based on their approach to theatre. Together, the three of them analyzed Learie’s poems from a theatrical point of view, finding characters and situations that needed to be brought to life. Learie was fine with this, because he is also an actor.

The three collaborators also drew on their experience with Big Dance Little Stage, where Judith Sandiford improvises with projected images and musicians create soundscapes to interact with dancers. It was through BDLS that they became acquainted with Dale Morningstar, who provides improvised music for his wife, dancer Megan English. In addition to his work as a musician, Dale is perhaps best-known as co-founder of The Gas Station Recording Studio, “the hub of the Canadian indie rock sound”, now located at Gibraltar Point on Toronto Island. He and Megan now live in Hamilton.


Review by Louise Noel-Ambrose March 25 2015: “Caribbean theatre at its best right here in ‪#‎HamOnt! Learie Mc Nicolls poetry and choreography conjured up childhood memories of amazing theatre I experienced in my country. It was refreshing to once again experience such a journey through your poetry and dance last night. Encore, Encore, Encore.


 

Behind the Kiln, 15 episodes from 2010 to 2012

Behind the Kiln, 15 episodes of dance, music and visual improvisations, from January 28 2010 to April 13 2012

What is Behind the Kiln? A project by Tanis Macarthur (dancer/choreographer) and Judith Sandiford (designer/live image improvisor), for on-going occasional evenings of improvised collaborations by dancers, musicians and a V-jay mixer. The idea is to pair up at least one dancer with at least one musician, and see what happens.
Why does Tanis call it Behind the Kiln? If you leave wood to dry behind the kiln, it warps into all kinds of strange unpredictable shapes. As Tanis puts it, “This event is all about the interaction between artists. It’s not about blowing the audience away with high kicks and spins and intricate choreography. It’s more about small delights. Subtle but powerful communication. and, of course, play. Experiential rather than sensationalistic.”

Behind the Kiln #1, Thursday January 28, 2010 at 8 pm, pwyc. The prototype. Performers confirmed so far for Jan 28 include Tanis Macarthur and Anne Milne (dance) and Judith Sandiford (projections), musicians Annie Shaw and Sarah Good on vocals and feedback loops, Orange McFarland on stand-up bass, Jennifer Lockman on piano.

Behind the Kiln #2, Saturday July 24, 2010 at 8 pm. $5. An evening of improvisations between dancers, musicians and artists. Collaborators include dancers Tanis Macarthur, Laura Kappel, Anne Milne,  musicians Eugene Martynec on laptops, Brian Ropcean on percussion, Orange McFarland on standup bass, Ron Weihs on fiddle, with Jeff Seffinga text and vocals, projections by Judith Sandiford on real-time video-mix software. Solos, duos, trios and all of the above.
Why is the evening called Behind the Kiln? ­ Tanis explains: “If you leave wood to dry behind the kiln, it warps into all kinds of strange unpredictable shapes.”  We did a prototype evening back in January and now we want to warp unpredictably again!

Behind The Kiln #3,  Thursday November 25, 2010  at 9:30, an evening of real-time collaborations between dancers, musicians and artists. (Photos by D.Delgado July 24 session.) Collaborators so far include dancers Tanis Macarthur,  Anne Milne,  musicians Orange McFarland (standup bass), Jennifer Lockman (piano), Tom Shea (guitar), Ron Weihs (fiddle), with projections by Judith Sandiford on real-time video-mix. Solos, duos, trios and all of the above.

Behind the Kiln #4, Thursday February 10, 2011 at 8 pm, pwyc , an evening of improvised dance, music and visuals. This one takes as its jumping-off point (could mean that literally, you never know with dancers) “Smoky Romance of the Femme Fatale“, an exhibition of vintage party dresses from the 50s to 80s curated by collector Andrea Liss (in the installation gallery through February). Dancers: Liz Bates, Grace Loney, Tanis Macarthur, Orange Mcfarland. Musicians: Jennifer Lockman, Tom Shea, Orange Mcfarland. Visuals: Judith Sandiford. Photo left Tanis and Grace.

Behind the Kiln #5, Thursday March 10, 2011, pwyc. Due to popular demand these are now monthly, second Thursday (day before Art Crawl). Hosted by dancer Tanis MacArthur and video jammer Judith Sandiford. Participants: Liz Bates, Maxine Heppner, Grace Loney, Jenny Rae, Jennifer Lockman, Orange McFarland, Matthew Van Allen, Tanis Macarthur, Justine Lanza, Alison Novak, Ron Weihs, Judith Sandiford.

Behind the Kiln #6, Thursday April 7, 2011 at 8 pm: Movers: Grace Loney, Liz Bates, Jenny Rae, Laura Kappel, Victoria Slager (Runaway Brides), Tanis MacArthur.
Sound makers: Jennifer Lockman (piano), Tom Shea (guitar/spoon/etc.), Orange McFarland (double bass), Jenny Rae (saw), Ron Weihs (violin), Gordon Odegaard (various). Video jammer: Judith Sandiford.

Behind the Kiln #7, Thursday May 12, 2011 at 8 pm, pwyc , thrilling and unpredictable  evenings of real-time collaborations between dancers, musicians and visual artists. Theme “EchOes” Participants: Sounds: Tom Shea, Jennifer Lockman, Orange Mcfarland, JonGordon Odegaard, Ron Weihs. Moves: Grace Loney, Jenny Rae, Liz Bates, Rose Gowling, Victoria Slager, Tanis Macarthur and a ‘maybe’ from our juggler Lacey Cameron. Visuals: Judith Sandiford. 

Behind the Kiln #8, Saturday June 11, 2011 at 8 pm, $5. We are delighted to have two of the best improvisers in Canada as our guests for a special “Behind the Kiln”. Eugene Martynec, laptop improviser, and Nobuo Kubota, sound poet, will kick us into very high gear. The rest of us will also be there to provide the movement, visuals and more sound. [Photo: Eugene Martynec, Nobuo Kubota, dancers Victoria Slager and Tanis MacArthur, plus a Steel Image by Shane Turcott manipulated by Judith Sandiford.]
Movers include Liz Bates, Tanis Macarthur, Jenny Rae, Victoria Slager. Sound from Jennifer Lockman piano, Tom Shea guitar, Orange McFarland upright bass.

Behind the Kiln #9, Thursday July 7, 2011 at 8 pm, pwyc. Thrilling and unpredictable  evenings of real-time collaborations between dancers, musicians and visual artists. Participants Tanis Macarthur, Liz Bates, Grace Loney, Victoria Slager, Jennifer Lockman, Tom Shea, Andrea Frolic & video-jammer Judith Sandiford. [Image: dancer Andrea Frolic]  Behind the Kiln — it’s thrilling, it’s unpredictable, it’s unexplainable. Be there!

Behind the Kiln #10, Thursday Sept 1, 2011, 8 pm, pwyc. “Last fling of summer.” Last minute craziness. Our wildly unpredictable multi-media collaborations between dancers, musicians and a video-jammer, making it all up on the spot. We’re filling a gap the only way we know how — having fun and making magic. Come and join us. Coordinated by dancer-choreographer Tanis MacArthur. Participants so far: movers Liz Bates, Carissa Bowerman and sister, Tanis Macarthur (maybes from Rose Gowling, Victoria Slager); sounders Jennifer Lockman, Ron Weihs, Tom Shea; visuals Judith Sandiford

Behind the Kiln #11, Thursday September 15, 2011 at 8 pm, pwyc.  Organized by dancer-choreographer Tanis MacArthur and video-jammer Judith Sandiford. Movers: Jenny Rae (via skype from Thailand), Liz Bates, Rose Gowling, Paula Grove, Tanis Macarthur. Sounders: Jennifer Lockman, Ron Weihs, Orange McFarland.   Image right: live realtime duet Jenny Rae (in Thailand) and Liz Bates (in Artword Artbar), via skype and a web-cam. Wow! We did it! (photo Anne Milne)

Behind the Kiln #12, “ghOulish and dreAry”, Thursday October 13, 2011 at 8 pm pwyc. Movers and sounders for our “ghOulish and dreAry” evening: Victoria Slager, Anne Milne, Jennifer Lockman, Tom Shea. Orange McFarland, Tanis Macarthur, Liz Bates, Ron Weihs, Judith Sandiford. [Image left Sept 15: duet Tanis MacArthur, Rose Gowling, plus live web-cam, photo Anne Milne]

Behind the Kiln #13, Thursday November 10, 2011 at 8 pm pwyc. Always thrilling and unpredictable, our  evenings of real-time collaborations between dancers, musicians and visual artists, are a treat. Organized by dancer-choreographer Tanis MacArthur and video-jammer Judith Sandiford. [We did not record the doings on November 10. Image here shows the whole space in February 2011.]

Behind the Kiln #14  + Trio Arjento, Friday, February 10, 2012, from 8 pm on… (James North Art Crawl). Behind the Kiln part one, dance and music improvised before your eyes, featuring Tanis Macarthur, with the improvising orchestra, Trio Arjento plus friends. Second set, a concert by Trio Arjento members Jennifer Lockman piano, Tom Shea guitar, Orange McFarland stand-up bass. Last set, Behind the Kiln part two, more real-time collaborations with guest musicians (including Angela Macaroni on flute) and dancer/movers including Jenny Rae on a visit from Thailand, live video-mix by Judith Sandiford.

Behind the Kiln #15, Friday April 13, 2012, 7 pm-9:15 (James North Art Crawl): Behind the Kiln multi-media dance, music, video collaborations in real-time. Dancers include:  Olga Barrios, Liz Bates, Laura Reid, Victoria Slager, Grace Loney, Tanis Macarthur. Musicians include: Brier Pomfret, Ronald Weihs. Video vee-jaying by Judith Sandiford.

Friday April 13, 2012 turned out to be the final episode of Behind the Kiln. Tanis went off to become an aerialist! And Ron and Judith were busy doing four plays at The Lyric (2012-2013) as well as running our live music venue. In 2013 we decided to make our cozy little Artword Artbar into a space for our theatre work, with black walls and a stage lighting hang. Our first fully staged theatre show at Artword Artbar was Scroogissimo! in December 2013.


In June 2014,  we started up a new series of dance and music collaborations we called Big Dance Little Stage, hosted and curated by dancer-choreographer Learie Mc Nicolls.