Beginnings, I think, are challenging. Arrivals less so. Transportation when you don’t drive: definitely challenging.
I arrived in Lethbridge Friday night, regrettably missing Francis O’Shaughnessy’s Performative Haiku: Silk Landscape. Though I didn’t miss the remaining ephemeral traces of it. Theatre Outré,an alternative theatre space in Lethbridge, was littered with glittering remnants of O’Shaughnessy’s performance. I’m hoping to snag someone who did see this piece to share their thoughts on the blog in the future – as a verbalized summation by Jenna Swift and a few quick glances at cellphone pics have me certain that this was the sort of performance not to be missed.
Slipping quietly into the Theatre Outré’s space, I found myself in the midst of a crowd enraptured by Nomad’s Land, a performance across a variety of media by Alberto Kurapel. One of the many incredible indigenous artists that I’m stoked to see in M:ST 7’s line-up. For me, even what I caught of this piece was moving. Kurapel’s emotional performance seemed to exist at the intersection of culture, history, and present day experiences – the reality of contemporary indigenous life. Through the use of his voice and props, Kurapel communicated across language barriers. I found myself mesmerized watching him, even as members of the crowd backed away to avoid being splashed as the performance neared its conclusion. Having arrived too late to see the performance in it’s entirety, I’m eagerly looking forward to it’s second iteration on October 7 at theWest Village Theatre in Calgary. (P.S. I’m mentioning this because you should obviously be there too.)
Friday night concluded with the futuristic sounding performance, Sleeper by Instant Places (Laura Kavanaugh and Ian Birse). Described as travelling “to a nearly distant future in which all communication takes place through synaesthetic connections between images and sound,” the piece shifted between a lighter, at times even playful sound and raspy wordless but voice-like moments reminiscent of a radio signal that can’t quite connect. Created in the moment through the parameters and constraints of their purpose-built hardware/software, this performance promises to morph with each iteration (the next being at TRUCK gallery, October 7!).
One of the best things about a festival is the socializing and community that naturally comes with it, and I concluded Friday night over a snack and drink with many of the artists that were in Lethbridge, as well as several new and familiar friends.