“being unobserved is a cessation of expectation…and the opportunity for a rebirth, for negotiating life on completely different terms …the chance for a whole new show…”
Unobserved is Walking Bear Productions’ latest solo dance theatre work; an ongoing experiment in solo dance improvisation, delving deep into the nature of performance, and the audience-performer relationship.
Paradise is Jagged
"Even in the suffering, there was grace."
Original, evening-length, one-person multi-media dance drama (62-minutes). Premiered June 29th, 2013, at ArtSpring on Salt Spring Island, B.C. Movement, dance, words, and images combine to create a charged, rich, and beautiful performance landscape. Five distinct and memorable scenes create surprising connections between three seemingly disparate legacies of recent history---the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries’ many wars; the AIDS epidemic; and the crisis of abuse in the Catholic church. More a poem than a historical treatise, Paradise is Jagged is concerned with recreating in real time the emotional force of the events represented, and in so doing offering a surprising and unusual take on these almost cliché-level cultural crises.The performance makes use of familiar images and music---iconic photos everyone has seen, songs so familiar they evoke a gut-level response in most people. These shards of culture serve as a common reference point---a way of constellating the collective experience of fear, despair, shame and loss at the heart of these historical particulars. That sets the play up to be able to deliver a meaningful message about hope---not empty rainbows and sunshine hope, but hope that comes out of the rubble.Most of the text and choreography are original, with the exception of some excerpts of poems by Ezra Pound, and an interpretation of Maurice Bejart’s iconic Bolero. The original audio-visual track features popular music, with unexpected sound effects, and artful but simple use of projected images and video.
Original solo multi-media theatre/performance work, adaptable to a variety of indoor and outdoor sight-specific settings. 15 minutes. Based on a scene from Paradise is Jagged. A guilty priest struggles to come to terms with his sins, while old photos of residential schools interrupt the stain-glass window projection that serves as his church. A powerfully delivered monologue, written and performed by Kristen, doesn’t let anyone off the hook. Subtle movement and multi-media elements serve to deepen the disturbing mystique. Can be performed anywhere a digital projector can be set up---to audiences as small as a handful and as large as a crowd.
"Through all the dirt and struggle, there is also this: freedom."
Primordial. 35 minutes. A solo dance work about life’s strange march (crawl) from the primordial ooze to our current (somewhat precarious) experiment with verticality. Dance moves through distinct emotional states echoing the evolution of life, the reach for the transcendent, the rise of human ego, and the incessant backward pull to the "slime from which we came"---a familiar place to return to as we continue to evolve. Set to the music of Peter Gabriel’s Passion of the Christ. Exciting lighting and visual effects created during a Creative Residency at ArtSpring in June 2015. Premiered on July 4, 2015, at ArtSpring on Salt Spring Island.
Works in Progress
“being unobserved is a cessation of expectation…and the opportunity for a rebirth, for negotiating life on completely different terms …the chance for a whole new show…” ---David Westcott
“to celebrate the unobserved is to celebrate the quiet glory of life itself…not in its noteworthy moments, but in the moments of private sorrow and private joy that go for the most part…unobserved” ---Kristen Lewis
An evolving mode of improvised dance performance with small, invited audiences, who witness the performance in small, intimate, studio settings. First public showing: Oct. 22, on Salt Spring Island, made possible through the generous support of a Salt Spring Arts Council project grant.
“Today I would surely like to spare your life, my noble friend…but I cannot.”
An evening-length multi-media solo play/dance drama. Premiere set for fall 2017. The strange triangular relationship between a Bullfighter, a Flamenco Dancer, and a Bull, serves as a framework for taking a sensuous, and uncompromising look at love, passion, sacrifice, destiny/fate---and the enduringly strange relationship between man, woman, and beast. All the odder because the Bullfighter and the Flamenco Dancer are played by the same actor/dancer. Will feature significant film components.
“And all your uncried tears will be turned to stone, then it is our Grace you will seek.”
Evening-length play/performance installation involving four scenes that rotate on a platform. Currently in early-creation phase. Through an innovative mix of traditional songs and story-telling, two performers bring to life old truths about the First Nations way of life and world-view.