Crystal Pite Interview at the Globe & Mail Mar 16, 2016
“...We have to think about how this is all going to go in the future, but I love being with the show, I love touring, I love seeing the performances and experiencing the show with an audience around me,” said Pite from Ottawa this week, where two nights at the National Arts Centre (where she is associate dance artist) kick off an international tour of Betroffenheit. “The actual performance doesn’t exist, right, unless it’s actually being performed. So I like to be there [when] it actually comes to life and exists; I like to be there to witness it with the audience and to be part of that ritual, to be part of that moment.”
by Tessa Hulls
Part of the fun of lugging total strangers to On the Boards is that I get a dual surprise: I never know what to expect of either the show OR the person I'm about to meet. Awren Schwartz, my stranger for Dana Michel's Yellow Towel, did something awesomely unexpected and arrived at our platonic date with presents. They brought me a mammal-themed mix tape (which I am listening to right now, thank you; I don't think I've been given a mix tape since people were freaking out about Y2K) recorded over a copy of Charlton Heston's The Word, and a copy of the first issue of their zine, Unicorn Party.
Awren moved from North Carolina to Seattle–well, to Kenmore; they work as a cook for Bastyr and deeply loathe the idea of a mandatory long car commute, so opted to live close to work—six months ago because they “hate winter” and are interested in ecology and plants and trees. But they've been decidedly unimpressed with Seattle, finding it “...
by Shontina Vernon
Where am I in this?
She is in it for herself.
That’s not a bad thing.
I almost didn’t write this post. I sort of left the theatre after Dana’s Michel’s YELLOW TOWEL wanting to rid myself of the experience of having seen it. Okay, maybe that’s dramatic. I wanted to un-see it in the presence of those I’d seen it with (preposition left here intentionally). Living in Seattle for me has been such a steady uncomfortable descent into a realm of whiteness that is generally eschewed where I’m from, that I try to ignore that gaze as much as possible in the realm of my work and imagination. I have a visceral, nauseous response to whiteness encroaching on my storytelling space. I feel it like fight or flight, for which usually I lean into the latter. “Why is it...
by Joyce S.C. Liao
Joyce Liao is a post-disciplinary artist from Seattle, often using improvised and choreographed movement, writing, videos or visual images as her creative media. This piece of writing is a reflection of the story woven in her mind while watching the performance.
Yellow Towel was a very sad piece to experience. There was no way to exit. The stage was white - so white that it was brighter than the backdrop of a million-dollar MTV showroom, but you knew that it happened in the corner of a house of poverty and substance addition, where the parents barely made enough money to feed their kids. They may be addicted to alcohol, cocaine or other kinds of drugs; the woman you saw on the stage could be a crack baby - or that her nervous system was perhaps damaged from excessive alcohol consumption; her entire body was tremulous, convulsive, spastic and distorted; it took her...
The one-person show emerges from a poem Canadian dancer and former marketing executive Michel wrote as an exercise during a dance class. The poem's about her hair, and, according to press materials, it recalls a time when, as a child, Michel would "drape a yellow towel on her head to emulate the blond girls at school."
In the show, Michel embodies a character who wants to accomplish pretty mundane, domestic tasks: eat, drink, cook, clean, play jams and dance like nobody's watching. But none of that's easy. When she speaks she cycles through...
Familiar Mar 4, 2016
by Dylan Ward
Coming out of tonights performacne of "Yellow Towel" all I can think is that I saw things that were familiar, but not to my life. There's a specific separation between me and the person I saw or might of seen onstage (the character) that I simultaneously wanted to be empathetic towards but never in the same situation.
What is to be done when you recognize something, or think you do?
Do you call it out? Do you try to help?
We might be tempted to say this speaks volumes, but what are we saying to ourselves?
In a sense, we always see ourselves when we watch a character; they are made from the threads of recognition we have; indeed the character of anyone is the same. The person we see we see because we recognize them to be similar to someone else, reinforcing who you thought they might be, and making the whole situation dangerously, and speedily inaccurate.
So what is to be done?