Captivating the Cathartic

by Doug Hoyer

On Duplex by Mile Zero Dance

Last night I went to see “Duplex” and “Thank You, You’re Not Welcome” at the Realtors Expanse Movement Arts Festival.

I wasn’t sure of what to expect with either performance, but was intrigued by the simple, minimal set that Duplex had; two armchairs, two lamps and a slide projector.

On Duplex by Mile Zero Dance

The themes of duality were ripe, as my focus was constantly shifting from Gerry Morita to Lin Snelling.  With the drone-based soundtrack supplied by Shawn Pinchbeck and the augmented visual projections of Patrick Ares-Pilon constantly moving in and out of focus, a definite creepy feeling of entrapment and repetition saturated the performance.  Quite intense!
Then came “Thank You, You’re Not Welcome,” featuring Noam Gagnon.

On Thank you, you're not Welcome by Noam Gagnon of Compagnie Vision Selective

From the focus on his physical body, to a narrative that was heartbreakingly contrasted with the tale of “the Happy Prince,” Noam’s performance was extremely captivating and cathartic.  As the dance ended, my partner and I had to wait a few more moments before leaving; letting the whole piece sink in.  Noam and his work demonstrated that through the pain and darkness of many lives, the dark places is often where beauty emerges from.

The Art of Communication

by festival blogger Tessa Stamp

It is such an important part of the Expanse Festival and always a fresh treat to experience the performances in the local program.  The two selections this year display an essence to the performance of dance and a commitment to our goal as movement performers to communicate.  Communication is always the goal…to say something without words, to be heard in a movement and to feel the message.

m.a.w. left me with an overwhelming feeling of nostalgia, fragmented memories and the struggle to communicate them and for the two onstage to struggle to remember them together.

This Displace and its exploration of the behavior of animals and the personification of their movement left me inevitably examining how we relate to stimulus in our environment.  The simple and beautiful lighting, and clearly pointed movement helped to communicate the basic action/reaction and repetitive cycles that clearly functioned as the motivations of animal behavior.

Thank you dancers for such beautiful offerings to interpret.

Scenes from the FreshWorks Cabaret

We kicked off this year’s fest by throwing a classic cabaret with a twist: some of Edmonton’s leading artists were invited to physically interpret a classic work of their choosing. From the Bible to The Ugly Duckling to Back to the Future, it was a night of surprising performance fun! Big thanks to our artists, production team and most of all our audience for making it a great night. All photos care of our talented festival photog Marc J. Chalifoux.

Movement artist Kate Stashko

Movement artist Kate Stashko | Photo by Marc J. Chalifoux.

Expanse 2012: The Clown Bible

The Clown Bible | Photo by Marc J. Chalifoux

Expanse 2012: The Ugly Duckling

Krisi Hansen as The Ugly Duckling | Photo by Marc J. Chalifoux

Expanse 2012: Todd Janes

Artist Todd Janes | Photo by Marc J. Chalifoux

Expanse 2012: Kristine Nutting

Artist Kristine Nutting | Photo by Marc J. Chalifoux

Expanse 2012: Your Production Team

Your 2012 Expanse Production Team | Photo by Marc J. Chalifoux

The 2012 Realtors Expanse Movement Arts Festival

An electric four-day celebration of art-in-motion, The 2012 Realtors Expanse Movement Arts Festival invites you to be moved by the power of high-velocity body made art. This action packed festival brings you an assortment of performances, workshops, installations and parties. Move and be moved.

Passes are available through Arts at the Barns:
Single: $15
Day pass [Wed., Thu. or Fri.]: $25
Day pass [Saturday]: $35
Festival pass: $70

Featuring performances by:

Noam Gagnon of Compangnie Vision Selective in “Thank you, You’re not Welcome
Dean Bareham of Green Fools Theatre in “Teddy and the Black Dog”
Mile Zero Dance in “Duplex”


Kelsie Acton, David Van Belle, Amber Bissonnette, Catch the Keys Productions, Jamie Cavanagh, Mariel Day, Vincent Forcier, Ainsley Hillyard, Cole Humeny, Todd Janes, Wally Kubanek, Richard Lee, Ariane Mahryke Lemire, Anastasia Maywood, Jonathan Maywood, Kristine Nutting, Joëlle Préfontaine, Andrew Ritchie, Trevor Schmidt , Alida Nyquist-Schultz, Kate Stashko, Jon Lachlan Stewart, Monica Strehlke, Surreal SoReal Theatre, Jeannie Vanderkerkoff, Raena Waddell, Nikolai Witschl & Laryssa Yanchak

Including Good Women Dance Society Masterclasses with David Van Belle, Dean Bareham, Sylvain Emard, Noam Gagnon.

Including Good Women Dance Society Masterclasses with David Van Belle, Dean Bareham, Sylvain Emard, Noam Gagnon.

$20 for general public/festival pass holders
$60 if they register for all four
$10 for festival artists
$30 if festival artists register for all four

Please contact Good Women Dance Society at or visit Arts at the Barns to register.

Expanse at a Glance

Time Event Location
Wednesday, March 7
9:00pm FreshWorks Cabaret (Various Artists) Westbury Lobby
Thursday, March 8
10:00am Masterclass: David Van Belle Studio A
7:30pm Local Program
(Wally Kubanek & Ainsley Hillyard)
Westbury Theatre
9:00pm Teddy and the Black Dog
(Dean Bareham of Green Fools Theatre)
Westbury Theatre
10:00pm Meet the Artist* Westbury Lobby
Friday, March 9
10:00am Clowning Masterclass: Dean Bareham Studio A
2:00pm Family Friendly Matinee*
(Wally Kubanek & Ainsley Hillyard)
8:00pm Local Program
(Wally Kubanek & Ainsley Hillyard)
Westbury Theatre
9:30pm Duplex (Mile Zero Dance)
Thank you, you’re not welcome
(Noam Gagnon of Compagnie Selective)
Westbury Theatre
Saturday, March 10
10:00am Masterclass: Sylvain Emard Westbury Theatre
12:00pm Masterclass: Noam Gagnon Westbury Theatre
7:00pm Studio Showing
(Catch the Keys Productions, Anastasia Maywood & Surreal SoReal Theatre)
Westbury Theatre
8:30pm Teddy and The Black Dog
(Dean Bareham of Green Fools Theatre)
Westbury Theatre
10:00pm Duplex (Mile Zero Dance)
Thank you, you’re not welcome
(Noam Gagnon of Compagnie Selective)
Westbury Theatre
11:00pm Meet the Artists & Closing Party featuring Glove Box* Westbury Lobby & Theatre

*Free Events!

Dancing with the Heart

– by Brooke Leifso

I had the fortunate pleasure of seeing an excerpt of this piece a few weeks ago at “The Other Happening”. I’m quite in love with the concept:  connection/disconnection and the direct parallel to live string instruments on stage; all interacting to make a poignant piece of art. The fragmented music, combinations of musicans/instruments and the general concept are admirable and ambitious. I’ve always had a major crush on the cello but this piece is making me also have a love for the harp. The most poignant memory is the dancers pulling string through the harp and double bass, creating a space, creating harmony and definition.

Yet, at times there was an unsettling dissonance between music and body. I found myself wondering where the root of the piece was, what was the driver and heart? At times the music was legato, still and delicate, but the bodies and maybe minds, were elsewhere. The dancers did not appear to be dancing or feeling the subtlety of the music but rather concentrating on their bodies and the technical elements and set choreography. It reminded me of Argentinean Tango; where younger dancers are the most technical but carry no heart. The heart, passion and love associated with the Tango comes with age. The young dancers are trying to get all the right moves but miss the beat and the emotional connection that makes Tango or any dance piece truly magical.

When Good Women got it and fully connected with the music and idea; it was fantastic and moving. You could see bold choices. This made it all worth while.

In The Roxy Lobby

– photos by Marc J Chalifoux Photography

One Night Stand

– photos by Marc J Chalifoux Photography