Posts Tagged ‘HPR’

Tweetup and Tono

January 29th, 2010 by Sophy Kors

I was standing in line for a coffee and heard what is by now a familiar refrain, “Calgary has no culture, no art, nothing to do,” from a guy (a Torontonian as it turns out) talking to a friend in line behind me.  As I had just spent the better part of a day reading posts about the High Performance Rodeo I couldn’t help but turn around and say (in a non-creepy way) that he should check out, a month-long festival that brings together different arts right here in Calgary.  He looked a little surprised by my friendliness (being helpful, not creepy I swear) and then … “Thanks”.

There is culture and art and great things to do in Calgary , but sometimes you have to look for them.  My Thursday night proved to me the variety you can find even when you’re not looking, just being open to suggestions. (more…)

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HPR - Blind Date Review

January 26th, 2010 by Wil Knoll

This review might be late, but so was her original date…

There’s a question sometimes about the value of a review for a show that only runs for a week. If you’re able to get a review up of opening night, sometimes the cast have not been able to settle in. If you get the review up a few days in, there’s little chance that the review would be able to influence people to see the show. But sometimes you just have to review a show so that it’s documented somewhere, as a valued piece of our shared history.

Rebecca Northan’s Blind Date is a gem, worthy of documentation and its place in this Year’s High Performance Rodeo. Rebecca Northan is gorgeous, aggressive, coy, heartfelt and sexy all rolled into one. It is balls to the wall theatre, with Northan throwing herself to the wolves every night for about an hour and a half or longer.

Sometimes though, Northan plays the wolf.

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HPR - Kawasaki Exit review

January 21st, 2010 by Wil Knoll

Most ears raised on English are able to pick up the subtlety of tone in linguistics, but the mouth is not trained too well to recreate the tones of foreign language due to a lazy tongue and flat accent. Japanese uses changes in pitch on syllables within words, which contrasts some Chinese languages which assign a tone to an entire word. Ask a westerner if there was a downstep on that second syllable or if the tone was a contour overall…

Kawasaki Exit has a design to it that helps reveal to the viewer nuances of tone in language, movement, and emotion that at first are not always clear. One Yellow Rabbit’s Kawasaki Exit at the High Performance Rodeo has done its homework and comes out feeling authentic and detailed. You have three more nights to see it. I recommend you do so.


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HPR - This is My City - Interview with Aviva Zimmerman

January 15th, 2010 by Wil Knoll

I’m unsure how to approach a few of the questions that I want to ask Aviva Zimmerman. They all surround her experience working on theatre with the homeless. But the issues seem to be hidden to me. I’m not sure how to start.

Zimmerman breaks the ice by letting me know I’m not alone in that feeling. She herself was not really exposed to it until moving to Toronto to pursue Acting at Ryerson. “It was very visible. Especially where I lived in the east end. I almost became desensitized to it because there was much so much of it.”

You would be hard pressed to describe her as desensitized now. Zimmerman is one of the Artist Mentors of This is Our City, a 12 month municipally funded outreach putting the tools of the theatre into the hands of our homeless population. The goal is to assist them in expressing identity, and creating discussion and awareness of their situation.

The literature that the project circulates is refreshing in it’s honesty. “This is My City does not pretend to be a solution to the homeless crisis. Rather, the project intends to enable homeless citizens the chance to speak on their own behalf.”

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High Performance Rodeo - Tubular Bells

January 11th, 2010 by Derrick Plotsky

This was my first time in the Theatre Junction Grand.  The theatre, as well as the upstairs lounge, made enough of an impression on me that I am anticipating any chance I get to go there again.  The seats are comfortable, the acoustics are good and it’s not too big and not too small.  It’s a great little theatre that’s really easy to get to.

The High Performance Rodeo is now 24 years old.  That means it has almost been around as long as I have.  This unfortunately was my first year attending.  I really wish I had gone other years because it was a great night.  (more…)

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HPR - 10-Minute Play Festival - Interview with Ryan Luhning

January 7th, 2010 by Wil Knoll

He likes theatre and zombies and stuff

“Once it hits tomorrow it’s go go go, but the lead up is pretty easy.”

Ryan Luhning seems calm compared to most of the recent conversations I’ve had with people about the High Performance Rodeo. As the time drew closer to today, e-mail’s would be replied to later and later. Some responses started showing 2 AM time stamps or worse, and the responses themselves started getting shorter.

But Luhning is willing to give me a bit more. He isn’t producing a show for the High Performance Rodeo per se. He and his team are orchestrating one of the Festivals within the Festival, the 10-Minute Play Festival. Ground Zero Theatre, which he has been the artistic director of since it’s birth 13 years ago, produces the annual challenge that leads to one great big party on Saturday night.

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HPR - Freak Show and Midway sampling

January 7th, 2010 by Wil Knoll

Tonight, tonight only, and it might be blurry…

I’ll make this one quick. If you’re interested in checking out the High Performance Rodeo at all, it might be worth checking out my uStream feed.

High Performance Sampling - My twitter feed will announce and provide links as well.

Tonight I have been invited by the curators of Midway and Freak Show to broadcast some select bits of their work. These shows only run this weekend, so if you like what you see you should make plans for Friday and Saturday night now. Midway is free but can get packed, and Freak Show has sold out it’s tours in years past. The uStream may not be high def, and it might get choppy, but it’s a bit of a view inside.

I might even be joined by Melanie Jones [@calamityjones], my partner in crime last year for our Freak Show piece, Frozen Garden.

I haven’t told her this yet, but I’ll be able to make it happen.

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HPR - The Shameless Plug…

January 7th, 2010 by Wil Knoll

I’ll take them where I can get them…

This time last year I was part of Freak Show, Swallow-A-Bicycle’s contribution to One Yellow Rabbit’s High Performance Rodeo. I was pulled into a number at the last moment, handed a megaphone and told to climb to the highest point accessible on the top of The Epcor Center. Outside. In the snow. In the cold. In the dark. Did I mention the snow?

It was awesome.

I’m not able to yell at you people this year (and yelling at people through a Megaphone is awesome fun) because unfortunately I’m not part of Freak Show. I know. It makes me sad also. I haven’t seen my Megaphone in almost a year. I called him “Titan”. Happiness is a loud Megaphone…

But I do have a part to play in the High Performance Rodeo. Here’s two more shows you should check out, Swallow-A-Bycicles Freak Show, and Ground Zero Theatre’s 10 Minute Play festival.


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