Monday, December 28, 2009



:: note :: ... walking by the river encountered a jogger with dog ... the innocent eyes & curious gaze captivated me ... " Wish I were a dog", I exclaimed ... partner responded "You are - You are!" ... finally found myself ...

Sunday, December 27, 2009


He turned to jade and left the world.
He danced death outside to no secret.

He closed his blind eyes tightly shut
and invited some close friends over.

The friends lost their way somewhere.
They reappeared inside the deep dark.

Since his soul snapped and sunk,
they held a magnifying glass inches away.

:: note :: ... a pillaged poem ... Strangers by Annie Finch ...

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


On a hot summer day, a country in mourning, we each went our way to the very end.

Awaiting her return, the day after winter solstice, anticipating footprints in the snow I close my eyes to perceive the airport kiss which like vapour disappears forever illusive.

Have just replaced the calendar, surprised that 1998 matches 2010, acknowledge the ignorance of time, comforted by the ignorance, a better part of beauty, in the briefest of times charms the magic of the moment.

Are we sharp-witted fools sacrificing cold blooded existence to a studied cultural fanaticism, artists out of desperation barricading ourselves from catastrophe, self-disciplined martyrs ruthlessly pursuing danger, exploiting the chance, the last compassionate chance towards a fatal & ambitious ideal nonsense.

The mirror reflects the look of a wild man. Switch on the coloured festive lights as a beacon. How will she look? You don't have to be with a person in order to feel bound to them as to no other. Cross the threshold wondering whether cross-border narratives overwhelm absurd laughter to denounce, scandalize and shake the chains of passionate ambivalence with unassuaged anger dissolving into muckraking cathartic attacks.

Our desires are only realized when we are totally concentrated. Wait out the intense devilish curiosity to the point of life ability exhaustion. You awoke ridiculously early & sleep pulls at the eyelids of despair unable to look through them to give thoughts free rein.

Into the cold dark night, later than expected, rejoicing the wonder of our love till the very end.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Skit Skit

The Urban Dictionary defines skit skit: "to cum or to want to be cummed on by either sex" and yet SKIT SKIT is a Saskatoon, Saskatchewan-based sketch comedy troupe composed (this time round) of Ashton Francis, Kristen Holfeuer, Matthew Keyes, Ed Mendez and Tara Schoonbaert.

This wonderfully skilled group last performed @ The Refinery December 17, 18 & 19th. Cam Fuller of The StarPhoenix wrote they are "a big hit with the audience" & their Facebook page affirms this. No small feat in a genre that puts a high premium on novelty.

A mix of video clips around Heritage Minutes & Sexy Singles flows seamlessly into live SNL type sketches boldly & exuberantly performed at a carefully crafted pace. The writing is paradoxically broad & concise at its best when they follow the comedy edge of making serious stuff humorous. Where the troupe shines most are their provocations at the arts. Matthew Keyes does a priceless Nichelback parody, Tara Schoonbaert's opening "Welcome" sketch playfully pricks the pompous, pretentiousness of the "rich" modern theatre and the whole ensemble closes the evening with a delightful rendition of So Long, Farewell, Aufweidersehen, Goodbye from The Sound of Music.

Here lies the rub. Anne Bogart writes in and then you act:
"The classic recipe for effective theater is threefold: 1) you need something to say; 2) you need technique; and 3) you need passion."
Skit Skit are passionate & accomplished actor/writer/directors. I invite them to reflect more on what their material may have to say for therein comes greatness - continue to make us laugh & maybe cry but don't forget we need to learn with work that will disarm with laughter and with wit impregnate. Skit Skit.

:: note :: ... did miss the presence of a couple of their founding members ... & from my favourite radio comedy (no longer) show Dead Dog Cafe: stay calm, be brave wait for the signs and leave the good news alone ...

Wednesday, December 02, 2009


With warning
as lightning heralds thunder
love rumbles my heart.

Textwork is a practice, not a product.

It is praxis, part and parcel of the critique of the everyday creative life act.
It invites something out of nothing. A source.

TextwUrk is not a metaphor, not metaphorical. It is creative work. A passion.

It exists precisely in the obdurate interstice between body and voice.
It exists in the arrow - the connection. It is memory. It is invisible to illuminate.

It is not a set of procedures or perceptions. It is the crisis noise in the system.
It is not the encapsulation or object of the crisis noise or the system.

It is continuous; it is parasitic; it is thetic. It seeks obstacle.

It is of no interest except as cultural residue: it is of great interest to the actor's studies.

It is nothing more than the continuous reification, territorialization and rendering of the
actor's work/etude - as if the etude were always already cleansed, available for the taking -
as if the etude were already transformed into living action.

Textwrk is demonstrative, a demonstrative fragment, an experiment, partial-inscription,
partial-object, the automatic prior to its presentation, the linguistic kernel of the pre-linguistic.
TexTwork is the thetic, the gestural of the demonstrative.

It is the gesture that never quite takes. It is the noise inherent in the gestural.

To TextWork is not to produce text; it is to create a study on the pre-level of living action;
the irreversible spew of cellular automata is TextwOrk, all the better if the rules of vibration,
support, range, position, character, voice and repetition are noisy.

The cultural production of tEXtwork abjures intensifications, strange attractors & descriptions
such as this. The hunt and reception of impulse & association is TextworK. Creators on the edge
are circumscribed by textwork. Malfunctioned psychoanalytics & scatologies are dissolute,
partial, always already incomplete: the differend is Textwork.

Be wary of the violence of the legible text. Beware the metaphor which institutionalizes,
the text which defines, the text of positivities, not negations, the circumscribing text,
the inscribing text; beware of the producers and institutions of these texts, whose stake
is in hardening of definitions, control, capital, slaughter: Texts slaughter.

Textwork slaughters texts.

:: note ::. ... used What is Codework? as template for this statement towards What is Textwork ... apologies to Alan Sondheim |sondheim {AT}| (Tue, 16 May 2006 08:46:55 -0400 (EDT)) ...

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Within the Penumbra

Within the Penumbra By F. D. Schultz

Most of what you see tonight is in the shadow, in silhouette, in twilight, dawn ... within the Penumbra. Most of life happens as T.S. Eliot writes in "The Hollow Men":
"Between the conception / And the creation
Between the emotion / And the response
Falls the Shadow / Life is very long"

We yearn for freedom. The freedom to seek the truth though truth is never what it seems. Conceived in a world of order, rules and laws we choose between friendship & betrayal, between security and adventure, between the authorities of love & wrath into hope & despair ... within the Pneumbra.

Follow the cast & playwright caught in the eternal mysterious spirit world in the time of Pandora's Box on a journey towards that moment where nothing is left but to stand face to face in affirmation or regret ... yes or no ... within the Pnuembra.

Time present and time past / Are both perhaps present in time future,
And time future contained in time past. / If all time is eternally present
All time is unredeemable.
(No. 1 of 'Four Quartets')

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Cold outside

Dreamt a delightful dream last night; today received word from my beloved.
Her voice a hundred times over rested on my chest; I fell asleep.
The heart ecstatic at being ever so pressed warmed the cold, grey afternoon.

- See: Writings

:: note :: ... inspired by 30 Sijo Poems translated by Chung Chong-Wha ...

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

soon ... eventually

Eventually she stopped death outside. Never again would they add pillows to prop up her misunderstandings. No more negativity. Who had been more noble? Firmly rooted to the earth, one must act. I will transcend this way, where I lie, a miraculous mystery.

- See: Writings

:: note :: ... a counterpoint to this soon by Crag Hill ... find this type of juxtaposition/playing fun ... hope it doesn't offend ...

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Seoul Writings III

1. Doksu To Labor Pomp & Protest

We catch the last moments of the splendid changing of the guards at Doksu Palace. Colourful flags of Dragon & Phoenix snap in the procession.

Protesters camp outside city hall while bored police stand ready with sheilds.A long white proclamation banner heralds discontent.

From the human rights office hangs a stark multi-storied banner demanding the Premier fulfill his election promise to make Seoul more handicapped accessible.

A stately building surrounded by wooden benches & a spacious courtyard is the Ministry of Labor. Two mythical beasts guard the entrance & Harubang watches over the parkade.

The gorgeous night sky illuminates the tranquil clouds. For the sake of memory peace reigns for all the silhouetted foot soldiers of the night.

2. Insects on Line 6.

Have you ever had a huge snake wrap itself around you or held a blue silvered beetle in your hand or watch a gecko climb up your arm. I have and wonder how the snake, beetle & gecko feel. Did they feel muscles tighten & tense or a tickling of the skin or a slight moisture? Would they ask if I am rich or do I miss steak? Do they have dreams? Would they like to be a broadcaster or a scientist? Would they smile & wave goodbye from a crowded Metro car. They did.

3. Pansori

Climbing four floors of sweat shops we enter a new world on the final fifth floor. Unfolding is a House Concert sposored by Korea Seodosori Music Research & Preserve, Inc. Ass. Traditional drums and instruments are randomly displayed. A collection of pots fills the walls of one side wing & chests, hats, & traditioal furniture are displayed In the other side wing. The main room is open with a floral screen backdrop surrounded by ninety floor chairs. We are in a living shrine. A twelve year old girl begins the concert. Her intense concentration, precise practised fan gestures & gently forming tonseong cry bring tears to my eyes - this is the river of culture. The evening is precious. The flow between performer, drummer & audience is a joyous exchange of focus, laughter, clapping, sing-a- long & rapture. A considerable display of technique transforms into the direct energy of sharing probing the space where tradition & the intensely private artist associations broaden into meditations on the everlasting themes of the human condition - love, life & death.

4. Pyeongchon / Elder Brother

A ride to the outskirts of Seoul exposes the relentless pace of the inhabitants of this metropolis. At Anyang we are met with a unique blend of casual, quiet dignity & respect. The bamboo rice meal & the various delicate seafood dishes suits the occassion. Afterwards, as is my habit, I gaze intently outside the taxi & Metro windows like a knife cutting through water (possibly to clean the knife) searching to discipher a code for this inner disarray & carefully inspect domains of the frozen heart. I grind my teeth on the ten thousand poem stones, as is my habit.

"We all wish
to become something.
You to me and I to you
wish to become an unforgettable gaze."
- from Flower by Kim Chun-Su (trans. by Kim Jong-Gil)

5. Yumyeongsan I

Night drive on the highways winding to the top. Backtrack as pavement crumbles & collapses. It is easy to backtrack with a will to meet. Tents on tents jostle for space like Metro passengers at rush hour. Walking the path four seek refuge. We stir the water with rocks splashing our desires. We squat as patient companion frogs full of anticipation. We plant seeds guided by the forest caretaker's soft words. We call for good spirits through blades of grass. We float our dreams of innocence in shallow stream pools. At night we dream our dreams of experience. The future swings lightly.

6. Yumyeongsan II

Wake up. Wake up sounds the plaintive cry. It is time to run under the bridge. Back & forth a hundred times they cross like an exorcist expelling hungry ghosts. The water is cold & the deep valleys catch the wind. Later the Shaman teacher laughs & sings for joy. He is happy to be surrouded by friends. We drink to each others prosperity.

7. Seoul Plaza

Love is a poweful addiction. I danced with the National Changgeuk Company of Korea. A moment in their performance of 'Romeo & Juliet' actors move out into the audience to gather participants for the festival where the two lovers first meet. As sky meets earth I spread my arms like wings to lightly tread the grass. Then make a bridge for a star crossed lover to cross - she smiles. The night lights of the sky scrapers carve a plaza of Pansori tragedy Tear the sheet of life to feel the division. For whom do we weep?

8. Children's Grand Park / Youra

The splendour of youth. Carefree enthusiasm with knowing sensibilities. Ride life to the extreme. Don't stop. Repeat the good times. Make friends. Say yes to your guardians. Play hard, play serious, play fun & play often. Have dreams. Ask questions but more importantly watch closely. Look for the new. Remember the old. Help each other. Make today the best day of your life.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Seoul Writings II

Gyeongbok Palace

Six-Fold Screen of the Sun, Moon and Five Peaks.
Eight-Fold Screen of Peonies and Rocks.
Ten-Fold Screen of Shelves Full of Books.
Faint sounds of Royal Court Music dispell past affairs of guilt & torment like visionary footsteps echoing in the cavernous hollow Palace building new consciousness of the old.

Seonyu Island

Frogs random croaking tickles the strolling couples amourous desires.
Gentle waterfalls soothe the weight of time wrinkles on faces of three older woman friends.
Men gamble & fish freely in the wind playing to catch treasures of leisure.
We descend steps disappearing into the Han under the arced bridge sweeping all cares to the warm night sky on heavenly swings.

Seowon Temple in Maputo

Climb to the top
not to look down
or out over
but look on
the golden hand.

Prayer gesture
Imploring tomorrow
for yesterday's gratitude.

I saw the newsroom today.
What a lucky man.

Odusan Unification Observatory

At the bottom of the escalater waits a quiet figure. He will share his home & guide us through ancestral rites with hopes & desires of future respect & dignity.

We peer across the golden face of Buddha & the serene Imjin river to distant lands - "Are you happy?" she asks. Please sing.

Missed at Gangseo

Auntie while looking at photos laughed so hard her belly button fell off.

Neice grabbed it & threw it high behind her. A fly flew after it but her uncle got the belly button first - unfotunately he swallowed the fly.

Not even all the tricks, dances, drumming and spectacle of the evening airirang party could release the fly.
They even ate sweet cake but nothing worked.

Finally Uncle offered niece the top cherry thinking it to be most desireable. Biting into the sour cherry neice squeezed her face so tight her belly button shot out & the fly flew out of uncle to catch neice's belly button but missed.
Instead it bounced into Auntie.

Niece grabbed Auntie's navel from uncle's pocket & pushed it onto herself. Everyone was happy even though Neice & Auntie switched belly buttons.

Foot of Daemosan / Ping pong

The other you face is a cautious player who accepts your inexperience for the art of the beginner is finding the rhythm of action in the space between. Allow the ball or person to simply come & meet.

We wander late along Yangjae stream the air fresh from seeping water of the rainy season floods. Catching the last metro, not all the way home we spill out into the Saturday night crush & walk till tiredness.

Paths never end. We must choose our distance & open to the space between knowing inevitably the journey chooses us.


Carved into the rock of a public fountain at Taehakno are some masks of Samdaenori like some forgotten shrine - the water has run dry. Only the old & destitute stop to rest. The statue of commerated Korean patriot Kim Sang Ok stands guard in the park.

Cotton candy, shiny trinkets, hat sellers, blaring music, park buskers & posters for the latest international glittzy musicals are the distractions of today.
We escape the sudden rain to sip on green tea feeling the past abandoned.

Water flows. "... tears like the vaporous steam forming on a cooling glass well up in my eyes." (Yi Sang from Child)


An older couple, young of spirit, runs the neighbourhood - shop. The tiny space, barely large enough for three, bursts with chaotic order.

They ply their trade bridging the past with the modern midst fading certificates, ancient carving tools, an old computer and copier, wooden shelves cluttered with papers, a phone with oversize buttons, a wooden filing cabinent & a case filled with various brands of cigarettes which seem to be the only money making part of their business.

Our first visit was to obtain a family seal. A cordial welcome accompanied with smiles, politeness & curiosity made for a pleasant meeting of traditional restraint.

The second visit required scanning documents onto a memory stick. I watched as the man skillfully worked an elderly woman's seal teaching her how to twist & pull the top with a joke & a laugh.

The women meanwhile worked with careful efficiency and concentration on the computer without the slightest betrayal that this technology may be new for her. She presented us with juice as we waited. A few more personal exchanges lifted the formality to familiarity.

One muggy evening returning home at days end our paths crossed on the street. We bowed to each other with genuine smiles of recognition.

The third visit was a late night visit to make copies. An outbreak of animated discussion transformed into an english lesson. The man was alone. Supper was cooking on the hotplate. He shoved it underneath the shelf apologizing for the smell explaining times were tough and ordering food everyday was now impossible. He shifted handfuls of paper off the copier and engaged in playful banter.

Before I knew it he was searching through the filing cabinet drawers pulling out his english folder. The top of his notebook read "Welcome to our English class." He was attending the free language class offered by the community.

He peppered my wife with questions pointing to phrases, asking for help and finally turned to me requesting to hear a native speakers inflection. He laboriously repeated over & over: "Everything demands some work." He stumbled on the 's' & slurred the words but I marvelled at his persistence.

We suggested he use this phrase while encouraging his son who was studying hard to switch to a higher status university for his final fourth year.

The woman arrived. Surveying the scene she reached into a hidden fridge bidding us quite insistently to accept a bag full of seasonal melons. Eventually we paid a nominal fee for the copies. As we left both of them suggested we come whenever we like even if we have no work.

Embrdded In this city of high octane energy & ambition is a timeless oasis.

" I'll go back to heaven again.
At the end of my outing to this beautiful world
I'll go back and say: that was beautiful. . . . "
- Ch'õn Sang-Pyõng

(translated from the Koean by Brother Anthony of Taizė)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Seoul writings

Dangsan: Day One

the green & wood
embrace & edge
tongues of form
reach for expectant joy

Dangsan: Skies open

Hard rain through night.
Tiny districts folded within each other like streams pouring souls to the Han.

Mapo-gu, Sungsan-1-dong (Family visit)

Rabbit wanted to eat tiger.
Brother tiger had been kind
showing pictures of when they were babies.
Instead rabbit climbed his mothers back
& clung tightly most of the night.

Insa-dong (Inner district)

Shadow birds converge on blue pots
as red women divulge secret worlds.
The trickster monk cries "Come, come hold the paper." Sketches a show - we are all poor artists.

Insa-dong (Inner district) Part 2

Be free whisper all the quiet places of beauty.
We are serious & socially responsible.
We scream in tender silence our love for our community.
We are the outliers.
Share the dream.

Outside people jostle for every inch in the heat.

North Korean Studies (Gyongnam)

Books, books & books with wings.
Refugees in order.
Where's number 23?
Hands of the blind
anticipates building
memoirs of flight.
Do you study to forget?
The night dreamers never forget.

Inchon & Wolmi Islands

The loving pre-teen & pre-old spirits
welcome us through the islands.
The caring brother & sister's hands
guide passages from ancient parks to ocean shores.
Gulls dance truth & reconciliation
on the sea breeze remembering the napalm & strafing.
Give thanks with paper crane in pocket & shik hae in backpack.

KoreaHouse Sijo

At foot of Namsan mountain family of twenty feasts.
One of the six martyred ministers watches warily.
Heat of day cools hidden passions blessing youngest sister.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Shadowy Line


... the movement of an artist from the world of practice often comes with great mourning & even greater reflection ... Pina Baush preserved her dignity and spirit with considered if not miraculous attention ... others not so ...

... the present media frenzy surrounding MJ allowed me to reflect on an aged post: "it is impossible not to contemplate with a shudder the shadowy line between art, ecstasy and psychosis."

. . . Cox in his “documentary” about the Russian born dancer Nijinsky The Diaries of Vaslav Nijinsky is quoted: “Nijinsky was a beautiful spirit. He went mad because of his love of mankind. We live in a world that has gone crazy – it is no wonder that souls like Nijinsky go mad.” Words as if spoken towards any artist humbled by their own demons & excesses of a hungry sensibility, extreme traumatic periods & victim of time and place.

... further darker evidence:
"Once we commit ourselves to a passion, noble or sordid, it is of no importance, we are certain to proceed from torment to torment. The very aptitude to endure them shows that we are predestined to suffer. We love only because unconsciously we have renounced happiness. The Brahmanic adage is irrefutable: 'Each time you create a new tie, you drive another pain, like a nail, into your heart.' - Everything that fires our blood, everything that gives us the impression of living, of being a part of being, inevitably turns to suffering. A passion is in and of itself a punishment. The man who surrenders to it, even if he supposes himself the happiest man in the world, expiates by anxiety his real or imagined happiness. Passion attributes dimensions to what has none, makes an idol or a monster out of a shadow ..." (Cioran | The Fall into Time |On Sickness p.137)

- See: Memorium

:: note ::... connections between Nijinski & Michael Jackson may seem tenuous but a spirit tortured not ...

Saturday, June 27, 2009

métis nation

John Ralston Saul makes the declaration we are a "métis nation" pointing as much to national identity as to a roadmap for our future.

CBC Radio rebroadcast (originally aired in April '09) the 2009 UBC-Laurier Institution Multiculturalism Lecture The Aboriginal Peoples and New Canadians: The Missing Conversation (available for four weeks as July 13 podcast).

His coterie:
"It's crucial that all Canadians cultivate an understanding of our Aboriginal heritage, and the role Aboriginal people played in the development of Canada," says Beverly Sabourin, Vice Provost (Aboriginal Initiatives) at Lakehead University. "Understanding our common history and our respective roles will help guide us into the future, allowing all of us to collaborate in building a "fair country."(Lakehead U Talk)

"In one of the strongest and most convincing passages in the book, he argues that the 'single greatest failure of the Canadian experiment, so far, has been our inability to normalize - that is, to internalize consciously - the First Nations as the senior founding pillar of our civilization. In such a normal situation, we would ask for their advice as a matter of course, look for the input of our First Nations on all the great questions of the day.'(Literary Review of Canada)

His critics:
"... extremely frustrating for a Canadian scholar"(Matthew Hayday | Pample the Moose)

"Saul deals well with a number of "truths" but his notion of "fairness" brims with misplaced self satisfaction."(Joerge Dyrkton)

Allan Gregg in conversation: John Ralston Saul - A Fair Country

- See: Politics

:: note :: ... insightful on the days before July 1 ...

Friday, June 26, 2009


Puzzles within puzzles. Last days to first ... look for a completely different thought somewhere in another time which passes between neither in ending or beginning ... see the connections ... an encounter with a word, a gesture ... a cut-up, a collecting, a re-start, getting on the wavelength ...

- See: Terms

:: note :: ... the village idiot/grasshopper/pilgim has spoken ...

Monday, June 22, 2009

Shakespeare & Moliere

End of term high school student projects culminate with successful presentations.
A filleted (25 minute version) of Shakespeare's MacBeth & a student translation of The Farce of Patelin by Moliere.

We study the action of Shakespeare & the origins of Moliere. A great deal of independent work.

Commedia masks, swords, props, costumes, light & sound with simple set allow for the exploration of image in time & space.

The basement & the stage both used as rehearsed at the same time. End of year stress resolves into creative energy and a concentrated effort.

- See: theater

:: note :: ... congrats to all & wishing a wonderful summer ...

Saturday, May 30, 2009


Presented by the E. D. Feehan Drama Club, Alice an adaptation of Lewis Carroll's 1865 classic Alice in Wonderland proved to be a savvy & skilled production of humour and delight. Director Pat Lengert must be commended for his astute manoeuvring of complex scenes and set changes as well as a sharp eye for economy of action. All actors rallied around his cartoonish style bringing depth and enchantment without losing any of the irony embedded within the text.

The childish and whimsical images of this production transform the fantasy-ridden wonderland of Alice from a carefree or nostalgic escape from reality into imaginative distortions twined with the reality of childhood confusion. It is not illogical nonsense rather more the frustrations of youth making sense of the crazy "real" world. The students performed with boundless enthusiasm & intuition catching the allegory of the material with experienced innocence and most importantly with a sense of curiosity. Simple disguises of rabbit ears, top hats, hair band flowers and toques do nothing to conceal the inherent social criticism of ... well education. Great job.

A little bit of song, poetry, riddle and a dose of madness left the audience craving for more.

- See: Theater

:: note :: ... pride in watching students take complete ownership for their work ... So why is a raven like a writing desk? Read To Catch a Bandersnatch(pdf) by Mark Burstein ... more pictures ...

Friday, May 29, 2009

The Big Five Zero

Georges Vanier Elementary Fine Arts School presented The Big Five Zero a wonderfully crafted piece pulled from the hat of teacher/musician/artist/Impresario Jeff Cunanan & admirably directed by Alyssa Deacon this past week.

Written for the 50th Anniversary celebrations we follow two clever students, Vic (Jodie Lysyshyn) and Gerry (Mikayla Reschny), as they discover the long rumoured hidden school basement with its treasures and spirits. Jodi and Mikayla carried the action with energetic performances well beyond their years, always fresh and cheeky.

Their parents played with deadpan irony & tongue-in-cheek caricature by Renelle Hunter and Christopher Bantle, remember the good old days of good ol'Vanier. Along the way we meet Music Teacher Mrs. C (Sarah Twa), Secretary (Robyn Peiffer), Hippy Man (Joey Schatz), and the Ghosts of Students past (Jonathan Forest, Nicole Opsal & Jayne Barrett) revealing snippets of school history and lore.

The ultimate challenge for the two students occurs in the classic Mephistophelean twist - if you're in the basement then you're here to stay ... at least that's what "They" say. When confronted in the basement dungeon by the ubiquitous "They", powerfully performed by ensemble Shannon Haughian, Madison Hart, Christiana Dingwall and Brittany Peacock, the two students seek salvation playing a game of cards and win. The reward turns out to be their completed assignment: a fully documented research paper on the importance of the Fine Arts program in the context of Catholic Education.

Each grade presented a scene from the Grade 4/5 Heritage Celebration dance and the stunning Grade 8 Sock Hop dance both choreographed by Katie McGuigan-Scott to the brilliant music class key scene, the drama class skits and breath taking Grade 6/7 percussion performance culminating to a brimming stage of over a hundred enthusiastic students at curtain call.

Current Principal Mr. Bauche made a guest appearance as the true Hippy man serenading all with "Blowing in the Wind" as proof and Mr. Cunanan himself, harmonica in hand backed by fine guitar and drum licks, led the bored Grade 7's in a gut wrenching rendition of the Georges Vanier Blues.

The minimal set painted by the Grade 8's and Mrs. Martin served the action well and was fluidly handled by a smooth backstage crew (Angele Lalond, Gabriella Fortugno, Caitlyn Barton). Special mention goes to Light & Sound Co-ordinator Kaylin Flowers. The script blends stereotypical snapshots and defining moments of Georges Vanier with a comic ease allowing the talents of the cast to flourish. Precisely this mission of educating the imagination through daily observance and simple encouragement is ultimately the practice of this fine arts school.

The matinee was graced by Mrs. Myrna Dedick who tirelessly served the school for so many years and as the program eloquently stated the piece was dedicated to the two pillars of the school - first principal Mr. Evan Lord and principal Mrs. Delores Switzer (Haberman) who nurtured and established the legacy that is Georges Vanier. The achievements of Vanier graduates have the belief and dedication of those two founders as inspirational source.

Hats off to all and to Mr. Cunanan put your hat back on and we await the next creative act you have up your sleeve.

- See: theater

:: note :: ... only those who have produced a show with elementary students know the commitment required ... watching i returned to years ago when we presented City Without Love & Snow Queen, creating puppet shows at recess, and video projects ... despite the times they are a'changin' it seems to return back in on itself ... "Time is a great teacher, but unfortunately it kills all its pupils" -- Louis Hector Berlioz ...

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Open Letter

A closing term note. An Open Letter to my Students - Dean Shareski expresses my feelings ... different course, learning style & methods yet very similar frustrations ... to all learners a passionate & challenging future ... most of all will miss your creativity and how we educate the imagination together ...

- See: Education

:: note :: ... now the season has truly ended ...

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Winter's Tale

Shakepeare's most moving & emotionally complex A Winter's Tale performed by a lively student class fed my hunger for classic theatre paradoxically simple of design and rich in detail.

The tragi-comi-romance appeals as a wonderful resurrection myth. The reunion of father and daughter is deeply affecting and when Hermione's statue comes to life she warmly embraces Leontes in the spirit of forgiveness manifesting the spirit of the play: nature's enormous power of renewal.

Steeped in intelligent & fine ensemble acting & further articulated with a passionate vocabulary of pain and contrition the hours slipped by creating a magical bizarre world full of colour, song & dance.

A review by Kathryn Willms, The Star Phoenix follows the model outlined in the guardian theatre blog What should we teach our young critics?

- See: theater

:: note :: ... best of the term ... only performance this term ...

Saturday, March 28, 2009

theatre day

A picture named theatreday.jpg -clown posses for a photo behind a glass door during the International Day of the Theater celebrations in front of the Ruben Dario National theater in Managua, Friday, March. 27, 2009. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)

- See: theater

:: note :: ... WTD blog ... put on a red nose the freedom & responsibility of unfettered play ... play behind reflective glass ... the street as stage ... the theatre building as backdrop ... open the door to be to see to dream ...

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

rolling composter

A picture named IMG_0059.jpg

An ArtLab / aneco project. Rolling composter installation by Wendy Peart located on Saskatoon City Hall grounds.

... caged material for composting ...
"As visual imagery, I believe the organic form can incite basal, yet complex, reactions that arouse viewers to acknowledge their relationship within the intricate ecological world," writes Peart. (ArtsBoard)

- See: Sculpture

:: note :: ... have loved this piece in all its seasons ...

Sunday, February 15, 2009

green flag song

A picture named greenflag.jpg

Joni Mitchell:green flag song "a new body of photographic work by iconic singer/songwriter and visual artist Joni Mitchell"(Mendel Art Gallery).

... had read that Joni was angry ... entering the gallery room for green flag song was more oppressive than angry ... the dark grey walls with over 120 green & rose hued grainy images hung in vertical triptychs were uninviting ... hurriedly left the room forcing myself to re-enter & each time staying a little longer to digest the images ... pictures of war, terror and solitude evoked pathos ...

... on a bench lay a piece of corrugated cardboard ... the catalogue ... a beautifully crafted work of documentation ... lost myself in words, songs and photos of the artist at work ... returning gaze to the walls noticed none of the individual images were particularly arresting it was their context which provoked ... the process of broken televisions & disposable cameras heightened the sense of decay, waste & destruction ... i reflected on a reading from the previous day ...
"When you put feelings into words, you are turning on the same regions in the brain that are involved in emotional self-control," Lieberman said. "It regulates distress," ...( reuters)
... maybe it had worked for the songs Joni had written after a ten year hiatus were powerful & shining ... the original LA exhibition had no publicity ... being bold i rationalized these works were an exorcism of sorts and speculated with each further showing the artist was further removed from the anger or pain ... like waking from a nightmare and having to talk it out to make sense of the terror ... thanked Joni for sharing yet fled the exhibition and its relentless commentary on the past eight years of horror politics ...

... outside huge soft snowflakes drifted down from the grey sky ... held out my hand to catch one watching it melt ... exactly what i needed ... shine on ...

- See: Art

:: note :: npr songslideshow, youtube & other previous reviews ...

Thursday, February 12, 2009

how we look & who we are

... why my icon is king kong was thought provoking ... the web (flickr, twitter, friendfeed ad infinitum) relentlessly demands an image ... for years cast about changing icon and have settled on this black&white photo of the northern lights (aurora borealis) ...

A picture named headerGraphic.jpg

history ... it is a photo my father took while working in Fort Churchill Manitoba Canada ... he had till then devoted his life to plasma physics & upper atmospheric research spending nights on the lookout tower photographing the sky ... my mother found the negatives in one of the clean outs following a moment of transformation (birth/life/death) ...

title ... from the beginning (2002) called my blog if & later as my presence webbed out adopted the tag ifsphere ...

place & imagination ... the icon spells if ... the solid tower & wave lights ... visualizes the splendour of the night sky ... hints at the mystery of l(if)e ...
"As the solar wind interacts with the edge of the earth's magnetic field, some of the particles are trapped by it and they follow the lines of magnetic force down into the ionosphere, the section of the earth's atmosphere that extends from about 60 to 600 kilometres above the earth's surface. When the particles collide with the gases in the ionosphere they start to glow, producing the spectacle that we know as the auroras, ..."(aurora borealis)

- See: icon

:: note :: ... what i love is though much thought goes into such things it is often an intuitive act and then only much later comes the articulation of the process ...

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

teaching as an act of transgression

A picture named wallace.jpg
"Writing for the theatre is at its best an act of transgression - and
as teachers of playwrights, we should encourage our students to
step over the line, redraw the line, erase the line, even multiply
the lines so that we sit up, step forward, strike out.
I believe the job of mainstream culture and mainstream
theatre is to keep the peace. Our job, as teachers, is to encourage
new writers to break it, to disrupt the lie, to speak truth
to power. Think seriously about the word en-courage: What
are we giving our students courage to do, exactly? Not just
Rarely do students of drama enter the classroom with
what we might call, for lack of a better term, "original minds."
Surely their originality, their agency for questioning and considering,
is there, but it has been dominated and subdued by
a culture that amplifies individuality over community, profit
over peace, property over human need. For we live in a culture
that is hostile to creativity and original thought that does not
serve capitalism, empire, and the most virulent by-products
of those forces: racism, homophobia, classism and sexism."

(Playwright Naomi Wallace delivered
this paper at York St. John University
in England, in collaboration with
Palatine and the Center for Excellence
at York St. John, in October 2007 /pdf
(via Noises off: Lessons in teaching theatre)

- See: theater

:: note :: ... a wonderful debate with many links ...

Saturday, January 24, 2009

herbert adamec

A picture named herbert adamec.jpg
There are no limits to the act of the imagination.
Herbert was the catalyst of creativity.
He demanded we play
& play is serious
& play is joyful
& play is painful
& play is life ... & death.

He has flown from this world of practicality.
The place he taught the practice of making the impossible possible.
I hold him here deep in memory.

I loved & fought him as if he were my father.

The last time I talked to him was too many years ago. He was enthusiastically discussing his upcoming role in a stage production of My Dinner with Andre. I wished to tell him he respected me more than I deserved. We weren't in his atelier but in a garden of paradise and I wanted this revolutionary veteran to know without his support I wouldn't be where I was or where I became. I didn't but we did embrace & in his grasp I would have liked to have been able to comfort his restlessness - the disquiet that lurked around his expressive power. Thinking back a crow was perched on his shoulder but my memory tells me there was no crow although I look at the face again to make sure.

He worked so hard to provide a place to activate dreams. He toiled always for the "next generation". He shifted the ground beneath his colleagues and now he has removed the staff. He plays, for the moment, in the unknown, inexplicable shadow. We walk transformed.

Vision & Liberation dear friend.

- See: Memorium

:: note :: from Hilde informed me of his flight into eternity ... some scanned photos from where our time stands still ... don't know if it's 1978 or 88 or even 2008 ... we are locked in a room at the Dramatischem Zentrum Wien, eyes looking through each other, he recently returned from Bali, me leaving for Canada, both trapped in Krapp's last tape, rewinding over and over again searching for the exact spot where demons meet or at least trying to leave our senses while remaining perfectly lucid ... in the insanity found myself thinking about happiness and when you're happy you tend to lower your guard and face up to mirrors ... the curiosity towards mystery ...

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


"... Openness is not the enemy.
Openness is what protects these kids.
Openness is what draws people out into the open, like those Flickr photo collectors (you can be sure they are known to police, or at least, that they should be).

And openness is what allows you - and others - to talk to your kids, to give them the tools to protect them from danger, to given them the knowledge and the empowerment to stand up to those people whether they are total strangers or close family..."
(Stephen Downes | comment 7)

- See: terms

:: note :: ... an issue that needs to be opened within our personal, private, public, institutional environments ... the struggle/choice to be open - when & how ... responsibility (the ability to respond) is threefold: me, my partners & my environment ... a personal attack requires healing and leaves scars ... living with scars ... be open, be sensible, be sensitive (full of senses) ... it is risk ...

Friday, January 02, 2009


Sent from my iPodtouch


A terrorist phelpsian fist jab twitt to all the staycation maverick edupunks, those burrowing frugalista joes TBTF: Change. Yes we Can.
- See: Terms