Thursday, September 7 | 8:00 PM & Saturday, September 9 | 7:00 PM
Studio D – SFU Goldcorp Centre for the Arts
Tickets: Pay What You Want: $5 – $20
For tickets, click HERE
“Queer’ not as being about who you’re having sex with (that can be a dimension of it); but ‘queer’ as being about the self that is at odds with everything around it, and that has to invent and create and find a place to speak and to thrive and to live.” – bell hooks
To become is cause for celebration. There is a deep pleasure to becoming. There is an eroticism to speculation, to becoming a version of yourself that feels closer to an intrinsic truth, one you may or may not already know. With that comes rot, and decay, and rebirth, and the necessity to become nonetheless despite these things. Plants serve as idyllic subjects in this way of thinking- they do not need to speculate becoming for themselves. They simply are. As stated in The Vegetative Soul: “the body of a plant is never given in advance, it is not prescribed, the extent of its metamorphosis can never be predicted.”
There is a palpable magic to filling a space with queer people; one that has been felt every step of this process alongside this incredible team. It has been a true honour to have them help bring this piece to life, and to have them support me every step of the way as we tended this garden together. I am forever grateful for them, and for their endless generosity and effort they put into growing this piece with me.
Plants respond to waves of purple light differently than they do sunlight. This, alongside a steady flickering of light and darkness, accelerates their process of photosynthesis, of becoming. When I think of becoming, I think of joy. The kind of joy that is akin to resistance. To reclamation. To thrashing your body on the dance floor covered in glitter and sweat and dirt. The kind that can only take place in a sanctuary designed for growing, grieving, and celebration. A space to be seen as much as we will allow it. Let us offer you a glimpse into our greenhouse. Into the moments of our in-betweens. The germination, the wilting, the rot, and the flowering. For decades, plants have acted as symbols of resistance after being used as devices to liken queer and feminine subjects to a false submission. Tonight, we will be menaces dressed in lavender. Loud pansies. Decadent and shining dykes on a dancefloor, unapologetic, planting gardens so we may give each other our flowers while we are still here.
This is our invitation to celebrate what we’ve shaped in to.
Directed & Created by: Alexandra Caprara
Choreography & Performance by: Alexandra Caprara, Sydney Bluck, Anna Wang-Albini, Desiree Keresztes James, Charlotte Samuel, Aisha Wewala
Understudy: Natalia Martineau
Additional Ensemble Performance by: Samantha Buss, Kira Radosevic, Samantha Walters, Cassandra Williams, Lauren Han, Sara Van Gaalen, Chantal Gering, Kelsi James, Sarah Finn, Natalia Martineau
Lighting, Video, & Set Design: Alexandra Caprara
Sound Design & Composition: Charlie Cooper
Costume Creation by: Anna Wang-Albini
Stage Management: Claire Brown
Assistant Stage Management: Bernice Paet
SCA / SFU Staff
Director, GCA Production and Event Services: Miles Lavkulich
SCA technical Director: Ben Rogakski
SCA Production Coordinator: Emily Neumann
Communications: Brady Cranfield
Senior Supervisor: Wladimiro Woyno Rodriguez
Committee Member: Erika Latta
External Reviewer: Vanessa Goodman
Movement developed through the close study of:
Calethea Makoyana Plant, under the care of Alexandra Caprara
Weeping Fig Tree, under the care of Anna Wang-Albini
Calamansi Plant, under the care of Aisha Wewala
Jade Pothos, under the care of Desiree Keresztes James
Arrowhead Plant, under the care of Sydney Bluck
This show was made possible through the tremendous guidance and support from a brilliant group of people: Wladimiro Woyno Rodriguez, Erika Latta, Miles Lavkulich, Rob Kitsos, Justine Chambers, Mauricio Pauly, Zaarah Lopez, Ben Rogalsky, and Emily Neumann. Thank you to Kate Franklin, Ruth Bruhn, Jack Chipman, and the GCAPES technical staff for their additional support.
This performance and research takes place on the unceded stolen lands of the Coast Salish People: the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Watututh nations, and engages with the plant life found on these lands – in forests, in our homes, and in our communities. In learning to listen to and understand these plants and their lifecycles, we offer gratitude for the lessons and learnings we have been able to discover through this process, and gratitude to the hosts on whose lands we have been able to work, play, and engage in this research.
Presented at part of Autofictional: MFA Graduating Exhibition & Festival, which runs September 6 – 23, 2023, at the Audain Gallery & other venues at SFU Goldcorp Centre for the Arts. More HERE.
Alexandra Caprara is a queer interdisciplinary artist from Tkaranto (Toronto), Ontario whose practice is grounded in performance making and design, with a focus on devised processes, movement, interactivity, and design lead creation. Her work often centers themes of femininity, autonomy, somatics, and queer ecology, and believes in making and producing work that center queer joy. She has worked internationally as a director, performer, and designer for lighting and video projection, and has presented her work across Canada alongside companies such as WorkMan Arts, Factory Theatre, Theatre Replacement, UpInTheAir, and Surrey Art Gallery. Her written work has also been published with SadMag, Return Trip Magazine, and Feels Zine. Select credits include designing for Mediation (Amber Barton, Re/Play), assistant design for An Undeveloped Sound (Electric Company Theatre) direction and creation of EVREN (Edinburgh Fringe Festival), and projection design for A Silent Howl (Dancing on The Edge). This is her thesis project. She hopes you like it.
Sound Designer and Composer
Charlie Cooper is a composer and performer whose work incorporates sound, visual and textual elements. He collaborates frequently, working with dance, theatre, sound and digital media artists to create live performances and site-based projects. Collaborations include A Wake of Vultures, Projeto Arcomusical, Trophy, program sound.fm, Cities and Memory, Mivos Quartet and D.J. Sparr, Media Sandbox, and Strike Percussion Ensemble. Exhibitions of installation and video work include Science Gallery Lab Detroit, ArtPrize 10, SzólóDuó International Dance Festival, and the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum.
Assistant Stage Manager
Curious about the humanity in connections, Bernice Paet (she/her) is an interdisciplinary artist who delves into this theme through her designs, performances, and installation works; typically moved by the love she has found around her and contrarily, has lost. Growing up on the unceded territories of the xʷməθkwəy̓8əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) and Səl̓ílwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations, Bernice was consistently interested in different art forms from theatre to photography and is currently majoring in Production and Design at SFU. There, she is cultivating her interest and skills in lighting and projection design, storytelling, and stage management. Some shows she has stage managed for at SFU’s School for the Contemporary Arts are Ascension 2021, Refraction, and Soft Tongues, and Bernice is thrilled to be part of the stage management team for Ultra Violets!
Claire Brown is an emerging multidisciplinary artist who works as a performer, designer, director and creator on xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) lands in so-called Vancouver. They are currently pursuing their BFA at Simon Fraser University with a major in Theatre Production & Design. Claire’s most recent works explore memory, nostalgia, and the intersections between art and science. With an interest in non-verbal communication, tabletop scale performance, and intergenerational connections, select credits of theirs include creator/director of Water Park for the LIVE ACTS Vol. 1 Festival, co-creator and performer of Tall Tales: Tabletop Transmutations for the Miniature Multitudes Showcase, and stage manager for Controller by Mily Mumford presented at rEvolver Festival in 2022.
Anna (they/she) is an emerging contemporary dance artist based in Vancouver BC on the unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations. Anna approaches choreography and the body as a way to hold texture, various subtexts, and knowledge. As a recent graduate from SFU with their BFA in dance, they are looking to explore ways to integrate their love for other artistic mediums and means of working to either influence their research, choreographic process and movement generation, and/or the form/presentation of their work.
Aisha Wewala (she/her) is a fourth year student at the SFU School for Contemporary Arts, majoring in Theatre Performance. She is an interdisciplinary artist, with training in theatre, dance, and music. Aisha enjoys incorporating many different disciplines and her interests together into her own work and collaborations. She likes exploring the possibilities in questioning what makes something a performance.
Sydney Bluck (she/they) is a contemporary dance artist born and raised on the Indigenous lands of the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nations in the place now known as Guelph, Ontario. They are a recent graduate of Simon Fraser University receiving a BFA in dance from the School of Contemporary Arts. Sydney has trained in many forms including Gaga, Cunningham, floor work, and release technique under the teachings of Margarida Macieira, Justine A. Chambers, Emmalena Fredrikkson, Nini Dongnier, Robert Kitsos, and Megan Walker Straight. With an emphasis on joy and playfulness, Sydney centres her choreographic practice around the embodiment of everyday inspirations and places attention on the relationships naturally occurring between performers.
Desiree Keresztes James is a contemporary dance artist living and working in Vancouver, Canada, as a guest on the ancestral unceded lands of the Coast Salish peoples. As a performer and creator Desiree understands the importance of developing a diverse repertoire of experiences and skills, both technical and artistic. Having a strong base of Cunningham, Gaga technique and floor work techniques they are constantly seeking out ways of broadening their movement vocabulary and training. She has had the opportunity to work under the guidance of Emmalena Fredrikkson, Vanessa Goodman, Robert Kitsos, NiNi Dongnier, and Justine Chambers. Desiree received her training at Simon Fraser University and Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance. She currently holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in contemporary dance from Simon Fraser University. Currently she is focusing on indulging her explorations of the choreographic process by queering the lens and investigating the presentation of camp. She strives to create things that are enjoyable for the performer and the audience – something aesthetically exciting, and physically demanding.
Charlotte Samuel (they/them) is a queer, interdisciplinary dance artist from "Los Angeles" situated on Chumash, Tongva, Kizh land and residing on the unceded traditional territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations.They are a third year BFA dance student at SFU's School of Contemporary Arts. They feel very fortunate to be afforded a space to explore various facets of Contemporary Dance and the unique practices of the SCA's faculty. Studying at the SCA has encouraged Charlotte to remain curious about their queries in movement as well as writing, sound, and photography and how they can be incorporated into work that comes from an authentic and self-actualized perspective.