bluemouth inc.

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bluemouth inc. is a Toronto-Brooklyn based, Dora Award winning experimental theatre collective whose artistic mandate is to create immersive site-specific performance, by marrying choreographed movement, performative text, immersive sound design, original live music, video, and film to create a cohesive, multi-sensory experience. bluemouth inc. is made up of a core of principal artists from various artistic practices with a goal of reaching beyond the boundaries of conventional performance practice to create site-specific interdisciplinary art that leads audiences and artists alike into new forms of play. [1]

About

Formed in 1998, bluemouth inc. is a Canadian not-for-profit performance collective that creates original, dynamic and immersive performance events for audiences in alternative spaces. bluemouth inc. is made up of four core of principal members trained in various artistic disciplines, brought together by a common vision of sharing their different experiences and forging a new language.

The artistic mandate of any bluemouth project is to collectively create performance that marries choreographed movement, text, dialogue, sound design, original live music, video and film to create a cohesive, multi-sensory experience. The various themes of our performances are multi-layered and strive to be a relevant and vital witness to our time.

One significant hallmark of any bluemouth performance is that it attempts to challenge levels of interaction between performers and audience. bluemouth inc. invites the audience to venture through a unique theatrical experience, moving through a blizzard of iconic moments and actions. Our growing audience has discovered that whatever the show, there will always be a surprise.[2]

History

bluemouth inc.’s inaugural performance project – MAPPING CURRENTS – was presented at the 1998 Edgy Women Festival at Studio 303 in Montreal. This project established the company’s mandate – to collectively create interdisciplinary performance works. This piece was followed by a 1999 performance of SPIRAL and CEASEFIRE during the 2000 Montreal Fringe Festival.

In the fall of 2000, bluemouth inc. relocated to Toronto and produced AMERICAN STANDARD. This move represented a significant shift in the collective’s growth because two of the original members stayed in Montreal and were replaced in Toronto by a sound designer and a filmmaker. AMERICAN STANDARD was followed by a performance installation at The Gladstone Hotel entitled LENZ, in May of 2001. The company began to receive recognition for its unique style of engaging audiences in intimate and unusual settings.

Something About a River mapIn spring 2002 bluemouth inc. began to workshop SOMETHING ABOUT A RIVER a triptych theatrical performance that would take place at three different locations along the buried Garrison Creek. The first of these three workshops was entitled THE FIRE SERMON and was presented at The Metro XXX Theatre.

In the fall of 2002, bluemouth inc. hosted a roundtable discussion as part of the Toronto Free Fall Festival bringing together local interdisciplinary artists and invited guests to discuss some of the difficulties facing the dissemination of interdisciplinary work across Canada. A result of this event was the creation of a national interdisciplinary website Popstart.

The second workshop of SOMETHING ABOUT A RIVER entitled DEATH BY WATER took place in the winter of 2003 at Trinity Bellwoods Park. Small groups of viewers were transported by rickshaw from a nearby funeral parlour to the park, where they experienced an outdoor performance from inside a wooden shed. Later that year, the third and final part of the River Trilogy – WHAT THE THUNDER SAID – was presented at the 2003 Summerworks Festival.

In November 2003, the company presented all three works – THE FIRE SERMON, DEATH BY WATER, and WHAT THE THUNDER SAID – as a complete 5-hour performance entitled SOMETHING ABOUT A RIVER. This performance was over three different locations across downtown Toronto and was subsequently nominated for six Dora Mavor Moore Awards, receiving the award for ‘Outstanding Independent Production’.

THE MEMORY OF BOMBS was developed the following year through a residency at the Theatre Centre in Toronto and workshopped at the 2004 Summerworks Theatre Festival. This project was then revised and presented under its new title – HOW SOON IS NOW – the following year during the Theatre Centre’s site-specific season. It was subsequently nominated for five Dora awards.

At the same time, the company began disseminating its work internationally by remounting a number of projects in New York City. Their first production – LENZ – was performed in the fall of 2005 in three rooms of the Carlton Arms Hotel, was selected as one of the top 15 shows of 2005 by NYtheatre.com. The working script for LENZ was subsequently published in the 2007 edition of Plays and Playwrights: An Anthology (published by The New York Theatre Experience, Inc.. WHAT THE THUNDER SAID was performed as part of the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s 2006 Sitelines Festival while AMERICAN STANDARD was presented in January 2007 at Freeman’s Barber shop in the Lower East Side. In February 2008, DEATH BY WATER was performed in Brooklyn’s Fort Greene Park, followed by HOW SOON IS NOW at the Irondale Center in May 2009.

During a month-long residency at Montreal’s Place Des Arts that same year, bluemouth began the creation of DANCE MARATHON, a duration-based interactive performance inspired by the dance marathons of the Great Depression. This project was developed through a commission from the Toronto Harbourfront Centre‘s national commissioning programme – Fresh Ground New Works – and was subsequently premiered at the 2009 Toronto World Stage Festival. Since its premiere, DANCE MARATHON has been presented in Ireland, Scotland, England, Australia, Tasmania, New York and at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.

In 2012, bluemouth inc. was awarded an infrastructural development grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation.

While continuing to tour DANCE MARATHON internationally, bluemouth inc. was working on a new project It Comes In Waves in collaboration with director Jennifer Tarver from Necessary Angel and award winning playwright Jordan Tannhill from Suburban Beast. This new work premiered July 2015 at the Pan American Games.

[3]

Current Season

bluemouth inc,'s most recent production was It Comes In Waves in 2015, a collaboration between artists from bluemouth inc., Necessary Angel and Suburban Beast to create an immersive, site-specific work that took audience members from Harbourfront Canoe + Kayak Centre to the Island.

Synopsis: Before sunset you board a canoe and row to an island. He is waiting for you on the dock and leads you through the fields and forest clearings until you arrive at a party. You help him get ready for the big surprise – but when it arrives, it’s clear no amount of planning can prepare us for what lies ahead. http://www.bluemouthinc.com/productions/current/

Original Creations

DANCE MARATHON (2009-2015): an interactive, duration-based performance event that is a recreation of the physically gruelling spectator sport that was popular in the Depression-Era North America in which couples would dance until they dropped.

DEATH BY WATER (2008): a performance installation inspired by Noh movement which unfolds continuously over three hours outside. For the performance audiences are transported at regular intervals from a nearby funeral home to the performance site.

THE MEMORY OF BOMBS/HOW SOON IS NOW (2005-2008): an alarming look at group hysteria and scapegoating in the age of terrorism. Derived from the story of Peter and the Wolf bluemouth inc. brought incorporated dance and video to bring audiences together to witness the capture and determine the execution of "the big bad wolf".

LENZ (2002-2005): A poetic interplay of dance, theatre, music and film, Lens was a site-specific show had viewers sit in three hotel rooms to learn the story of Lenz and his sister Iris in story of murder, the blurring of internal and external realities and the quest for connection.

AMERICAN STANDARD (2000-2007) : presented in a make-shift barbershop,this performance was a one-man, seven character sideshow about the pursuit of happiness in the age of lost innocence.

WHAT THE THUNDER SAID (2006): a performance work that evoked the struggle for acceptance in the calm before the family storm. It was originally created in 2002 as the third part of the Dora Award-winning five-hour trilogy entitled Something About a River.

Production History

  • 2015 – It Comes In Waves at Pan American Games, Toronto
  • 2015 – Dance Marathon at Festival Fabric, Potsdam, Germany
  • 2015 – Dance Marathon at Mayfest, Bristol, England
  • 2014 – Dance Marathon at Magnetic North Festival, Halifax, Canada
  • 2013 – Field Guide at Summerworks Festival in Toronto
  • 2013 – Dance Marathon at Norwich Norfolk Festival, Norfolk-Norwich, UK
  • 2012 – Dance Marathon (return) at World Stage, Harbourfront Centre, Toronto
  • 2011 – Dance Marathon at Dance Umbrella, BITE Barbican Centre, London, UK
  • 2011 – Dance Marathon at Traverse Theatre Edinburgh Fringe, Scotland
  • 2011 – Dance Marathon at 10 Days on The Island, Tasmania
  • 2011 – Centre for Sleep and Dream Studies at The Rhubarb Festival, Toronto
  • 2011 – Dance Marathon at Dance Massive in Melbourne, Australia
  • 2011 – Dance Marathon at APAP Festival, New York City
  • 2010 – The Sea Museum at Crossing the Line, New York
  • 2010 – Dance Marathon at Winter Olympics Vancouver, British Columbia
  • 2009 – Dance Marathon at Cork Midsummer Festival Ireland
  • 2009 – Dance Marathon at World Stage festival in Toronto
  • 2008 – Death By Water at Fort Greene Park in Brooklyn.
  • 2008 – How Soon Is Now? at the Irondale Centre in Brooklyn, New York
  • 2007 – American Standard at Freeman’s Barbershop in the Bowery, New York.
  • 2006 – What The Thunder Said at Sitelines Festival in Lower Manhattan.
  • 2005 – Lenz at Carlton Arms Hotel in New York City
  • 2005 – How Soon Is Now? presented by the Theatre Centre in Toronto
  • 2004 – The Memory of Bombs work-shopped as part of the Toronto Summerworks.
  • 2003 – Something About a River Trilogy at three locations across downtown Toronto.
  • 2003 – Something About a River: What The Thunder Said at Summerworks Festival.
  • 2003 – Something About a River: Death by Water at Trinity Bellwoods Park.
  • 2002 – Something About a River: The Fire Sermon at The Metro XXX Theatre.
  • 2002 – Lenz at the Gladstone Hotel during the inaugural FREE FALL festival.
  • 2001 – Ceasefire at Toronto Summerworks Festival.
  • 2001 – Pas Avec Espoir, Pas Sans Espoir at Theatre Passe Muraille.
  • 2000 – American Standard at Ted’s Wrecking Yard, College Ave. Toronto.
  • 1999 – Spiral at Montreal Fringe Festival, Montreal.
  • 1999 – Ceasefire at Montreal Fringe Festival, Montreal.
  • 1998 – Mapping Currents at Studio 303, Montreal.

Artistic Team

CIARA ADAMS (Artistic Director) Ciara Adams is a musician, theatre creator/performer and artist-educator for over 10 years. She is an interdisciplinary artist with extensive training in music, acting and dance. She has been a co-artistic director with bluemouth inc. since 2009, and an associate artist since 2003. She holds a degree in music from Queen's University as well as a degree in Acting from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Additionally, she has completed The Royal Conservatory's Artist-Educator Professional Training where she is a mentor and artist-educator. Ciara has been an associate artist with Theatre Gargantua creating and performing in four of the company’s cycles between 2003-2014.

STEPHEN O’CONNELL (Artistic Director) Stephen O’Connell has a BFA in modern dance from Rutgers University and an MFA in interdisciplinary art from Simon Fraser University. Between 1990 to 1997 Stephen was co-Artistic Director of Radix Theatre in Vancouver, which is a site-specific interdisciplinary performance collective. He is also one of the founders of FREE FALL, a biennial festival in Toronto, Canada of new and interdisciplinary performance.

LUCY SIMIC (Artistic Director) Lucy Simic is a writer, dancer and theatre artist who has been creating experimental performance pieces for over ten years. She is a founding member of bluemouth inc., and has worked with the company both in Toronto and New York. She has also worked in Vancouver, as co-Artistic Director of Radix Theatre. She is an educator who has taught movement for actors at Humber College, Pilates at Long Island University as well as movement improvisation in the bluemouth workshops. She holds a degree in French, Dance and Mathematics from Simon Fraser University and an MFA in Playwriting from York University.

RICHARD WINDEYER (Artistic Director) Richard Windeyer is a composer, musician, music/audio technologist, teacher and practice based researcher. His research focuses on what happens when digital technologies and generative systems are used as the primary material for creating live performances. He is particularly interested what is the potential impact of what he refers to as a "data performance" on audience, participants and communities. As an educator, he has taught courses and workshops in music technology, electroacoustic music, sound recording and design at Wilfrid Laurier University. Additionally he is also a Research Assistant at the Digital Dramaturgy Lab (University of Toronto).

SABRINA REEVES (Founding Member) Sabrina Reeves has a BFA in drama from Carnegie-Mellon University. She is a writer, actor and theatre artist who has been creating original theatre for over 15 years. Sabrina co-founded bluemouth inc. in 1998 and worked actively with the company for 12 years. In 2010 after touring Dance Marathon for several years, she founded a new company in Montreal called Fée Fatale. After her hiatus, Sabrina rejoined bluemouth inc.'s Dance Marathon tour. In addition to performing she also writes, created and teaches theatre in an around Montreal.

ASSOCIATE ARTISTS Bruce Barton Elijah Brown Cassandra Bugge Cameron Davis Chad Dembski Aron Deyo Carey Dodge Jeff Douglas David Duclos Chris Dupuis Nicholas Elliott Sandrine Lafond Stacie Morgain Lewis Daniel Pettrow Angela Rawlings Kevin Rees Heather Schibli Clayton Smith Robert Tremblay Billy Wolf Hanna Wolf Omar Zubair

Education

In addition to creating immersive, multidisciplinary work bluemouth inc. also offers workshops for emerging theatre artists. Such workshops include the Pluralized Director, which focuses on developing methods for devising interdisciplinary performance in a collaboration with others. Others are facilitated by members of bluemouth inc. and cover topic such as music and audio, movement and performance.