Wild Excursions Performance
About Wild Excursions Performance
Wild Excursions Performance is a physical theatre company whose artistic purpose is to research, develop and present, both locally and on tour, performance works in which movement and original or adapted text are meaningfully inter-related. The company aims to startle, surprise, challenge and delight audiences, and to ignite in their imaginations a renewed sense of the possibilities of live performance. Wild Excursions’ productions address subjects that are central to the human journey: issues of relationship, gender and power, and the nature of the performance event itself. They often explore issues of relevance to a particular constituency, the community of gay men. Drawing from a number of performance genres and disciplines, which are deconstructed and then recombined in sometimes startling ways, the company’s productions are often subversive, interrogating conventional theatrical procedures and forms. These include works that are text-based but contain significant movement or other non-naturalistic components; works adapted from the standard play repertoire and staged in innovative ways; and works that are movement-based, but make significant use of theatrical elements. They are risky and challenging, and yet frequently employ the comedy of satire to achieve their ends. Wild Excursions Performance was founded in Vancouver in January of 1995. Artistic director Conrad Alexandrowicz hails from Toronto where he enjoyed a successful career as an independent choreographer and writer with a national profile. He is widely credited with having pioneered a form of interdisciplinary performance that is based in dance, but that makes extensive use of original or adapted text in ways that are highly effective theatrically. His work, both dance- and theatre- based, has been presented across Canada, in New York City, and in France and the U.K. Wild Excursions enjoyed considerable success over the years, establishing an enviable reputation locally and nationally for high artistic achievement and integrity. Among others, the company’s works have included The Wines of Tuscany, which toured across Canada and received numerous awards; Passion: Elysian Fields, a full-length play co-produced with Touchstone Theatre; and Dance, Little Lady, a satirical cabaret about women, dance and the patriarchy.
CONRAD ALEXANDROWICZ is a director, writer and choreographer—a storyteller who combines elements of dance and theatre—and the founding artistic director of Wild Excursions Performance. Originally from Toronto, he performed with a number of Canadian dance companies, principally Dancemakers, which he joined in 1982, and where he began to produce his own work, much of which featured original text. He left the company in 1987 to choreograph, direct and perform independently. To date he has created over forty-five dance and physical-theatre works, some of which have been presented across Canada, in New York City, France and the U.K. In 1994 he moved to Vancouver where he founded Wild Excursions Performance.
His play for two men called The Wines of Tuscany was produced three times in Vancouver, in Calgary, Victoria and Edmonton, and at the Tarragon Theatre in Toronto. It won Jessie, Dora and Sterling Awards. Other credits from this time include Dance, Little Lady! a satirical cabaret about women, dance, and the patriarchy, and Passion: Elysian Fields, his first full-length play, co-produced with Touchstone Theatre.
In 2002 he completed an M.F.A. in Directing at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, and returned to Vancouver to restart the company and his freelance professional career. He has taught at SFU, UBC, Vancouver Film School and Capilano College, and directed at Douglas College, Studio 58 and United Players. Major productions since reviving Wild Excursions include: The Singer Falls Silent, a performance piece for five actors that examines the limitations of language, which won the Critics’ Choice Innovation Award in 2004; the musical satire called Beggars Would Ride, which was nominated for eight Jessie Awards Theatre Awards; and The Boy Who Went Outside, a play-with-music based on the life, work and struggles of the American musical revolutionary and inventor Harry Partch.
In 2011 he directed the revision and remount of i think i can, a play for one actor and eight tap dancers by Florence Gibson and Shawn Byfield. It was produced and presented by Young People’s Theatre in Toronto last March and April, and was presented by the National Arts Centre in Ottawa in May. The recipient of a generous SSHRC grant, his next series of works will involve staging the poetry of Writing department colleague Lorna Crozier. This project proceeds from a belief that poetic text that is imagined and written for the page may find an enhanced impact, as well as an amplified set of meanings, when embodied by performers, working across the disciplines of theatre and dance. Working from texts by renowned Canadian poets Lorna Crozier and Erin Mouré, he has generated a number of works for actors, dancers and musicians over the last year. This program of exploration will culminate in a two-act evening of work featuring poems from a number of collections by Ms. Crozier, as well as from Ms. Mouré’s most recent book of texts called The Unmemntioable. This production will be mounted in both Victoria and Vancouver, and a short film will be realized based on the original performance work.