Mother Tongue


Conceived, directed and choreographed by Conrad Alexandrowicz

Texts adapted from published work by poets Lorna Crozier and Erin Mouré

FEATURING: Peter Anderson, Sandra Ferens, Vanessa Goodman, Lucas Hall, Jane Osborne, Linda Quibell, Brahm Taylor & Kaitlin Williams

Mother Tongue features the work of two of Canada's finest poets.

In two distinct works of physical theatre for actors, dancers and musicians, Mother Tongue will explore themes of family life, parents and children, the death of parents, the nature of the poetic act, memory, dreams, angels, and returning to a land that has suffered ethnic strife and bloodshed in order to bury the ashes of a deceased parent.

our verges <borders> draws on poems and other texts from Erin Mouré’s most recent book The Unmemntioable (published by House of Anansi in 2012). A first draft of this work was developed in mid-2013; for this production two more performers, one actor and one dancer, will be added to the cast, in addition to other textual material from the same book. This work entails an exploration of borders – between countries, languages, territories, peoples, and between mothers and their children.

Drawing on the poetic work of Lorna Crozier, The Poet's Dream was originally developed at the University of Victoria for the 2013 Congress of the Social Sciences and Humanities The piece begins as a dream—or a nightmare—about a poetry reading gone awry, in which the poet disappears into the terrain inside the her psyche, and becomes involved with the beings of her imagination. Poems drawn from a number of Ms. Crozier’s collections address themes of beginnings and endings, the death of parents, memories of parents, angels and other metaphysical presences, and the succession of generations as children go on to become parents, and then to face mortality as their parents did.

This new creation by Conrad Alexandrowicz is made possible by the very generous support of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council. Join us at the Scotiabank Dance Centre to witness word made movement.

House of X (2012)

House of X is a black comedy for three fearless actors. Using movement, gesture and invented speech, the performers enact elements of stories that are full of clear, high-stakes conflict derived from heightened genres, such as melodrama, horror, fairy tale and epic. Tossed together like vegetable pieces in a succulent salad, these fragmented stories challenge the audience to understand and interpret conflicts that arise from a series of showdowns of two against one. This new creation by Conrad Alexandrowicz explores our addiction to various genres of storytelling and suggests that we make up stories from what is going on all around us (and in our imaginations). The premiere performance was presented at the Neanderthal Arts Festival where Wild Excursions Performance is once again challenging the boundaries of dance and theatre.

The Boy Who Went Outside (2010)

The Boy Who Went Outside is an original play-with-music based on the life and struggles of the American musical revolutionary Harry Partch (1901 - 1974). This new production is a work that pushes at the limits of the theatrical medium in exciting ways. Harry Partch (1901-1974) was one of the most individualistic artists of the last century; a great composer, and an innovative theorist who broke through the centuries-long stranglehold of one tuning system for all of Western music. Partch was an outsider in every way: alienated from his family, he spent much time alone; he was openly homosexual in a time when it was very difficult and dangerous to be so; he was a rebel who fought relentlessly against an established order, and was frequently mocked and dismissed. This play is about who is granted—or who is able to claim—the right to speak, to express him or herself in the world. This is an exhilarating work that opens up a broad range of artistic and cultural questions for its audiences.

Beggars Would Ride (2007)

Beggars Would Ride, the latest from theatre artist Conrad Alexandrowicz, promises “revolution (with sexual overtones) on an estate in a fantastic Otherworld”. Apparently, the servants in this land speak a bizarre language that combines Shakespeare, Dr. Seuss, and A Clockwork Orange. If that’s not enough, there will be music, satire, and a couple of very gifted actors: Allan Morgan and Damon Calderwood. Alexandrowicz (The Wines of Tuscany, The Singer Falls Silent) is a remarkably innovative guy.

Beggars Would Ride (Snippet)

The Singer Falls Silent (2003)

A performance piece for five actors inspired by Prophecy by Peter Handke. A Wild Excursions Performance production at Performance Works, part of the See Seven series.

Cast: Conrad Alexandrowicz, Tara Friedenberg, Lindsay Sterk, Kim Tuson, Todd Woffinden.

Singer Falls Silent (Snippet)

The Hanged Man (2000)

A one-act solo involving text and movement, presented as part of The Hanged Man and Other Stories, a Wild Excursions Performance production at Performance Works, Granville Island, Vancouver.

Cast: Conrad Alexandrowicz.

The Erotic Curve of the Earth (2000)

A one-act play for two actors presented in workshop by Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, Rhubarb! Festival 2003; and by Wild Excursions Performance, Summerworks Festival 2000, Toronto.

Dance, Little Lady! (1999)

A dance-cabaret for five women. Presented by Wild Excursions Performance at the Firehall Arts Centre, Vancouver. Dance Little Lady was presented by the Chutzpah Festival in 2006.

Cast: Tara Friedenberg, Andrea Gunnlaugson, Marthe Leonard, Janna-Jo Scheunhage, Kim Tuson.

Passion: Elysian Fields (1998)

A two-act play for nine actors. A Touchstone Theatre/Wild Excursions Performance co-production at the Vancouver East Cultural Centre.

Cast: Scott Bellis, Shawn Macdonald with Wendy Donaldson, Patricia Idlette, Goran Savic.

The Wines of Tuscany (1996-99)

A one-act physical-theatre duet for men first presented at the Vancouver New Play Festival, 1996; Firehall Arts Centre, Vancouver; High Performance Rodeo, Calgary; Belfry Theatre, Victoria; Tarragon Theatre, Toronto; Workshop West, Edmonton.

Cast: Shawn Macdonald, Shaun Phillips.

Howling After Music (1995)

A physical-theatre duet for actor-dancers. A Wild Excursions Performance production at the Firehall Arts Centre, Vancouver.

Cast: Rita Bozi, Sylvain Brochu.

Srebrenica (1994)

A duet for women.

Co-commissioned by dancer Pat Fraser and the Continuum New Music Ensemble.

Cast: Pat Fraser and Heidi Strauss.

This is a Dance Solo (1993) with text.

Premièred November 24, 1993 at Dancemakers Studio as part of "Two Men Dancing (and doing other things too)." Created with the assistance of the Dance Section of the Canada Council, the Ontario Arts Council, the City of Toronto through the Toronto Arts Council and the Laidlaw Foundation.

Cast: Conrad Alexandrowicz.

This Is Dance

Hard Drive (1992)

One-act dance-play for two men. Premièred at the duMaurier Theatre Centre as part of “Wild Excursions of the Muse,” November 24-28, 1992. Created with the assistance of the Dance Section of the Canada Council, the Ontario Arts Council, the City of Toronto through the Toronto Arts Council and the Laidlaw Foundation.

Cast: Conrad Alexandrowicz, Sylvain Brochu.

Hard Drive

Ladies and Gentlemen Trio (1988)

Premiered June, 1988 at the Winchester Street Theatre in Toronto as part of an evening of works; presented at the Canada Dance Festival in Ottawa Created with assistance from the Laidlaw Foundation

Cast: Sylvain Brochu, Julia Sasso, Tatiana Skljarevski.