Brief Encounters: Local Artists Have Three Night Stand
Brief Encounters is an amazing interdisciplinary performance series produced by dancers Katy Harris-McLeod, Jennifer McLeish-Lewis, and Mara Branscombe -- the dynamic women of the Vancouver-based Tomorrow Collective. Over the course of seven previous installments, the Brief Encounters series has assembled a wide-ranging cast of artistic collaborators from across all genres and disciplines of artistic practice.
I had the opportunity to attend BE 7 earlier this fall, which featured an eclectic and compelling intersection of performance art, music, dance, visuals, and storytelling. The unique concept of pairing diverse artists together -- and giving them a mere two weeks to collaborate and create -- is a daring one, and the results are both unexpected and suprisingly delightful.
If you're in the Vancouver area over the next days, you should check it out. The show runs December 5-7th at The Anza Club (#3 West 8th ave, Vancouver, BC). Doors at 7:30pm, Show at 8:00pm.
What do a puppeteer, a yogi and a hairstylist have in common? No, they're not all sore losers in the competition to become Olympics mascots. Instead, they are collaborators in the eighth installment of a series of interdisciplinary performances, Brief Encounters.
"He [Norman Lalonde] is actually my hairstylist," says Mara Branscombe who, along with Katy Harris-McLeod and Jennifer McLeish-Lewis, is a co-founder of the Tomorrow Collective, which puts on the show. "He's very much an artist. He's worked quite a bit with wigs in the past--carefully designing the articulation of headpieces, etc."
For her hairdresser's piece, Branscombe and her co-producers matched Lalonde with Cris Derksen, a cellist. And therein lies the idea that makes Brief Encounters unique--putting together two creative types from very different disciplines and giving them two weeks to come up with something original and which draws on both of their areas of expertise.
"As far as we know, no one else has ever come up with this idea," says Mara Branscombe. "This is our original design of an interdisciplinary series. When we came together as a collective we all had an interest to work within different disciplines, to answer what we felt was a lack of cross-pollination of art forms here in Vancouver. We're interested in the traditions of these forms--of opera, of hip-hop--and keeping those traditions strong but seeing what is birthed out of that when they are fused together."