Small Stage point 5 – the valentine’s edition is a fun romp in a cool, intimate setting. You’ll love some performances and forget others, but one thing is for sure: inappropriate Cupid will be stand out for all.
In a world where micro is in and everything keeps on getting smaller, Vancouver’s arts world has kept pace. But while everyone now is talking ‘stripped down’ and ‘simple chic,’ one company has been unconventionally doing it before everyone else. Long before I saw a performance, I knew about Dances for a Small Stage – intimate, up-close-and-personal experiences, performed to a discerning few. So while it seems many independent companies have since embraced the trend, I’m glad to see that the company behind Small Stage, MovEnt, has likewise changed and updated with the times.
The format is always done in pairs – usually featuring someone who is making the music, while another person moves to it. Sometimes, the line blurs, and those are the most memorable moments.
Photo Credit: Renata Raksha
Here is the lineup for this special Valentine’s Day edition:
- Tariq Hussain (Brasstronaut member) + Chengxin Wei (six-season Ballet BC dancer, trained in classical Chinese dance)
- Tarun ‘Tspoon’ Nayar (electronica DJ/producer, tabla player, Delhi 2 Dublin member) + Scheherazaad Cooper (Canadian Odissi classical Indian dancer)
- Mark Andrew Hamilton (member of Woodpigeon) + Clarence Tang (waaking and street dance artist)
- Louise Burns (singer-songwriter) + Burgundy Brixx (Vancouver’s queen of burlesque)
- Andrea Lo (The Belle Game singer) + Karissa Barry (contemporary dance artist)
That’s an ambitious many, but point5 never gets bogged down in the details. It’s a great ‘dip’ into some interesting collaborations, featuring celebrated artists that you’d never see together in any other setting. Line that up with strange and wonderful venue The Emerald, a Las Vegas-style supper club, and the decor and energy matches the work on that tiny stage.
Photo Credit: Shimona Henry
For me, a few of the collabs really stood out, while others didn’t quite work, or I felt like I’ve seen them before. Everyone will have a personal favourite, but I think most will agree that the standout for the evening, for better or worse, was Billy Marchenski’s twisted emcee for V-Day. It was a welcome reprieve from the setup and teardown time in between performances. With a costume that leaves nothing to the imagination, Cupid wrecked havoc among the appreciative crowd, reenacting movie dialogue about sex and masturbation. It was magical, and just a touch uncomfortable. Exactly how point 5 feels.
Small Stage point 5 – the valentine’s edition can serve as both gateway drug and veteran favourite; it’s a well-kept secret that truly showcases the really exciting work in this city.
Small Stage point 5 – the valentine’s edition runs from Feb 12-15 at The Emerald in Chinatown. Advance tickets here.
Featured Photo: Colby Jay