Ninja Dance Party

It’s montage season for first year CreComms.

I can’t post mine yet as it will be played for an upcoming dance show, so instead I present you my awesome friends – Judy Braun and Michelle Choy – and their montage “Saturday Night.”

At orientation we were told (by all the second years) that this is the assignment of the year. And it didn’t disappoint. I had a fantastic time lugging around three bags that individually were larger than myself. All that aside, the shooting was a blast – I worked with my student and friend Alyx Livingston – and editing in the suites was a welcomed experience in the CreComm culture.

But here it goes – I totally loved being IN a montage more! Working with Judy, Michelle and the other ninja Crystal Laderas was my opportunity to be quirky and let loose (we started filming the day our IPP’s got approved!) So perhaps it’s a good thing I’m not behind the camera all next year…

Tomorrow we get to view our classmate’s videos, I’m super excited. I’ve already seen some great work done and all the more – this makes me sad to see our first year over.  Well, let’s compromise with bittersweet.

Bon Appetit!

Care to Join me for a little, Sonata?

 
There’s nothing like a woman who is desperate for a child. Make that woman Mennonite, and you have a naughty tale on your hands.


The Moonlight Sonata of Beethoven Blatz,
 staged at the Rachael Browne Theatre through Theatre Projects Manitoba, is written by former CreComm instructor, Armin Wiebe. The story is set on the outskirts of a Mennonite Village, in the home of Obrum and Susch Kehler, and chronicles the story of Susch having a baby. Low German is used throughout the play – a common element in Wiebe’s work.  During a seminar, Wiebe said he could “make the language sing.” And while the actors and actresses did an incredible job with the accent and language, as I understood the humour without understanding the language, Wiebe made it easy with likable and quirky characters.

A cozy set for The Moonlight Sonata of Beethoven Blatz

Obrum Kehler (Tom Keenan, of Zooey and Adam fame) is a hard working, loving husband who has, ahem issues in the bedroom. While it may be fun trying, there is still no baby. But he remains a positive character, thinking of a way to solve this little problem. It is Obrum who brings home the piano, and in turn Mr. Beethoven Blatz (Eric Nyland, played the piano beautifully), a refugee of the Russian revolution – who hears the music in his head, sharing space with his thoughts of a lover named Sonya. He is a nuisance in some sense, taking forever to fix a broken piano and teaching Susch to play. And in another, the glue of the story, each character’s desire relates to him in some way (discussed later)

Susch Kehler (Tracy Penner) is wanting. She wants a child, her husband home with her, a new house, Beethoven to stay – Beethoven to go. In many ways I found this was Susch’s story, which was confirmed when Wiebe remarked in a talk back that the play originated for an almost-novel, which had been written from Susch’s perspective. And then there’s Teen (Daria Puttaert, also of Zooey and Adam fame), the village midwife who matched Susch with Obrum, knowing he wasn’t able to give her a child. Through her initial body language  – sitting on the bench with her legs wide apart – Teen had a different presence about her. Not long after, Teen’s budding love for Susch comes to the surface, and culminates in an intimate silent moment helping Susch into a red silk dress.

Blatz is pivotal throughout as Obrum looks to him to solve the issue, Susch takes it upon herself to use Blatz for her own means while he in turn uses her as his muse. And for Teen, Blatz is another male presence in Susch’s life, and she isn’t happy about that. In one scene Teen tells Susch she’d be the one giving her a child if she had the means – er, equipment.

The story dabbles with the biblical not only because it deals with Mennonites, but also in its over arching theme. Obrum (Abraham) and Susch (Sarah) are struggling to have children, much like their biblical name sakes who only became parents when they were close to 100 years old. Also, there is a connection in that Obrum is called to work away from home, just as God called to Abraham to leave his home – that upon returning, he would be rewarded with heirs to a great nation. But despite this subtext, there is nothing preachy or overly religious about the show – in fact there’s partial nudity and awkward sex on stage (pretend here).

Those Mennonites know how to put on a good show.

What I enjoyed the most about the talkback/ seminar with Wiebe is his willingness to discuss his writing process. Since 1996, The Moonlight Sonata of Beethoven Blatz has been reworked many times,  as a short story, an almost novel, and then a first draft play. Wiebe didn’t shy away from work shopping and rewriting, as discussed here.  Director Kim McCaw saw the first scenes of the play and decided he would direct it once the manuscript was developed. “The play was a trampoline for the actors. We would see which springs held and which didn’t, and fix it from there.”

Wiebe mentioned one of the things he didn’t consider while writing for stage were simple stage directions such as the lamp. “I had it turning off, but not on.” But directions are minimal in the script, and Wiebe himself said with confidence he loved the way the show turned out.

To view Wiebe’s fiction related to the play, see here.

Give a Shit? VOTE!

Regardless of your political affiliations, or lack there of, this election is bringing out some creative campaigns to motivate voters.

It’s no secret that Canadian youth voting apathy is good news for leaders hoping to ride on the coattails of their older voters. While having lunch at the college recently, we discussed what a great wake up call it would be if every single student went out to vote. You know, instead of demanding attention when tuition issues roll around, start by sending a loud message : WE ARE HERE. And our vote counts, enough of old conservative values determining our future.

The campaign I enjoy the most by far is ShitHarperDid.com. It is minimalistic and perfectly to the point: here’s what Harper has done, do you want more of this [shit]? Each piece of shit is presented with a catchy headline, the fact, and credible links to articles discussing it.

The promotional videos spread their message about needing to improve voter turn out, and as a bonus – are entertaining. They target endorsements in a tongue in cheek manner, saying you shouldn’t rely on a well-known person to determine your vote. Matter of fact, the most important part is that you VOTE. One guy on the ShitHarperdid Facebook page says he’s still going to vote for him. And ultimately, voting is a personal choice and the people need to understand that their little x counts.

Your excuses are running out. 
In the age of Google, yes the link is provided even though you use this everyday for reasearch in university, finding out information on party candidates is simple. There’s no excuse, well except for if you are easily distracted by these YouTube videos.

There are more ShitHarperDid.com videos in the YouTube sidebar.

Another great blog, and yes – it does have to do with Harper, is thingsharperdoestoseemhuman. I thoroughly enjoy the commentary and pictures. I’m interested in seeing some for other party leaders, but my forwarded links always seem to carry our current leader. Please comment with links if you have any!

Finally, I can’t leave out Rick Mercer, who is doing a great job at creatively talking to young voters. His rants are catching a lot of attention, and I like them. We are not targeted, we are not a threat. Let’s change this! (no laugh track)

Call and Response

So this week I had a few surprises, one of which was a link to a short poem. Before knowing the author’s motivation to write the piece, I formulated a response. Modelled almost identically to the original, this is it.

My head is pounding, a long day – no fee
You dance, you smile, I’m pulled, you draw me
Break, I broke, I mean standing ‘skew
You’re sure, I’m shy, I mean nervous ’round you
I can’t start over. My mouth moving too fast
I want to calm down,  ’cause this moment will pass
Hot, just boom, a sensory vacation
It’s like an energy moved me, to you – my destination
Heartbreak, time break, you have to go
Give me some sleep sand man, the interim’s too slow
Cause I’m wrapped in your velocity, your sensual curiosity
An enveloping presence, a break from bland monotony
See me, “I wanna see you,” Comer over here, “definitely feel you.”  
But I’ll hide my feelings cause falling again is hard to do

*

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