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2013 Queer Arts Fest explores transgressions

The 2013 Vancouver Queer Arts Festival explores areas where queer artists transgress social, gender, and political boundaries.

Highlights this year includes When the Sun Comes Out, the world premiere of Canada’s first lesbian opera, commissioned by the QAF. Photo by Belle Ancell.

Highlights at this year’s Queer Arts Festival includes When the Sun Comes Out, the world premiere of Canada’s first lesbian opera. Photo by Belle Ancell.

As Canada’s only professional queer multidisciplinary festival, this year’s theme of  TransgressionNow celebrates the visual and performing artists who identify as part of the queer communities in the Queer Arts Festival’s (QAF) annual showcase of arts and culture from July 24 to August 9, 2013.

Highlights at this year’s QAF includes When the Sun Comes Out, the world premiere of Canada’s first lesbian opera, commissioned by the QAF.  Written by composer Leslie Uyeda and poet Rachel Rose, and directed by James Fagan Tait, the opera explores the oppression that queers face, and the risks they take, in nations where homosexuality is illegal.

The mainstay of the QAF, its visual arts exhibit, takes on the TransgressionNow theme head-on as the show’s curators Paul Wong and Glenn Alteen bring together the work of 14 artists who still see transgression in queer culture.

In music, QAF presents the official launch concert of Kinnie Starr’s new album, Kiss It! A critically acclaimed underground musician, Starr is heralded for her authentic voice and love of wordplay. Starr is joined by genre-defying cellist Cris Derksen in a performance of their new collaborative project, BEAMS.

Award-winning Montreal choreographer George Stamos brings his dance Liklik Pik to the QAF, performing alongside his dance partner Dany Desjardins.  Liklik Pik explores the animal urges in men, combining references to children’s stories, pets, lounge lizards, and gay “pig-boy” culture while toying with male sensuality.

In Fruit Flambé some of Vancouver’s hottest young artists will present a new show for QAF following a six-week trans-disciplinary mentorship under the tutelage of director, actor and playwright David Bloom, Juno award-winning producer and hip-hop artist Kinnie Starr, and new media artist Sammy Chien.  Billed as performance art meets indie rock spiced with burlesque and topped with slam poetry, Fruit Flambé will explore the themes of sex and gender in this youth-driven showcase.

The 2013 Vancouver Queer Arts Festival runs July 24 – August 9.  Visit http://queerartsfestival.com for more information.

Mark Robins on Google+

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