Gay writer and director Javier Vilalta, from Calgary’s Maple Salsa Theatre, brings his show The Dali Hours to the 2010 Vancouver International Fringe Festival. We ask Vilalta about the show, Dali and pushing boundaries in this q&a.
1. Tell us about your Fringe show The Dali Hours – what can audiences expect?
Our company, Maple Salsa, is dedicated to create thematical experiences for the stage that explore different areas of life which concern the ensemble personally and artistically. The Dali Hours is a tribute to the stage of our lives where time seems to have no effect on the way we fulfill ourselves as human beings, which is childhood.
Audiences can expect a highly physical and visually appealing performance that celebrates childhood and time in the same manner the surrealists did.
2. What attracted you to doing a show with Dali’s paintings and writings as a backdrop?
Salvador Dali is famous as an artist, but few know his side as an intellectual and philosopher. We based this spectacle not only on his images, but mostly on his theories regarding taking control over time.
3. As a gay artist do you see your queer sensibility injected into your writing?
I am very sensitive when writing, but I don’t think I ever relate my sexuality to the work. I constantly feel that I owe more to the community and I’m keeping in mind a piece that could help us understand better those who face challenges as openly gay individuals in societies that are less tolerant.
4. How difficult/easy is to be both writer and director of your own show?
My writing for the stage is very poetic and doesn’t follow the traditional structure of playwriting. I think that I don’t believe in expressing the words in a conventional manner, so it certainly helps to be the one to translate the vision from the words to the stage.
5. What attracted you to doing a show in the Fringe in Vancouver?
We have always aimed to expose our work to different audiences. I strongly believe that Vancouver Fringe-goers will embrace this experience and will allow us to premiere the piece with confidence so it can keep growing.
6. Maple Salsa “pushes the boundaries of conventional theatre” – how do you balance pushing the boundaries without alienating your audience?
I think that alienating the audience can be something wonderfully challenging for the performers and the spectators. It certainly worked for Brecht, whose work is a major inspiration for our group. You must trust the audience’s intelligence and allow them to take in something different. It might be strange at first, but that can only open them up to enjoy theatre at another level.
The Dali Hours
Revue Stage, 1601 Johnston Street, Granville Island
Friday, Sept 10, 11:00pm
Saturday, Sept 11, 4:55pm
Sunday, Sept 12, 12:00 Noon
Monday, Sept 13, 6:45pm
Thursday, Sept 16, 8:30pm
Saturday, Sept 18, 7:35pm
Gay writer and director Javier Vilalta presents The Dali Hours from Calgary’s Maple Salsa. In a quest for eternal youth, a little man embarks on a journey giving him the opportunity to be part of several recreations of Dali’s famous paintings and learn more about his abstract artistry, his anxiety for the scientific, and above all, his eternal quest to conquer time.