The Neanderthal Arts Festival, Vancouver’s summer festival of new and experimental theatre, is back for its third year. Among the shows at this year’s Festival is House of X, the latest work from pioneering dance-theatre crossover artist, Conrad Alexandrowicz.
Devised, directed and choreographed by Alexandrowicz, House of X mixes movement, gesture, invented speech plus the poetry from Governor General’s Literary Award winner Erin Mouré to tell its story.
“The piece is essentially a performance in which you see a writer creating narrative sequences using inventive language and poetry,” explained Alexandrowicz. “It is all about storytelling and our addiction to storytelling and violence. All these stories end with a violent murder, told in a very slapstick way.”
Finding it difficult to precisely put into words what audiences can expect from House of X, it is apparent that with press materials that start off by asking the reader if they are “ready for a challenge”, Alexandrowicz isn’t interested in making things easy for them.
“Since we’re living in such a conservative cultural time in Vancouver, anytime you do something experimental you need to almost apologise,” explained Alexandrowicz. “Maybe that is wrong, maybe we should take faith that people are interested in this type of work and let people find what they want but I feel I need to warn people that what they are going to see is not going to be traditional.”
What is apparent though is this non-traditional work fits nicely inside the Neanderthal Arts Festival’s mandate.
“The Neanderthal Festival is all about exploration and taking chances and is a perfect fit for this work,” concluded Alexandrowicz.
The House of X
Part of the 2012 Neanderthal Arts Festival
The Vancouver East Cultural Centre
18 – 29 July 2012
From co-producers Left Right Minds and Upintheair Theatre, the Neanderthal Arts Festival provides a platform for theatre artists and companies to showcase and try out new and experimental work. It encourages work that takes risks, is creative, has a clear artistic vision and that is accessible and engaging for its core target-demographic of 20-40 year olds. Visit http://www.thal.ca for exact showtimes, tickets and information.