Two theatrical hybrids from the mind of gay Vancouver artist and performer Robert Leveroos, Safe/Guard and Feast are set to play as part of the inaugural rEvolver Festival that opens at The Cultch on May 14.
Described as “theatrical poems skewing conventional storytelling” the pieces will be presented in The Clutch’s Greenhouse basement, an East Vancouver cultural landmark that has finally been deemed unsalvageable and is set for demolition in June. With his two pieces dealing with destruction and rebirth, the space is an ideal locale for the two pieces that merge visual art, dance, clown, and magic while giving the community one last chance to celebrate the storied past of the building before it comes down.
“I love the character of old spaces,” explains Leveroos as to his decision to use the Greenhouse basement which for years has been home to The Cultch and other local arts companies. “It really felt perfect for both of these works, but especially in Safe/Guard where I talk about things being built and destroyed.”
In Safe/Guard, Leveroos uses found objects, movement, sound and light to tell his story of an alchemist who builds and destroys the world.
“I’ve performed Safe/Guard before so it wasn’t specific to the Greenhouse, but I wanted to find a complimentary piece for it and I was drawn to the building and started to envision Feast.”
Along with the basement in mind, Leveroos found inspiration for Feast in a single image he discovered in a book of children’s science experiments.
“It was this bizarre two dimensional head that if you hooked them together with their open mouth in just right way you can balance them on the side of table,” he recalls. “It spoke to me about family and the ways we interact at meal time and I wanted to see that on stage.”
Developed through contact improvisation, where two performers use touch to communicate, Feast uses everyday objects and heirlooms as it speaks to family and the way we interact at meals.
And while definite hybrids, Leveroos is quick to point out that with his theatrical background the pieces are accessible.
“It might be performance art in that it mixes genres, but they are both ultimately for an audience,” he asserts. “They are fun and imaginative and you’ll walk away seeing the world in a different way.”
Safe/Guard & Feast
Part of the rEvolver Festival
May 16 – 26, 2013
Visit http://www.upintheairtheatre.com for tickets and information.