Culture Days Performance: MOTHLIKE/silvery-blue

  • Performance
  • Saturday, September 24, 2022

    5:00 PM - 7:00 PM

    Location: Brunswick Point, Ladner

    Above: dancer/choreographer Jody Sperling at Brunswick Point

    As part of Culture Days weekend launch, the Gallery hosts a free public performance at Brunswick Point (at the end of River Rd in Ladner, or 2524 River Rd).

    Artist Amy-Claire Huestis and collaborators present this site-specific community piece for choir, dance, and kinship with nature. Please join us for this community performance in an internationally recognized area of critical ecological importance for migratory birds in the Fraser River Estuary.

    We invite you to attend, visit the site, or follow the durational score as together we perform a mytho-poetic story cycle on the dyke trail. This piece celebrates kinship with birds and the interconnectedness of all things—MOTHLIKE/silvery-blue tells a story of human/more-than-human transformation; Silvery Blue is a person, a butterfly (a ghost), the shimmering colour of the land.  

    This site-specific durational work animates artworks in the story cycle, as a choir from the BC Choral Federation, volunteers, and artist participants follow an experimental score, performing roles in dance, sound, walking, and reading at the sites over a two-week period. Visitors to the sites and attendees will encounter what is a delicate piece in both diffused and congregated elements. The performance culminates at sunset on the Autumnal Equilux on September 24th, with a procession from 5 – 7 pm.  Omar Zubair (composer, NYC), Jody Sperling (dancer/choreographer, NYC), Rachel Harris (dancer, Montréal), and Brigid Coult (choir director, Richmond Chorus) come together in community with the wild kin of the marshland for this participatory event. 

    This project is in consultation with Hwlitsum First Nation, and is funded by Canada Council for the Arts, KPU, and Richmond Art Gallery.  It is in partnership with Birds Canada, and is concurrent with the community guided walk project, walk quietly: ts’ekw’unshun kws qulutun (walk with respect and care for the shoreline).

    The communal performance stems from artist Amy-Claire Huestis’s ongoing research in the Key Biodiversity Area (KBA) of Hwuli’tth’um (Brunswick Point in Ladner), an area of critical ecological importance for migratory birds within the Fraser River Estuary, in the ancestral and present-day lands of the Coast Salish Peoples, including the Hul’qumi’num Mustimuhw (Hul’qumi’num Treaty Group of Seven Coast Salish Nations), scəw̓aθən (Tsawwassen), and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam). 

    To learn more about the artists and the score, visit the artist’s website.  

    About the Artists:

    Amy-Claire Huestis (artist) lives on the stɑl̓əw̓ (Fraser) river estuary at she-shum-qun (Canoe Pass in Ladner). In her experiential practice she suspends a state of wonder in relation to nature and its mysteries. Thinking through how we might develop kinship to other species, she makes work through ritual and deep attention to the landscape over time. Her work involves collaboration with artists and communities of scientists and conservationists. Her collaborations and partnerships have included North Pacific Cannery Museum, Aadmsteti: Stinging Nettle Net, Time Lapse Dance, Henry Andersen Elementary School, Birds Canada, UCLA Art/Science Center, and many beloved artists and individuals.  Amy-Claire is full-time faculty at Kwantlen Polytechnic University. 

    Omar Zubair (composer)  is a Pakistani American composer based in New York City. He has helped found composer collectives across the country in order to promote radical empathy and empower active listening. He is engaged in the process of integrating a pan-cultural musical sensibility with his work, to peer deeply into foundational empathetic resonances. Until 2020, Omar was a member of the experimental theatre company, The Wooster Group.  His work has been shown in the Pompidou Centre, Paris; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Disney Concert Hall, LA; World Stage Festival, Toronto; and National Theatre of Norway, Oslo.

    Jody Sperling (dancer-choreographer) is New York City-based, and has created more than 45 works and pays particular attention in her practice to the Arctic and climate change. She is considered the world’s leading exponent of the style of early modern dancer and performance technologist Loïe Fuller (1862-1928). Sperling has expanded Fuller’s genre into the 21st century, deploying it in the context of contemporary and environmental performance forms. Currently, she is developing a performance practice called eco-kinetics that cultivates the relationship between the dancing body and the environment.

    Rachel Harris (dancer) in life and art  listens to the energetic vivacity that inhabits and surrounds her. Originally from British Columbia, Rachel has collaborated, over her 30-year career in Montréal, with 30+ choreographers in the creation of 40+ works, touching a very diverse range of choreographic styles, performing around the world. Rachel also performs regularly on her great-grandparent’s farm in BC. Since 2010 she has been teaching movement workshops in women’s shelters as part of Dance Against Violence. Rachel is presently in creation with Benoît Lachambre, Aurélie Pedron and Thea Patterson. 

    Brigid Could (director) brings together a choir of individuals from the BC Choral Federation Choir have for this performance project. Brigid trained and worked in England until coming to Canada in 1982. She has been directing Richmond Chorus since 1994, and in her hands the Chorus has grown both in numbers and musicianship. Currently she is Director of Music at St. Mary’s Kerrisdale Anglican Church, and she has also served on diocesan and national church committees. She still sings at Christ Church Cathedral in Vancouver, when she has time, sometimes leading the music at Compline services, and she has been a member of Canada’s award winning women’s choir, ELEKTRA.

     * * *

    We humbly acknowledge this project takes place on the ancestral and present-day lands of the Coast Salish Peoples, including the Hul’qumi’num Mustimuhw (Hul’qumi’num Treaty Group of seven Coast Salish Nations), scəw̓aθən (Tsawwassen), and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam).  This project is in participation and consultation with the Hwlitsum First Nation, and works to build ties with all whose lands it touches.   

    Culture Days is a national celebration of arts and culture, with free participatory arts and culture events happening all across the country. Visit the Culture Days website to see what events are happening throughout Richmond:





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