Jan 22 — 24, 2020



Grand Luxe Hall, Western Front


8:00 p.m.


Directed by Mike Bourscheid, Idealverein was a performance featuring Alison Denham, Ralph Escamillan, Ed Spence, Kate Franklin, Germaine Koh, and Erika Mitsuhashi. Choreographed by Justine A. Chambers, the performance took the form of a six-player game that unfolded over three evenings in the Grand Luxe Hall. Yellow tape on the floor demarcated the court where performers competed in a strangely intimate game drawing on kindness, cleverness, wild chance, and bodily strategy.

Idealverein unfolded as a set of considered improvised movements, alliances, gestures, actions, relationships, commitments, questions, and moods. The players wore uniforms designed by Bourscheid that included numbered leather aprons and platform sandals elevated by forged steel—both fitted with supports for raw and boiled eggs, sausages, lipstick, cigarettes, orange disc cones, wind instruments, and other props that dictated the players’ movement. Throughout the game, the players shuffled, slid, and crawled across the play space, moving in and out of huddles while exchanging their plans for action. Each period of play was marked by a whistle and the announcement of each team’s total points. While the objective of the game was ambiguous, it became clear as the performance progressed that there was no opposition as all of the players were working towards collective goals. Translating to “non-profit organization” from German, Idealverein proposed an absurd but tender model for being in relation to one another based on reciprocity and care. 

Presented in partnership with PuSh International Performing Arts Festival. 

Video documentation of this performance is available upon request.

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Western Front is a non-profit
artist-run centre in Vancouver.

We acknowledge the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and səl̓ílwətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations as traditional owners of the land upon which Western Front stands.