May 26 — 28, 2023

Performance, Media Artwork


Grand Luxe Hall, Western Front


7:00 p.m. (May 26 & 27) 4:00 p.m. (May 28)


whereverever is a work by Mardon + Mitsuhashi—the collaborative entity of Alexa Mardon and Erika Mitsuhashi—made with media artist Alysha Seriani and composer Sasha J. Langford. Across a sixteen-minute video and forty-minute dance performance, and produced as part of Western Front’s artist-in-residence program, whereverever traces possible beginnings and belonging by following the question “how did we get here?”

Recorded on location in Mardon + Mitsuhashi’s respective ancestral homelands, Finland and Japan, the video, shot and edited by Seriani, intertwines visits with relatives, folk and contemporary dancing, and observational images of the built and natural environments with a focus on gesture, movement, and impulse. A sampled glitch in the soundtrack, anaglyph effect on images, and a doubling in framing across the two places, disrupts a sense of linear time to unfold a vastness of relations.

In the dance that follows, Mardon + Mitsuhashi present a movement practice of “blurring” to a musical score performed live by Langford. Through a score of improvisational tasks, they perform a duet in which dance becomes a method to understand their bodies differently, both in relation to each other and the histories they hold. Wearing costumes designed by Jae Woo Kang, the pair move in imperfect unison throughout the space, complete with lighting design by Nien-Tzu Weng and additional props and costumes by Natalie Purschwitz. Midway through the performance, there is a shift from improvisational movements to a structured choreography in which Mardon + Mitsuhashi dance a repeated sequence that denotes aspects of folk dancing from Finland and Japan. The performance continues with a section seeing the duo lying on the dance floor under a projection of stars, as they sing in unison while interacting with fabric sleeve props that were also featured in the film. Finally, Mardon + Mitsuhashi pull back the Marley dance floor the length of the room, enveloping themselves in the process, and concluding the performance.

Throughout the course of the residency, whereverever was developed and produced with the assistance of technical managers Jack Chipman and Ben Wilson; and mentorship and support by Justine A. Chambers, Xwechtaal Dennis Joseph, Mala Kline, and Joanna Garfinkel. Accessibility consultation was provided by Cara Eastcott and Amy Amantea, and an audio description was produced by Andrea Cownden. 

The work was accompanied by an essay by Christian Vistan titled “Or a question about movement that isn’t oriented around leaving something behind.” 

whereverever was commissioned by Western Front as part of its artist-in-residence program, with support from the Government of Canada, Canada Council for the Arts, British Columbia Arts Council, Leña Residency, MascallDance, Whatlab, Company 605 and Out Innerspace Dance Theatre.

Video documentation is available upon request. 


Two tulle sleeves, one red and one blue, hang from the ceiling of the Grand Luxe Hall. These garments are echoed in an image projected on a screen at the back of the space that shows a blue tulle garment dangling in front of a rock face. A number of chairs are set up facing the screen.
Two people crouch on a Marley dance floor with their backs to the camera. They wear matching blue and red pants and button up tops. They reach towards two fluorescent light tubes that illuminate the space. The image has an otherworldly green colour balance.
Seen in motion, Erika Mitsuhashi energetically extends her left arm upwards while in an exaggerated contrapposto. A sheer piece of fabric covers her head. The whole room is basked in blue light.
Erika Mitshuhashi kneels and gazes towards the ground. A sheer piece of fabric covers her head. Alexa runs along the back of the dance floor. The whole image is basked in blue light.
Alexa Mardon kneels on a Marley dance floor with their hands twisted in an almost crawling motion. They wear a red button up shirt and pants with blue detailing.
With her back to the camera, Erika Mitsuhashi points towards the ceiling. She wears a satiny blue robe and matching pants with a red stripe down the back of the legs. Her head is covered by a sheer piece of blue fabric.
Alexa Mardon leaps towards the camera with their arms outspread in a low V-shape. They wear an unbuttoned red shirt and matching pants with blue detailing. They dance on a white Marley floor.
Erika Mitsuhashi and Alexa Mardon stand side-by-side on a Marley dance floor, smiling while engaging in a duet. They are dressed in black tops and red and blue pants with inverse detailing to match.
Alexa Mardon and Erika Mitsuhashi perform synced choreography, twisting in inverse directions to dance as one body. The Grand Luxe Hall is covered in a Marley dance floor, and basked in pink and blue light. Sumptuous red and blue tulle sleeves hang from the ceiling.
Dancing in sync, Alexa Mardon and Erika Mitsuhashi step forward with their left legs. They are dressed in black tops and red and blue pants with inverse detailing to match. They dance on a Marley floor in the Grand Luxe Hall that is illuminated by pink and blue stage lights.
Alexa Mardon lies on a Marley dance floor in the Grand Luxe Hall. In the background, Erika Mitsuhashi dances with her arms outstretched. The room is flooded in fuschia light.
Erika Mitsuhashi and Alexa Mardon crouch on a Marley dance floor, gathering red and blue tulle garments. They’re basked in a pink hue dappled with soft flecks of white light.
Alexa Mardon and Erika Mitsuhashi lie on a Marley dance floor under soft dappled light. Red and blue tulle garments are piled between them.

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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.