Western Front is pleased to present whereverever, a new 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 without intermission, whereverever playfully 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 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. As the video cuts rhythmically between each place, it oscillates between a sense of distance and presence, past and present, as Mardon + Mitsuhashi orientate themselves as visitors to their hereditary homes and construct a postcard for their future kin. 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 performance 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 of imperfect unison in which dance becomes a devotional technology to understand their bodies differently, both in relation to each other and the histories they hold.
The opening night performance will be available to livestream for free from the link above.
Directors and performers: Alexa Mardon and Erika Mitsuhashi
Videography and editing: Alysha Seriani
Composer: Sasha J. Langford
Costume design: Jae Woo Kang
Additional props and costumes: Natalie Purschwitz
Lighting design: Nien-Tzu Weng
Technical managers: Jack Chipman, Ben Wilson
Artistic mentors: Justine A. Chambers, Xwechtaal Dennis Joseph, Mala Kline
Dramaturgy support: Joanna Garfinkel
Accessibility consultation: Cara Eastcott, Amy Amantea
Audio description: Andrea Cownden
Mardon + Mitsuhashi comprises interdisciplinary artists and performers Alexa Mardon and Erika Mitsuhashi, who have been working together since 2015. Their work takes many forms including performance, installation, set design, and publication, and is rooted in friendship and relational transformation through their dedication to each other as artists and to leading creative processes that foster physical, emotional, cognitive, and spiritual autonomy with collaborators.
Alysha Seriani is an interdisciplinary artist working with production, pedagogy, film, media art, and community projects. Her practice revolves around horizontal styles of collaboration and learning and is informed by embodying intersectional feminism, intergenerational learning, and queer joy.
Sasha J. Langford makes sounds, writings, and interdisciplinary performance works that investigate intersections between bodies, power, and psychic life. In her sound scoring for choreographers, media artists, and filmmakers, Sasha draws together her classical training in music and her fascination with dance theory to create rhythmically-oriented and spatially-sensitive experimental electronic compositions.
The Grand Luxe Hall is located on the second floor of Western Front, which is accessed by a flight of 26 stairs. While plans for a full building upgrade to facilitate access for wheelchair users are still underway, all events in the Grand Luxe Hall are made available virtually via high-quality livestream (see link above).
The film includes open captions. The entire work will also be presented with audio description as part of VocalEye’s Almost Live program in fall, 2023. Stay tuned for further information.
Further details about accessibility at Western Front can be found here. Please feel free to contact Western Front directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or +1 (604) 876-9343 for specific access requests in advance of your visit.
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.