Date(s) - Wednesday, January 9, 2019 - Sunday, January 27, 2019
HIGH PERFORMANCE RODEO
Calgary’s International Festival of the Arts
Line Up of Music, Dance, Comedy and Theatre Announced
TICKETS ON SALE TODAY
One Yellow Rabbit’s Artistic Director Blake Brooker and Festival
Producer Laurel Green announced the line-up for the 33rd annual High Performance
Rodeo, Calgary’s International Festival of the Arts. The wildly popular festival runs
January 9 to 27, 2019 at venues throughout Calgary.
The Line Up for the 2019 High Performance Rodeo:
A perennial festival highlight, Calgary’s most daring theatre ensemble One Yellow
Rabbit, premieres Live Your Prime, with Damien Frost. Are scientific models of aging
just fanciful drivel? Can contemporary modes of aging can be unlearned? Is there really
a Fountain of Youth? What if the longer you live, the likelier you are to live longer? If
getting old is getting old for you, join Damien Frost (John Murrell), his son Damien Junior
(Andy Curtis) and his wife Darlene (Denise Clarke) as they share with you the secrets of
how to LIVE YOUR PRIME. In several easy payments, of course.
Headlining the festival is internationally renowned author and spoken word artist Shane
Koyczan. Most famous for his anti-bullying poem “To This Day,” which has over 20
million views on Youtube, Koyczan also performed a variation on his piece “We Are
More” at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. The Rodeo is thrilled to co-present Koyczan
alongside Tooth Blackener at the Festival!
The Rodeo partners up once again with Alberta Theatre Projects to co-present Café
Daughter b y Workshop West. Based on the life of Chinese-Canadian and Cree
Senator Lillian Eva Quan Dyck, Café Daughter tells an uplifting story of finding yourself
and defining your place in the world against all odds.
Lunchbox Theatre presents Sansei: The Storyteller, by Calgarian artist Mark Kunji
Ikeda. Through an engaging blend of dance, spoken word, and loads of humour,
Ikeda weaves a tale that is both illuminating and profoundly personal. Sansei: The
Storyteller offers Ikeda’s observations about the Japanese internment, his own
discovery of where he came from, and how Japanese Canadians found peace.
The Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra comes to the Rodeo with Mozart’s Birthday
Party. Sharing a birthday with none other than Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, conductor
Rune Bergmann leads the CPO in a joyful celebration of the great composer whose
music shines with balanced purity, perfection, and delightful humour.
Swallow-a-Bicycle Theatre presents artist Mx. Katie Sly’s new work, How to Self
Suspend. Part photo-essay, part rope bondage demonstration, this performance looks
at Katie Sly’s existence in three cities: their childhood being raised in instability and
violence in Montréal, their ecstasy and injury in the Toronto BDSM community, and
where they now live: kiddie-corner to Vancouver’s Downtown East Side. Hot,
uncomfortable, and with questionable ethics, this solo performance explores the impact
of long-endured trauma, and how that trauma shapes what feels normal.
Local Disability Theatre Company Inside Out Theatre returns from their presentation of
Make Love Not Art with a new work by Back to Back Theatre: The Democratic Set.
Disturbingly obvious and tantalisingly strange, The Democratic Set is an experimental
residency model for working with communities. Creating a series of short performances
for film, this piece is an unrestricted and uncensored exploration of ideas in freedom and
Co-presented with local indie company Sage Theatre, Victoria-based company
Castlereigh Theatre comes to the Rodeo with God’s Lake. Inspired by the
mysterious death of a young Cree woman, God’s Lake is an original work of
documentary theatre that addresses the issue of safety for young Indigenous women
and girls living on isolated First Nation reserves.
CZAPNO Ensemble present This Little Piggie: A Dusty Folk Opera, originally created
by the Calgary Folk Music Festival and the ever-popular Old Trout Puppet Workshop,
renowned creators of Famous Puppet Death Scenes. Once upon a far away autumns
night, a group of musicians hunkered themselves away into a log cabin deep in the
valleys of the Rocky Mountains. They set about writing a musical that would tread upon
the edge of theatre, opera and the simple love of playing music. Inspired by the events
of the “Great Plow Up” in the 30’s, which lead to what we know as the Dust Bowl, This
Little Piggie looks at the price of ambition and the forces that drive them.
Returning for the second year is The Shoe Project, a series of personal stories from
women refugees and immigrants from all parts of the globe. A pair of shoes symbolizes
their journeys of migration and transformation. The Shoe Project features music,
projections, and revelations as we tear the masks off the words ‘immigrant’ and
The High Performance Rodeo is thrilled to present a Canadian icon with Kids in the Hall
member Scott Thompson, performing Apres la Deluge: The Buddy Cole Monologues.
Lounge lizard Buddy Cole, a character from Kids in the Hall, makes a return to the
limelight in an evening of humorous monologues from the period the show went off the
air in 1995 to the present day.
Shakespeare is in the air at the Rodeo with two productions: The Shakespeare
Company brings Hammered Hamlet (Drunk Shakespeare) to the Festival. You’ve
seen and read Shakespeare before, but what happens when Hamlet has a little too
much to drink before swooning audiences with prose? Prepare yourself as part of the
cast begins by consuming enough shots to trip even the most well-trained tongue. Then,
check out Macbeth Muet, from La Fille du Laitier, Montreal’s “theatre delivery service.”
Macbeth and Lady Macbeth perform a silent pantomime of their love story. Watch
Shakespeare’s classic, performed entirely without words, as Shakespeare’s power
couple are transformed through their dark and fateful choices in this hilarious, highspeed
romp of object theatre, dance, and pure madness.
Coming from Toronto is Pearle Harbour’s Chautauqua, part of Pearle Harbour
Presents. Chautauqua is an immersive extravaganza: part cabaret, part
tragicomedy, part Tent Revival. There’s music, sing-a-longs, puppet shows and even
an exorcism! The world may be falling apart, but Pearle Harbour, Toronto’s most
cerebral drag queen, will show you that there’s more that unites us than divides us.
Also from Toronto, Nightswimming presents Broken Tailbone, written and
performed by Carmen Aguirre. Daring, sexy, and, above all, fun, Carmen’s
performance consists of an extended salsa dance lesson that flows into her
remarkable stories of intimacy, politics, culture and the forgotten origins of the salsa.
Vancouver’s Chop Theatre presents How to Disappear Completely, by awardwinning
designer Itai Erdal. In 2000, Erdal received a phone call telling him his mother
was diagnosed with lung cancer and had nine months to live. Erdal promptly travelled to
Israel to spend every moment he could with his mother. During that time he shot hours
of film and hundreds of pictures, documenting her final days. This piece pairs the power
of Erdal’s story with the nuanced potency of stage lighting.
Calgary-based playwrights are out in force at the Rodeo. Karen Hines presents
Crawlspace, a darkly comedic, cautionary tale about the brutal battleground of real
estate, decorative twig orbs and the state of the human soul.
Music and Dance hit the Rodeo in a big way with Better Get Hit in Your Soul by
Decidedly Jazz Danceworks inspired by inspired by the music, life and times of
Charles Mingus and with Alberta Ballet presenting Ballet BC, in its triumphant return to
the Jubilee stage after a 10-year hiatus. Ballet BC showcases premiere Canadian talent
in a tantalizing triple bill.
The Rodeo welcomes international works to the Festival this year, with DJD presenting
Australia’s IJIBERRI Theatre Company i n Blood on the Dance Floor. A
choreographer, dancer and writer from the Narangga and Kaurna nations of South
Australia, Jacob Boehme was diagnosed with HIV in 1998. In search of answers, he
reached out to his ancestors. Through a powerful blend of theatre, image, text and
choreography, Boehme pays homage to their ceremonies whilst dissecting the politics of
gay, Blak and poz identities.
From across the Atlantic, Société Protectrice de Petites Idées arrives from Trégeux,
France, with Cow Love. Cow Love is the absurd corner where sporty haute couture
coexists, the sour taste of milk, the songs that will never be a big tube, the plastic
flowers and the whim of a love.
The High Performance Rodeo’s festival favourites are back. Pillory Calgary’s Betty
Mitchell Theatre Awards with the satirical Veronicas, a fast-paced, sassy celebration of
the people who make theatre in Calgary. Raise a glass to the talented, the beautiful and
the sh**-disturbing theatre artists we adore. We’ll celebrate every last one of them — in
30 seconds each. Downstage returns to Martha Cohen Theatre with the always popular
10-Minute Play Festival. This Calgary classic features 6 local indie companies. And
again this year, ProArts@Noon offers free Wednesday noon-hour performances in the
historical downtown Cathedral Church of of the Redeemer.
Rodeo Passes and all tickets – including $15 Wednesday tickets – are on sale
today. Purchase them online at hprodeo.ca; by calling 403-294-9494; or at the Arts
Commons Box Office.
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Celebrating its 33rd year, the High Performance Rodeo is an annual festival featuring
theatre, dance, comedy, music and multimedia presentations. Founded by One Yellow
Rabbit Co-Artistic Director Michael Green, the festival is currently curated and produced
by Artistic Director Blake Brooker and Festival Producer Laurel Green and the One
Yellow Rabbit team, it is dedicated to entertaining as wide an audience as imaginable,
while remaining fertile ground for the progressive and wild. The High Performance
Rodeo is the largest festival of its kind in Western Canada.