An independent jury met last month to choose 5 projects they particularly wanted to see supported with $2500 towards market development activities, and a feature spot in our upcoming Pitch New Works Event.
Finalists of New Works Pitch program:
1. “Bijuriya”, Gabriel Dharmoo
Gabriel is a music composer and experimental vocalist. Bijuriya is a drag artist engaging with South Asian culture. Gabriel values innovation and risk taking as he navigates Eurocentric artistic scenes. On social media, Bijuriya lip-syncs her way into the hearts of brown queers. Both of them have marginal practices but they have very different audiences. Gabriel and Bijuriya are one person; it’s time to bring them together on one stage. Code-switching between drag performance, original songs, experimental sound design and the porosity between singing and lip-syncing, this piece celebrates the artist’s brownness through an array of unexpected talents. A quirky yet vulnerable exploration of their inadequacy to fully represent the subcultures they seek to embrace.
2. “StoryChor: Finding Community”, WeiHsi Hu
A chamber choir that re-imagines choral music through exploring the intersections between choral music, contemporary movement, and storytelling.
What is community? What does it feel like when you are part of one? This piece re-imagines traditional choral music through contemporary movement and queer theatre to explore the issues of social isolation and the yearning for community.
3. “Romaine & Julie-Anne”, Dwayne Morgan
Dwayne Morgan is a two-time Canadian National Poetry Slam Champion.
Romaine & Julie-Anne is a modern take on Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet. Set in corporate America in the early 90’s, the friction between Business mogul Mr. Capulet and union boss Mr. Montague is palpable; but what happens when their children fall in love?
Race, class, cultural appropriation, and interracial love are webs that tie these families together, and ultimately tear them apart.
4. “Like Eagles (Mānand-e ‘Oqāb)”, Innovations en concert
“Like an Eagle” (Mānand-e ‘Oqāb) was the first feature film produced in Afghanistan as a collaboration between the filmmaking unit at the Ministry of the Press and the Fine Arts Institute whose head, Fayz Mohammad Khierzadeh, directed the film. An exquisitely surrealistic view of Kabul in the 1960s, it follows a young girl as she wanders through the city on a trip from her hometown of Paghman, to view a day of national celebration.
Latif’s reimagined live adaptation of Mānand-e ‘Oqāb combines storytelling, music, text, and footage of the film to tell an odyssey of displacement. Composer Osama Shalabi and his ensemble Land of Kush, with a small ensemble of singers, will work in collaboration with Latif to reflect and challenge both the real and the chimeric explorations of nationalism and identity. This project, alongside its creative work, aims to extend its reach by creating meaningful partnerships with colleagues at organizations such as the National Archive of Afghanistan (Archiv-e-Milli) and Afghan American Artists & Writers (AAAWA), among other international Afghan associations, as well as with the National Film Board of Canada to highlight the works of many other Afghan artists, filmmakers, writers, and thinkers.
5. “The Prop Master’s Dream”, Vancouver Cantonese Opera
The mission of Vancouver Cantonese Opera is to present the unique traditional art of Cantonese opera at the highest level to both Chinese and non-Chinese audiences.
The Prop Master’s Dream is an innovative and experimental fusion opera that tells the true-life story of Wah Kwan and his family.
The Prop Master’s Dream raises public awareness of public policy issues related to race relations, anti-racism, or anti-hate nationally, regionally, or in local communities. At the same time, it raises awareness of historical racism and discrimination towards two distinctive races: Chinese Canadian and Indigenous People in Canada.