Sunday, August 23, 2009


This year I've been developing the space with a garden.

To cover up some unlovely walls, I put in a sweet autumn clematis and a "blueberry vine." Both of these can be aggressive but the shade slows them down. I also put in a moonlight hydrangea vine against the newly refinished side of the building, which gets good light.

I've started some scented plants, in addition to the existing roses: two bushes, a viburnum and a daphne, and some thyme. I grew some night-scented stock from seed as well.

My other focus has been white flowers and grey leaves that show beautifully at night, so I had some white penta and some bacopa, both very beautiful, and some dusty miller for the leaves.

performance: Figure of Speech Seven

In this show, we had another cancellation that worked out beautifully. The originally intended show would have fallen in to the "Toronto Style" category as a tango milonga, but with the substitution of the brilliant dancers from Tango Sur Theatre, we moved into the realm of "Maps and Territories."

This show of over an hour was entirely built around two poems, as well as some words contributed by the audience. The performers plan to continue with the work.

performance: Figure of Speech Six

In this show we introduced the "Maps and Territories" theme, with wisdom stories presented by the inimitable Howard Jerome, who describes himself as "Toronto's Oldest Rapper." With stories ranging from Arthurian to Zen Buddhist, Howard's Brooklynese take on these stories was nicely balanced by the lyrical sounds of Hameed's steel pan and the fluidity of Tom and Lauren dancing in contact improv.

In this piece, the supporting pillar in the stage was used as a third dancer. Perhaps I should have paid it for the work? I'll put the money towards its retirement fund.

performance: Figure of Speech Five

Due to a family situation, the intended poet was not available. However, this allowed me to fill in with readings from George's academic work, to create a kind of "Introduction to the idea of Majlis." Many thanks to Patricia Kambitsch for stepping in and acting as our reader.

This show was very poorly attended, perhaps due to the bad weather. However, I was happy with the quality of the work and the documentation.

performance: Figure of Speech Four

In this performance we continued to develop the show from Figure of Speech One. I had hoped to continue the process with all three original shows, but due to various situations: health, grad school, travel, this wasn't possible.

Norma developed a character, who would probably be played by Tilda Swinton in the film version: a driven but appealing woman caught somewhere between ambition and self-consciousness.

The whole night developed into a kind of George Herriman cartoon, all the performers deliberately caught up in their own worlds and yet impinging on each other.