Complex characters drive a whodunit

Nine Dragons, a play set in 1920s Hong Kong, traces the journey of Tommy Lam, Hong Kong’s best detective, as he struggles against both the criminals and the colonial system that shape his job and his life. The show runs at the Gateway Theatre April 12–21, and is a co-production with Vertigo Theatre and the…

Anatolian folk songs revisited

To celebrate the Turkish National Sovereignty and Children’s Day, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the Republic of Turkey and the Turkish Consulate General in Vancouver presents Arpanatolia, the Turkey-based musical, at the Chan Centre Apr. 24. “The Turkish government is inviting children from all around the world, every April 23rd, to celebrate it…

A festival of fiddles

The cultural heritage of Maillardville, Coquitlam will be fully on display soon at Mackin Park for the Festival du bois (March 23–25), says Johanne Dumas, the festival’s managing artistic director and a festival veteran of over 20 years. “We want to celebrate everything that’s been in Maillardville over the years,” Dumas explains. “We’d be fools…

Photo exhibit zooms on intimate stories and histories

“Photobase is a diverse and inclusive collection of artists who use old photographs as the groundwork for their practice. A photograph can be read as the truth of a reality, or a reflection of an existence,” says Dona Nabata. Photobase: Reimagined Memories is an exhibit that involves repurposing old photographs to tell new tales. On display…

Butcher – a linguistic enigma

One Christmas Eve, an old man is found outside a police station with a butcher’s hook around his neck. The story only gets more shocking and surprising from there, as both the characters and the audience struggle to figure out what exactly will come next. The dark crime thriller Butcher runs March 20–31 at the Cultch Theatre.…

Film festival meets social engagement

The 8th Annual Vancouver South African Film Festival (VSAFF), a non-profit festival, runs at the SFU Goldcorp Centre for the Arts March 23–25, 2018. The event will showcase feature films and documentaries that explore the culture, history and politics of South Africa. Co-founded by Ruth and Cecil Hershler, VSAFF has the dual purpose of educating…

The three worlds of Ronald Boersen

“Pottery is my moment of creating peace,” says Ronald Boersen. The artist has clay all over his pants, but he’s okay with it; it’s his preferred method of wiping his hands, despite always keeping two towels beside him when he’s working. Moulding clay has become his form of meditation, even when things aren’t going his…

When worlds collide… virtually

The Vancouver International Women in Film Festival (March 7–11) will be giving the public a chance to experience Tidal Traces, a four-minute, 360-video VR dance piece co-created by film director Nancy Lee and choreographer Emmalena Fredriksson. This virtual reality work places viewers in the centre of the performance. In it, three characters, played by Zahra Shahab…

DocuAsia Forum looks at the African diaspora

Taking a leap into another perspective, the organizers of DocuAsia Forum offer viewers a special chance to see documentary film Les Sauteurs (Those Who Jump) on March 10, 2018 at SFU Harbour Centre. The Cinevolution Media Arts Society is responsible for programming the twice-annual DocuAsia Forum. Their 2018 spring edition will follow a theme of displacement by…

Where math, nature, disability and spirituality intersect

Sequence, a play written by Canadian ophthalmologist and playwright, Arun Lakra, explores the age-old philosophical tension between free will and determinism. Performed by the Realwheels Theatre, the play runs March 14–24, at the Presentation House Theatre. Theatre for the underrepresented Vancouver-based non-profit theatre company Realwheels Theatre seeks to bring actors with disabilities and actors without…

The Lady of the Bead

An empty canvas is a one of great potential. Bead Bai and Home Between Crossings are the first historical novels in an ongoing trilogy being written by Kenyan-born Canadian ethnographer and writer, Sultan Somjee. The writer has spent nearly a decade working on his trilogy, which takes the reader on a journey from the drought-stricken fields of India, shantytowns…

Artists use improvisation to create unique performances

Whenever Laakkuluk Williamson Bathory prepares for a performance, she challenges herself to put on a different mask – made of black grease paint mixed with red. Like her mask, which is based on a traditional Greenlandic Inuit dance mask known as uaajeerneq, used in rituals performed during the cold winter months, the audience can expect…

Charting new musical territory

Densabi takes the stage at Visual Space on March 10, bringing their improvisatory blend of traditional Japanese instruments and ambient electronic music. The electro-acoustic musical approach of the trio, composed of Alcvin Ramos, Bernie Arai and Chris Gestrin, centres around the beauty of impermanence and decay. “Each performance is never the same. We never know…