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Showing posts from January, 2012

Raymond Fraser Take the Proust Questionnaire!

Raymond Fraser has been called “the best literary voice to come belling out of the Maritimes in decades" (Farley Mowat) and “one of the most gifted writers I know” (Alden Nowlen). Fredericton-based author, poet and editor has a bevy of great works under his belt, including The Bannonbridge Musicians, The Fighting Fisherman: The Life of Yvon Durelle, When The Earth Was Flat and his latest works The Madness of Youth and Repentance Vale. 
What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery? Once when I was in Montreal and trying to keep off the bottle I smoked some marijuana (which never did agree with me; I was strictly a drinking man) and experienced what it was like to be cut off absolutely from man and God. I was in a room with people but it was as if I wasn't, and I was terrified. I felt so disconnected I actually thought I was dead. It wasn't an experience I'd like to repeat, but it was a great lesson, for I knew then that without a linking spirit – without God, in othe…

Horses of Poetry

The horses of poetry sleep standing up, in paddocks of ink
Together, they run down the long- shadowed morning, grazing each word
in the mind’s deep grass, with soft lips prehensile as a monkey’s tail
and the teeth of a beauty queen, long straight and white, like the bones they are.
They toss their manes proudly, and prance as though there’s a mirror, somewhere
So gorgeous, such Rippling beauty, the muscular, enchanted flesh
too much for us in the end. We take a picture and leave. They snort
and whinny, their bodies’ poised for flight. The horses of poetry
gleam in our mind’s hollow, the wind of humankind in their nostrils.
~ Anna Quon

Anna Quon lives in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. She writes with compassion and ferocity about the struggle to grow up without a tribe of one's own. Drawing on her own experience as a half-Chinese- Canadian raised on Canada''s East Coast, and her own ambivalence about belonging, Migration Songs is Quon''s first novel.

The Trews Take Fredericton!

The Trews The Capital Exhibit Centre, Fredericton January 28, 2012
Friday morning, the East Coast Music Association (ECMA) revealed its nominations for this year’s annual awards week (Moncton, April 11-15). The Trews received five nominations, including Entertainer of the Year and Song of the Year (“Hope & Run”). Thirty-six hours later, Justin Cook witnessed the Antigonish-based rock band play to a sold-out Fredericton crowd.
The music was loud and the crowd aspired to match it. Once The Trews took the stage, there wasn’t a moment of silence for the rest of the night. Pauses between songs were filled with piercing screams.
“Don’t drink your problems away. Face them, and then drink,” Trews front man Colin MacDonald said near the start of their set. The band must have faced their problems because they showed up with beers in hand and glassy eyes too match. Any alcohol they had in their system didn’t affect their playing though. The band hit every note.
Bassist Jack Syperek seemed comato…

David Adams Richards takes the Proust Questionnaire!

Multi-award winning author David Adams Richards needs no introduction. The New Brunswick native has layered the Canadian literary landscape with a litany of contemporary classics, including Mercy Among the Children, The Lost Highway and his latest efforts, Incidents in the life of Markus Paul and Facing the Hunter; Reflections on a Misunderstood Way of Life.
What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery? I haven't reached it yet and hope I never will
Where would you like to live? Canada and Spain are my two favourite countries - cities I like are London and New York
What is your idea of earthly happiness? The love of my wife and children—surprise, surprise
To what faults do you feel most indulgent? Watching bad movies, trying to buy too many Harley's
Who are your favorite heroes of fiction? Pierre in War and Peace, but also Prince Mushkin in The Idiot, and The Mayor of Casterbridge, Phillip in Of Human Bondage (a really fine book),Catherine in Wuthering Heights, Princess Marie in Wa…

Better Late Than Never

Mrs. Parliament’s Night Out
Wednesday, July 25, 2012
Neptune Theatre, Halifax

There were lots of laughs at the Neptune Theatre in Halifax last night, as Norm Foster’s mid-life coming-of-age comedy Mrs. Parliament’s Night Out played to an opening-night capacity crowd.

Against a sparse set of sliding panels - swathed in soft blue and gold – TV’s Sheila McCarthy (Little Mosque on the Prairie, Road to Avonlea) took centre-stage as the middle-aged, uber-conservative Canadian housewife Theresa Parliament.
When her blandish husband forgets their 32nd wedding anniversary, the protagonist experiences an identity crisis of sorts, blindly leaping into an array of new activities, including singing and dance lessons, photography, bowling, boxing, archery and wine-tasting soirees - all in search of a new self.

After inadvertently finding herself at a 12-step meeting, she meets Steve, a recovering addict, and their connection is immediate. Exclaiming “I want to be noticed” – and with Steve’s encouragement…

Mrs. Parliament’s Night Out

The world premiere of Norm Foster’s Mrs. Parliament’s Night Out (starring Sheila McCarthy) will debut Tuesday at Neptune Theatre in Halifax.
The play’s director, Miles Potter, has been a part of the Canadian theatrical scene for at least 40 years. He has directed productions in almost every major Canadian venue, taught at the National Theatre School, Dalhousie University and other institutions and played various roles for companies like Theatre Passe Muraille and the Stratford Festival. Arts East recently caught up with Potter to get his take on Neptune’s latest play.
AE: What drew you to directing Mrs. Parliament’s Night Out? MP: I’ve done two Norm Fosters before and this is a new play. I love doing new plays. I love working on scripts. I love helping make them better. It’s always a pleasure to work on a new play. It’s the same reason the theatre wants to put it on. I was attracted to do a comedy in February. It’s a lovely time of year to do a piece like this. And it’s always a pleasur…
Daniel Ledwell is a Halifax-based musician, producer, painter, and graphic designer. He also plies his trade is a member of the award winning group In-flight Safety and as an acclaimed solo folk artist.
What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery? lack of inspiration

Where would you like to live? in the country.far from other people. on the water if possible

What is your idea of earthly happiness? living in the country on the water

To what faults do you feel most indulgent? workoholic,neuroces

Who are your favorite heroes of fiction? robin hood.batman.

Who are your favorite characters in history?
winston churchiil.mark twain.

Who are your favorite heroines in real life? emily carr.amelia earhart.

Who are your favorite heroines of fiction? wonderwoman.lisa freemont.

Your favorite painter? marc chagall.though the most amazing painting i have ever seen in real life is caravaggio's "taking of christ"

Your favorite musician? miles davis

The quality you most admire in a man? modesty.

The qualit…

All in the Family

Multi-award winning author Donna Morrissey has teamed up with her daughter, 27 year-old visual artist Bridgette, on a new children’s book called Cross Katie Kross.
The concept is a first for the Halifax-based novelist, whose past works include Kit’s Law, Downhill Chance, Sylvanus Now and What They Wanted.
The scribe says that she was inspired to put the story together from a dream she had almost a decade ago.
“It’s about a cross little old woman who was having a dream about a beautiful place called Love Valley,” she explains. “She was awakened by a rooster crowing and she declared that she hated everything in her life and went off down the road looking for the place in her dream.”
The story’s namesake then arrives at a junction where the path splits into three directions, each guarded by an animal. “The outline of the book was all there,” she adds. “So then I started filling in the spaces.”
The decision to work on the project with her daughter was simply a matter of time and fit. “We had b…


Claudia Moore and Mocean Dance
Sir James Dunn Theatre, Halifax

January 19, 2012

Wooh … exclaimed many times from my lips - I could not hide my inner excitement during the world premiere performance of Canvas 5X5. Mocean Dance’s Jacinte Armstrong, Rhonda Baker, Susanne Chui and Ruth-Ellen Kroll-Jackson filled place and time with captivating imagery, technical prowess and emotion, at times humorous. Choreographer Tedd Robinson’s imagination and artistry was channelled through the movement of canvasses. The four local dancers at times impressively balanced frames on heads, elbows, faces while garbing oversized muslin sheets that at any moment would cause most humans to trip and fall. The contrast between the dancers’ black tube dresses and white, over-sized sheets created visual art as black and white were thrown in every direction under the effective use of shimmering spotlights. Robinson’s appreciation for Celtic and Japanese culture was wholeheartedly revealed through upbeat music or cal…

Mocean & Moore!

Thursday to Saturday, two generations of dancers share the Dunn Theatre spotlight: the renowned Claudia Moore (just a year away from her 60th birthday) and Halifax-based Mocean Dance. Energy, emotion and novelty are expected from those performing works choreographed by Tedd Robinson and James Kudelka. Arts East recently spoke with Mocean’s Interim Artistic Director Sara Coffin about this week’s celebration of contemporary dance.

AE: What can audience members expect to see in Mocean Dance’s world premiere performance of Tedd Robinson's quartet? SC: In this brand new work, Robinson intertwines a traditional maritime soundscape with a striking contemporary imagery where the dancers manipulate over-sized canvas into whimsical and profound designs. The juxtaposition of the calming Celtic rhythm and the contagious kinetic movements is one of many examples of Robinson’s interplay of vigour and elegance. Quirky, intriguing yet subtly familiar, the world Robinson has created engages the audi…

Blow Hard

Why do we tell stories? “Because it’s how we understand the world. It’s how we learn. It’s how we form memories” says Stephanie Domet. Domet is one of the four storytellers who have brought Blow Hard to Halifax. Blow Hard is a public storytelling session that happens about once every three months. 

For the cost of five dollars, there is food and plenty of entertainment.Founded by: Stephanie Domet, Andrea Dorfman, Tara Doyle and Jackie Torrens, they wanted the public to experience the gift of a told story. The evening also serves to give storytellers, both amateur and professional,a chance to ply their craft.

Storytelling is how people pass on their knowledge and wisdom. It is the craft which formed our creation myths. Though ancient, the experience of a told story is mesmerizing. Even though society revels in 3D movies on the IMAX screen, the experience of one person relaying a story to a handful of other people is as captivating as the newest media form. Andrea Dorfman, another of Blo…

Centre For Art Tapes Media Scholarship Program

By Jen Powley
“We actually had to fundraise to offer them,” says James MacSwain, poet and editor, reminiscing about the inaugural offering of the Media Arts Scholarships.
MacSwain co-founded the Media Arts Scholarship program at the Centre for Art Tapes in 1988as an effort to offer artists the opportunity to explore electronic and video production.
“It is just so expensive to work in video, unless you have a big government grant,” explains MacSwain, adding that unless you are already established as an artist, those grants aren’t easily forthcoming.
Centre personnel no longer have to fundraise directly to offer the New Media Scholarship Program, as the program is now funded through both the Nova Scotia Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage and the Canada Council for the Arts.
The New Media Scholarship Program offers ten participants five intensive months of art making. An independent selection team picks 10 candidates based on a number of criteria, including how well-defined the…


Open Water Festival 2012 January 12-14, Halifax

Innovations in music happen in attics and basements, garages and private studios, even cabins in the remote wilderness. Those creations are later unveiled at festivals like Open Waters.

This strange and beautiful multi-nightfestival is the musical equivalent of ArtBasel, a cultural highlight for modernworks. For twenty bucks, audiences get two hours of rogue music.

Andrew Reed Miller began last night’s set by doing things to his solo double bass thatseemed, well, unnatural. Accompanied by his MacBook, a video projection screen and several mouth instruments, he performed his new original work called ‘L-EDGY’.“This is serious music,” the guy behind me said loudly after the applause ended. And he nailed it.

Next came Sanctuary, a trio inspired by Gregorian chant music from the 900s, and then Spanner, a Newfoundland trio whose percussionist, Rob Power, played an astonishing array of bells, gongs and chimes along with his giant timpani while his…