Tag Archives: Barbara Adler

Dancing quantum entanglement (Ap. 20 – 22, 2017) and performing mathematics (Ap. 26 – 30, 2017) in Vancouver, Canada

I have listings for two art/science events in Vancouver (Canada).

Dance, poetry and quantum entanglement

From April 20, 2017 (tonight) – April 22, 2017, there will be 8 p.m. performances of Lesley Telford’s ‘Three Sets/Relating At A Distance; My tongue, your ear / If / Spooky Action at a Distance (phase 1)’ at the Scotiabank Dance Centre, 677 Davie St, Yes, that third title is a reference to Einstein’s famous phrase describing his response of the concept of quantum entanglement.

An April 19, 2017 article by Janet Smith for the Georgia Straight features the dancer’s description of the upcoming performances,

One of the clearest definitions of quantum entanglement—a phenomenon Albert Einstein dubbed “spooky action at a distance”—can be found in a vampire movie.

In Jim Jarmusch’s Only Lovers Left Alive Tom Hiddleston’s depressed rock-star bloodsucker explains it this way to Tilda Swinton’s Eve, his centuries-long partner: “When you separate an entwined particle and you move both parts away from the other, even at opposite ends of the universe, if you alter or affect one, the other will be identically altered or affected.”

In fact, it was by watching the dark love story that Vancouver dance artist Lesley Telford learned about quantum entanglement—in which particles are so closely connected that they cannot act independently of one another, no matter how much space lies between them. She became fascinated not just with the scientific possibilities of the concept but with the romantic ones. …

 “I thought, ‘What a great metaphor,’ ” the choreographer tells the Straight over sushi before heading into a Dance Centre studio. “It’s the idea of quantum entanglement and how that could relate to human entanglement.…It’s really a metaphor for human interactions.”

First, though, as is so often the case with Telford, she needed to form those ideas into words. So she approached poet Barbara Adler to talk about the phenomenon, and then to have her build poetry around it—text that the writer will perform live in Telford’s first full evening of work here.

“Barbara talked a lot about how you feel this resonance with people that have been in your life, and how it’s tied into romantic connections and love stories,” Telford explains. “As we dig into it, it’s become less about that and more of an underlying vibration in the work; it feels like we’ve gone beyond that starting point.…I feel like she has a way of making it so down-to-earth and it’s given us so much food to work with. Are we in control of the universe or is it in control of us?”

Spooky Action at a Distance, a work for seven dancers, ends up being a string of duets that weave—entangle—into other duets. …

There’s more information about the performance, which concerns itself with more than quantum entanglement in the Scotiabank Dance Centre’s event webpage,

Lesley Telford’s choreography brings together a technically rigorous vocabulary and a thought-provoking approach, refined by her years dancing with Nederlands Dans Theater and creating for companies at home and abroad, most recently Ballet BC. This triple bill features an excerpt of a new creation inspired by Einstein’s famous phrase “spooky action at a distance”, referring to particles that are so closely linked, they share the same existence: a collaboration with poet Barbara Adler, the piece seeks to extend the theory to human connections in our phenomenally interconnected world. The program also includes a new extended version of If, a trio based on Anne Carson’s poem, and the duet My tongue, your ear, with text by Wislawa Szymborska.

Here’s what appears to be an excerpt from a rehearsal for ‘Spooky Action …’,

I’m not super fond of the atonal music/sound they’re using. The voice you hear is Adler’s and here’s more about Barbara Adler from her Wikipedia entry (Note: Links have been removed),

Barbara Adler is a musician, poet, and storyteller based in Vancouver, British Columbia. She is a past Canadian Team Slam Champion, was a founding member of the Vancouver Youth Slam, and a past CBC Poetry Face Off winner.[1]

She was a founding member of the folk band The Fugitives with Brendan McLeod, C.R. Avery and Mark Berube[2][3] until she left the band in 2011 to pursue other artistic ventures. She was a member of the accordion shout-rock band Fang, later Proud Animal, and works under the pseudonym Ten Thousand Wolves.[4][5][6][7][8]

In 2004 she participated in the inaugural Canadian Festival of Spoken Word, winning the Spoken Wordlympics with her fellow team members Shane Koyczan, C.R. Avery, and Brendan McLeod.[9][10] In 2010 she started on The BC Memory Game, a traveling storytelling project based on the game of memory[11] and has also been involved with the B.C. Schizophrenia Society Reach Out Tour for several years.[12][13][14] She is of Czech-Jewish descent.[15][16]

Barbara Adler has her bachelor’s degree and MFA from Simon Fraser University, with a focus on songwriting, storytelling, and community engagement.[17][18] In 2015 she was a co-star in the film Amerika, directed by Jan Foukal,[19][20] which premiered at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival.[21]

Finally, Telford is Artist in Residence at the Dance Centre and TRIUMF, Canada’s national laboratory for particle and nuclear physics and accelerator-based science.

To buy tickets ($32 or less with a discount), go here. Telford will be present on April 21, 2017 for a post-show talk.

Pi Theatre’s ‘Long Division’

This theatrical performance of concepts in mathematics runs from April 26 – 30, 2017 (check here for the times as they vary) at the Annex at 823 Seymour St.  From the Georgia Straight’s April 12, 2017 Arts notice,

Mathematics is an art form in itself, as proven by Pi Theatre’s number-charged Long Division. This is a “refreshed remount” of Peter Dickinson’s ambitious work, one that circles around seven seemingly unrelated characters (including a high-school math teacher, a soccer-loving imam, and a lesbian bar owner) bound together by a single traumatic incident. Directed by Richard Wolfe, with choreography by Lesley Telford and musical score by Owen Belton, it’s a multimedia, movement-driven piece that has a strong cast. …

Here’s more about the play from Pi Theatre’s Long Division page,

Long Division uses text, multimedia, and physical theatre to create a play about the mathematics of human connection.

Long Division focuses on seven characters linked – sometimes directly, sometimes more obliquely – by a sequence of tragic events. These characters offer lessons on number theory, geometry and logic, while revealing aspects of their inner lives, and collectively the nature of their relationships to one another.

Playwright: Peter Dickinson
Director: Richard Wolfe
Choreographer: Lesley Telford, Inverso Productions
Composer: Owen Belton
Assistant Director: Keltie Forsyth

Cast:  Anousha Alamian, Jay Clift, Nicco Lorenzo Garcia, Jennifer Lines, Melissa Oei, LInda Quibell & Kerry Sandomirsky

Costume Designer: Connie Hosie
Lighting Designer: Jergus Oprsal
Set Designer: Lauchlin Johnston
Projection Designer: Jamie Nesbitt
Production Manager: Jayson Mclean
Stage Manager: Jethelo E. Cabilete
Assistant Projection Designer: Cameron Fraser
Lighting Design Associate: Jeff Harrison

Dates/Times: April 26 – 29 at 8pm, April 29 and 30 at 2pm
Student performance on April 27 at 1pm

A Talk-Back will take place after the 2pm show on April 29th.

Shawn Conner engaged the playwright, Peter Dickinson in an April 20, 2017 Q&A (question and answer) for the Vancouver Sun,

Q: Had you been working on Long Division for a long time?

A: I’d been working on it for about five years. I wrote a previous play called The Objecthood of Chairs, which has a similar style in that I combine lecture performance with physical and dance theatre. There are movement scores in both pieces.

In that first play, I told the story of two men and their relationship through the history of chair design. It was a combination of mining my research about that and trying to craft a story that was human and where the audience could find a way in. When I was thinking about a subject for a new play, I took the profession of one of the characters in that first play, who was a math teacher, and said, “Let’s see what happens to his character, let’s see where he goes after the breakup of his relationship.”

At first, I wrote it (Long Division) in an attempt at completely real, kitchen-sink naturalism, and it was a complete disaster. So I went back into this lecture-style performance.

Q: Long Division is set in a bar. Is the setting left over from that attempt at realism?

A: I guess so. It’s kind of a meta-theatrical play in the sense that the characters address the audience, and they’re aware they’re in a theatrical setting. One of the characters is an actress, and she comments on the connection between mathematics and theatre.

Q: This is being called a “refreshed” remount. What’s changed since its first run 

A: It’s mostly been cuts, and some massaging of certain sections. And I think it’s a play that actually needs a little distance.

Like mathematics, the patterns only reveal themselves at a remove. I think I needed that distance to see where things were working and where they could be better. So it’s a gift for me to be given this opportunity, to make things pop a little more and to make the math, which isn’t meant to be difficult, more understandable and relatable.

You may have noticed that Lesley Telford from Spooky Action is also choreographer for this production. I gather she’s making a career of art/science pieces, at least for now.

In the category of ‘Vancouver being a small town’, Telford lists a review of one of her pieces,  ‘AUDC’s Season Finale at The Playhouse’, on her website. Intriguingly, the reviewer is Peter Dickinson who in addition to being the playwright with whom she has collaborated for Pi Theatre’s ‘Long Division’ is also the Director of SFU’s (Simon Fraser University’s) Institute for Performance Studies. I wonder how many more ways these two crisscross professionally? Personally and for what it’s worth, it might be a good idea for Telford (and Dickinson, if he hasn’t already done so) to make readers aware of their professional connections when there’s a review at stake.

Final comment: I’m not sure how quantum entanglement or mathematics with the pieces attributed to concepts from those fields but I’m sure anyone attempting to make the links will find themselves stimulated.

ETA April 21, 2017: I’m adding this event even though the tickets are completely subscribed. There will be a standby line the night of the event (from the Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies The Hidden Beauty of Mathematics event page,

02 May 2017

7:00 pm (doors open at 6:00 pm)

The Vogue Theatre

918 Granville St.

Vancouver, BC


Good luck!

Vancouver’s (Canada) 2nd annual International Poetry Festival

Vancouver seems to be experiencing a renaissance poetrywise. The city is about to enjoy its 2nd International Poetry Festival just on the heels of V125PC, a poetry conference, held in Oct. 2011 to celebrate the city’s 125th anniversary (mentioned in my Oct. 20, 2011 posting).

I’m not sure how I missed Vancouver’s 1st annual International Poetry Festival but here are some details about this year’s which runs from April 23 – 28, 2012 (from the Dec.16, 2011 news release on the Vancouver Poetry Festival website),

This is just a tiny reminder about the 2nd Annual Vancouver International Poetry Festival and the 2nd Annual Canadian Individual Poetry Slam Championship this coming April 23rd through 28th 2012. Some of you may note that the festival is later on ion April. This is because we wish to align our schedule with the Calgary International Spoken Word Festival and the wonderful Banff Spoken Word Program so that we can collaborate in future years and so that potentially artists may attend both.

Attending poets, pass holders and tournament volunteers will receive a festival pass that will get poets into all events including the Vancouver Poetry Slam Team Finals on Monday April 23rd, Mashed Poetics on Tuesday April 24th and of course, the  bouts, side events and workshops, and the Canadian Individual Poetry Slam Finals on Saturday April 28th.

Charles Hamilton will be back as tournament director. We will still be having a Haiku Death Match, a late night Nerd Slam, an Erotica show and a return of the poets brunch courtesy of Johnny MacRae and Steve Miller. The schedule will be trimmed down due to the Canada Council short fall but it should still be crazy fun and I’m going to bust my hump on the fundraising between now and then.

Again, this year we will have 38 open slots and 1 reserved for the returning champion Open Secret (should he wish to defend his championship) and 1 reserved for the Last Chance Slam on Wednesday April 25th.

If you have specific questions that can’t wait, please shoot me an email at mcgarragle@gmail.com and include in the subject line either Canadian Indies or VIP.

I hope you’re all really well and hopefully we’ll see you soon or at least in April.

Here’s a listing of events from the festival events page (Note: I have removed links, please check the page for full details),

Monday, April 23rd

Early Festival Registration
The Rio Theatre (1660 East Broadway Ave), 5-6pm
This is an opportunity for poets taking part in the Canadian Individual Poetry Slam Competition to get registered, receive their passes and meet other poets taking part in the competition.

Ian Keteku features at the 16th annual Van Slam Finals Night
The Rio Theatre (1660 East Broadway Ave), 7pm doors open, 8pm show starts
$12 in advance at the Van Slam or online, $15 at the door (group rates available for schools)

Over 80 poets have been competing throughout the year to qualify for this playoff event. The top eight vie for a spot on this year’s poetry slam team, which will be representing Vancouver at major tournaments and festivals across North America. As our featured performer for the evening, The Vancouver International Poetry Festival is proud to have 2010 World Slam Champ Ian Keteku from Ottawa perform.

Tuesday, April 24th

Late Festival Registration
Café Deux Soleils (2096 Commercial Dr), 5pm – 6pm
This is the last chance participants in the Canadian Individual Slam Championship have to register for the tournament. Any poet that is due to take part in the tournament but does not register in person will have their slot given to the next available competitor.

Mashed Poetics
Cafe Deux Soleils (2096 Commercial Drive), 7:30pm doors open, 8pm show starts, $10
Mashed Poetics brings together spoken word and classic rock for a rip-roaring evening of electric verse. Musical and poetic collaboration create an evening filled with new work and unexpected surprises. This year, poets will be working off of songs from the Beastie Boys album, Licence to Ill.

Wednesday, April 25th

Late Festival Registration
Café Deux Soleils (2096 Commercial Dr), 5pm – 6pm
This is the last chance participants in the Canadian Individual Slam Championship have to register for the tournament. Any poet that is due to take part in the tournament but does not register in person will have their slot given to the next available competitor.

Indies Poet Orientation
Café Deux Soleils (2096 Commercial Dr), 6–7pm
This is for all participants in the Canadian Individual Slam Championship to learn about the format of the tournament, and have all their questions answered.

Canadian Individual Slam Championship Last Chance Slam
Café Deux Soleils (2096 Commercial Dr), 7:30pm doors open, 8pm show starts, $10
Didn’t get chance to register in time? Want to pit your work against some of the strongest spoken word artists from across Canada? This is your last opportunity to get into the tournament. 12 spots are available in this slam. The top five highest-scoring poets in the first round move on to the second round. The highest-scoring poet in the second round is entered into the Canadian Individual Slam Championship.

Poets’ Delight
Eternal Abundance (1025 Commercial Dr), 10:30pm doors open, 11pm show starts, $5
Poets’ Delight: A revelry of open mic innovation and awesomeness!!

This is not a competition, but a showcase of performance poetry innovation. On Wednesday morning, all poets who have signed up will be given a prompt (the same prompt for everyone) and will have the day to write an original performance poetry piece to share.

Members of the audience will be asked to write love notes to the individual poets commenting on their original words and the poets will be able to take this feedback away with them as a souvenir of the evening. Those who have written love notes can either drop them into a box bearing the poet’s name or give them to the hosts to read out between other poets.

The night will also feature the music and poetry of Chelsea D.E. Johnson and Jillian Christmas and the poetic rumbling of Scruff Mouth and there will be a DJ playing music for us after the show and during the breaks.

Come ready to be dazzled and, well, delighted!

Thursday, April 26th

Writing and performance workshop with Daemond Arrindell
East Side Yoga (1707 Grant Street) 1:30pm till 3:30pm, $20

Performance poetry is such a unique art form. It’s not just poetry, but solid writing is vital. It’s not music, but it has a musicality to it. It’s not theater, but movement and voice play a large role. There are rules and things you should never do and times to ignore both of those things. At it’s best, it is a powerful and poetic story written in a way that only you could write and brought to life onstage in a way that only you can tell.

In this workshop, Daemond Arrindell, 8-time coach of the Seattle National Slam Team, will work with you to get past the weaknesses and help find and hone the strengths in both the writing and your performance to truly bring your poem to life. The focus will be on how to best tell the story your poem wants to tell. The workshop will begin with writing and poets should bring current poems they are wanting to workshop.

Writing and performance workshop with Barbara Adler
East Side Yoga (1707 Grant Street) 3:30pm till 5:30pm, $20
Fear and (self) Loathing: Getting Over Performance (Poetry) Anxiety

Have you ever finished a performance and immediately wanted to fall into an abyss? Does the thought of sucking, like, really sucking, keep you from doing things you might love?

At the tender age of 18, Barbara Adler started competing at the Vancouver Poetry Slam. She was generally a big, dark pile of self-loathing and nerves. Over the course of a decade of performances all over the world, she’s figured out many ways to outwit her genetic predisposition to neurotic insecurity\destructive perfectionism. Join her for a workshop, where she’ll share some of her ideas on how to get over the performance fears that keep you from pushing ahead. Bring a pen and some paper, and an idea for a performance that scares you.

Canadian Individual Poetry Slam Championship: Preliminary Bouts #1 & #3
Café Deux Soleils (2096 Commercial Dr), 6:30pm doors open, 7pm first bout, 9pm second bout, $10
These bouts will feature poets from across the country competing with 4-minute and 1-minute poems in a quest to take home the Canadian Individual Poetry Slam Championship.

Canadian Individual Poetry Slam Championship: Preliminary Bouts #2 & #4
Eternal Abundance (1025 Commercial Dr), 6:30pm doors open, 7pm first bout, 9pm second bout, $10
These bouts will feature poets from across the country competing with 4-minute and 1-minute poems in a quest to take home the Canadian Individual Poetry Slam Championship.

2nd annual VIP Nerd Night
Café Deux Soleils (2096 Commercial Dr), 10:30pm doors open, 11pm show starts, $10
Come on down to the Vancouver Nerd Poetry Slam! Watch browncoats, ensigns, mathletes, comic collectors, elves, power rings, geeks and jedis all get into a Tardis and go 88 miles per hour for your viewing pleasure. Our finest nerd brothers and sisters will face off in an epic slam to proclaim a winner because in the end, ‘there can be only one’. Come on down and spit your best nerd rhymes.

Come out to this late night event where we celebrate all things nerd-like. There will be prizes and costumes will be encouraged and will be featuring a performance by The Klute and hosted by our very own cosmonaut of cartoons, knight of the comic book kingdom, Duncan Shields.

Friday, April 27th

Chapbook making workshop with Warren Dean Fulton
East Side Yoga (1707 Grant Street) 1:30pm till 3:30pm, free for all poets and poetry fans
Are you looking at taking your poetry to the next level? Are you looking at producing your first chapbook or simply wanting to see a myriad of different style of chapbooks, then come to this workshop. Warren Dean Fulton has produced hundreds of chapbooks and has seen thousands more. Come pick his brain and learn from the chapbook guru himself.

Banter workshop with Brendan McLeod
East Side Yoga (1707 Grant Street) 3:30pm till 5:30pm, $20
Whenever you’re showcasing a group of poems for an audience, you always have to figure out how best to contextualize them. This workshop tackles what to do between poems onstage. What subjects should you talk about? What kind of stories/snippets/haikus/jokes should you tell? How do you change your performative style to accommodate these? The difference between a good set and a killer set is often how a poet relates to the audience. In this workshop, we’ll talk about how to do this in a way that is effective and true to your personality.

Canadian Individual Poetry Slam Championship: Preliminary Bouts #5 & #7
Café Deux Soleils (2096 Commercial Dr), 7pm doors open, 7:30pm first bout, 9pm second bout, $10
These bouts will feature poets from across the country competing with 2-minute and 3-minute poems in a quest to take home the Canadian Individual Poetry Slam Championship.

Canadian Individual Poetry Slam Championship: Preliminary Bouts #6 & #8
Eternal Abundance (1025 Commercial Dr), 7pm doors open, 7:30pm first bout, 9pm second bout, $10
These bouts will feature poets from across the country competing with 2-minute and 3-minute poems in a quest to take home the Canadian Individual Poetry Slam Championship.

Late Night Erotica Poetry Mic hosted by Jessica Mason Paull and Erich Haygen
Café Deux Soleils (2096 Commercial Dr), 10:30pm doors open, 11pm show starts, $5
Erotic Poetry shows are often celebratory and light-hearted, but they can also carry commentary regarding serious matters of sexual health such as personal boundaries, sexual identity, and sex trade and violence.

Even if you’re not competing in the slam, every true poet knows that the real measure of success is winning the affections of a crowd of beautiful strangers. Put on that scandalous outfit you’ve been waiting for an excuse to flaunt and bring your sestina about fisting to The Late Night Erotica Open Mic! Hosts Jessica Mason-Paull and Erich Haygun will be awarding prizes, shaming thinly-veiled sexism and encouraging strangers to make out all night long.d of beautiful strangers.

Saturday, April 28th

The Annual Haiku Death Match hosted by Jessica Mason Paull
Eternal Abundance (1025 Commercial Dr), 3:30 pm doors open, 4:00pm show starts, $5
Can you write a note in seventeen syllables? Then come to this show. The show will feature 16 haikusters doing battle with the winners getting amazing prizes. If you’re interested in reading please speak to incoming Van Slammistress, Jessica Mason Paull on the day of. And this is an audience participation event, so bring your outside voices to this inside event.

Canadian Individual Poetry Slam Finals
The Rio Theatre (1660 East Broadway Ave), 7pm doors open, 8pm show starts
Advance tickets $12, At the door $15

The finals of the Canadian Indies Slam Championship will be a three-round poetry slam. The ten best poets from the preliminary bouts will square off, and at the end of the night, one of them will walk away with the title of Canadian Poetry Slam Champion and $1000.

This international poetry festival is a Vancouver Poetry House initiative, which includes podcasts, poetry event listings, and more.

Meanwhile, Simon Fraser University (SFU) hosts its 2nd poetry lunch event,

Lunch Poems @SFU returns for its second installment with Wayde Compton and his guest poet Rahat Kurd.

Time: 12-1 p.m.
Place: Teck Gallery, Harbour Centre, 515 West Hastings Street
Cost: Free

Compton is a Vancouver writer whose books include After Canaan: Essays on Race, Writing, and Region, Performance Bond, Bluesprint: Black British Columbian Literature and Orature and 49th Parallel Psalm. Compton is the Director of The Writer’s Studio, a creative writing program in Continuing Studies at Simon Fraser University. He also teaches English composition and literature at the Emily Carr University of Art and Design.

Kurd is an arts, politics and culture writer whose first suite of published poems, Surplus Knowledge, appeared in The New Quarterly in spring 2011, and has been nominated for a National Magazine Award.

There’s still more but this is getting too long. In any event, you should be able to find lots of poetry in Vancouver for the foreseeable future.