The participants of the MINE Youth Engagement Project had their first public performance opportunity on Friday May 5 at the Roundhouse.  Part of Sonic Playground, an event that celebrates youth exploring the creative potential of sound and technology, the MINE group was invited to share a piece that we’ve been creating together over the past few months.

© photo credit Riz Herboza

Some background info: ‘Mine’ is in inter-disciplinary project that combines dance, storytelling, live music, and sewing to explore consumption, materialism, identity, gender and queer expression, value, fast fashion, history and memory, using clothing as the common thread.  We’ve been working with the same group of about 15 youth that meet every Friday afternoon after school from 3 different East Vancouver high schools.  Among these youth are actors, dancers, academics and musicians with wide variety in training, experience and hobbies. Their interests converge here and have culminated in this 12 minute structured improvisation.

For some of the youth this was their first ever public performance experience.  For others it was a return to their passion.  But without a doubt it was the first time for everyone performing a work such as this; it combines dance with story-telling, movement, improvisation and a mountain of used clothing as a prop to create colourful landscapes, animated characters, masks and disguises, or something as ordinary as a teenager’s messy bedroom floor.

© photo credit Riz Herboza

We were thrilled with the result.  The audience of all ages delighted in the unusual, abstract and unexpected textures, images, soundscape, and embodiment that happened onstage and we are so proud of the youth’s hard work and creative collaboration.

The showing was a preview to our work that is being presented at the LINK Community Dance event taking place this Wednesday May 17 at 7:30pm at the Roundhouse.

We’d like to thank the support of Julie Lebel / MiBC, Bernie Dionne / Trout Lake Community Centre, The Vancouver Parks Board, BC Arts Council through the Youth Engagement Project Program & The Vancouver Foundation for the continued support of making this project possible.

Written by Rianne Svelnis