Blog

Shopping With the King of Africa

I might be seen as representing Canada on this tour in Romania, and Jeff Hawaii (or arguably the USA). But John from Kenya was representing an entire continent. Wherever we went, eyes fell on him, and he was the first to be grabbed for selfies after a show. Coming from multi-ethnic communities, it took us a couple of days to grasp it: for many of the people we encountered, John might well be the first Black man they saw in person. In our little group of four, we dubbed him the King of Africa. He did not mind.

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Selfies in the Castle

I’ve arrived, with Jeff and Dominique, in the small city of Arad in northern Romania. At breakfast I sit with fellow performer John, from Kenya. Nairobi, to be precise. He has already eaten, but kindly helps me figure out the coffee machine and stays while I serve myself a plateful of tomatoes, cucumber, and a fried egg. I am not really awake, but it is morning here and we have a full day of festival ahead of us and I don’t have much choice. Giorgiana joins us, effervescent despite her lack of voice, and the two of them are talking about her laryngitis. “It is very common,” John says in his lilting Kenyan English. It is at this moment that I press too hard on the edge of my plate and flip its…

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Cold Rain, Spare Coat

Stepping out into the cold wind and rain in bathing suit and bare feet is a bit of a jolt, but there’s the promise of a hot tub of mineral water somewhere out here. We climb the stairs, pass what appears to be a construction site, turn a corner, climb another flight of frigid stairs, walk across a large cement pad, and arrive at the pool. The hot one. Crowded, but there is some space not yet occupied with bodies. With relief, we sink out of the wind and into the water, which is… warm. Not hot, but pleasant enough, until the cold rain and wind drive us

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Lion’s Dumpsters

On Saturday, leaving Vancouver,  I almost but not quite leave my passport in the photocopy machine in a convenience store on West Broadway. Fetch bags, and off to the airport. It’s a long day, extended by crossing nine time zones and merging two calendar days into...

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Transformers

The man is looking across the room at a young child who has turned around in his chair to look at him. Stare, really. The man is different. The child’s mother is talking on her cell phone. The child is having a long, steady look at the stranger.

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Chile, Birds, Soccer Balls and an Award

The life of a touring artist is a peculiar one, and it’s easy to feel isolated. I am reflecting on this in a middle school auditorium on an April morning in Santiago, Chile, as I watch a class enter the room. A gentle crowd of chatty girls, they settle into the front...

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Yoga & Rehearsals: Musings on a Pause

The Iyengar Yoga Centre of Victoria hosts an annual end-of-summer student intensive, led by Lauren Cox and Ty Chandler. In this piece I explore connections between my work as a performer and my yoga practice. An email from Lauren. She has noticed I am not registered...

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Being Chicken

As the “chicken” struggles with her numbers, a woman in the audience is wiping tears of laughter from her eyes, and the young man in front of her is silently shaking with mirth. Then, a shy child steps forward: he wants to be the chicken. This is new. He approaches with caution. Seeing his hesitation, I suggest he could be the baby chick and I’ll be the hen. He nods, and follows me to centre stage, hands tucked like wings.

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Nova Scotia: Resting and Swinging

At a swingdance in Victoria a few weeks ago, I happened to run into friends who happen to spend their summers in Nova Scotia and happened to generously insist I visit them during my tour. So a few days ago, as I crested the mid-point of my itinerary, I drove to the...

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Nova Scotia: Touring rural communities

I am about a third of the way through this tour, and tomorrow I change locations again. It is not easy to leave the Annapolis Valley, where I have been based for 6 nights and enjoyed shows in many communities along this beautiful north-western coast. The weather has...

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Halifax: Catching my breath before the tour

I was relieved to have a day off in Halifax before starting my tour of the Nova Scotia libraries. Yesterday, on my way across the country, between flights in Toronto, I did a phone radio interview with CBC Halifax. We talked about live storytelling vs screen...

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On Tour in Buenos Aires

Chile and Argentina meet string storyteller Anne Glover, on tour with Buenos Aires’ Dream On Productions for 4 weeks.

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