Arts Seen – week of April 3 2014

Decidedly Jazz marks 30 years and Inside Out takes a humorous look at loss

In celebration of its 30th anniversary season Decidedly Jazz Danceworks has revived some of the past works of co-founder and former artistic director Vicki Adams Willis for run at Theatre Junction Grand curated by current artistic director Kimberley Cooper and accompanied by live music. The show is titled Dancers in Love after a duet choreographed by Willis for Hannah Stilwell and Michele Moss in the company’s first production in 1984 and set to the Duke Ellington song of the same name. Performances run until April 6 with a gala fundraiser event on Thursday April 3. Looking ahead to the next 30 years the company also has big plans for 2015 when it expects to open a new facility in the Beltline that includes dance studios performance venues a recreational school and community space.

Inside Out Theatre which promotes the role of people with mixed abilities in the artistic community has taken what started as a solemn portrayal of loss and turned it into a farce (pictured). According to artistic director Col Cseke the show has taken a dramatic turn since a sneak-peek was provided at the High Performance Rodeo which isn’t surprising given the vivid imagination and humour of the company’s resident Point of View Ensemble. Titled Mrs. Pizza and the Dragon’s Diamond the mystery questions what happened to the recently deceased Lord McAsholl’s prized possession and who will attend the funeral of the man nobody liked. The show runs from April 3 to 5 at the Arts Learning Centre at the Epcor Centre.

The music from Puccini’s Madame Butterfly is likely familiar to many thanks at least partially to films like Fatal Attraction and My Beautiful Laundrette but it’s been more than a decade since the tragic story was staged by Calgary Opera . The company premières a new production this week that features a more contemporary aesthetic using traditional Japanese shoji screens which you can read about in this issue. Performances take place April 5 9 and 11.

The last time Theatre Junction brought in L’orchestre d’hommes-orchestres (LODHO) for a performance based on the music of Tom Waits they enjoyed sold-out crowds. Now LODHO is back with its take on the work of Kurt Weill the composer who fled Germany in the early 1930s and is best known for his collaboration with Bertolt Brecht on The Threepenny Opera . Cabaret Brise-Jour (Shattered Cabaret) includes eight musicians-singers-actors in an interdisciplinary performance encompassing “the horrors of war the lights of Broadway and the cozy atmosphere of music halls.” The show opens on Tuesday April 9 — and you can read more about it in next week’s issue.

The Suicide Girls are back on tour following a six-year hiatus. Blackheart Burlesque a new show choreographed by Manwe Sauls-Addison is described as a tribute to pop culture with references to Kill Bill Game of Thrones The Big Lebowski Star Trek Dr. Who etc. — “complete with tongue-in-cheek humour and raw erotic sexuality.” The troupe arrives in Calgary on Friday April 4 for a performance at the Marquee Beer Market & Stage but if you don’t already have tickets you’re out luck — like many other dates on the tour this show is sold out.