Images from our performance at Ars Electronica Festival 2016 in Linz, Austria

Here are some images of Practices of Everyday Things/Cooking with Navid Navab, Michael Montanaro, and Jèrome Delapièrre on September 8, 2016. We had a very successful run at the largest media arts festival in the world. Thank you for the fun and may we do it many times everywhere soon.

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Practices of Everyday Life/Cooking on tour

I will be performing with Navid Nabab’s Practices of Everyday Life/Cooking at Ars Electronica Festival in Linz, Austria and at The Guelph Jazz festival in Ontario, Canada this September 2016.

Cooking, the most ancient art of transmutation, has become a domestic practice over centuries. In this everyday practice, things perish, transform, and nourish other things. By augmenting the meats, wood, and metal, with sound and painterly light, we stage a performance made from the movements and gestures of cooking.

”Practices of Everyday Life | Cooking” is a Comprovisational(1) concert that focuses foremost on poetic gesture-sound correlations and sonic Gesture Bending(2). It is a compositional exploration of the interplay between the senses, poetics of enchantment and materiality, and the ethico-aesthetics of everyday practices. The performance features a virtuosic chef/dancer who wields foods, knives, pans and spices transmuted gesturally into real time sound instruments. Gestural sound compositions and responsive imagery unfold in realtime as the chef playfully prepares a meal with computationally enriched ingredients.

See you there!

http://www.practicesofeverydaylife.com

About

http://www.guelphjazzfestival.com

A Haunting Evening with Le Petit Chaperon rouge!

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Photo: Tony Chong

Merci à tous (presque 1100 vous!) pour venir voir Le Petit Chaperon rouge dans le Parc Lafontaine le 27 Juillet 2016!

Lucie Vigneault et Mark Eden-Towle ont séduit et enchanté la foule avec leurs deux performances extraordinaires

Thank you everyone (almost 1100 of you!) for turning out to see Le Petit Chaperon rouge in Parc Lafontaine on July 27, 2016!

Lucie Vigneault and Mark Eden-Towle seduced, disturbed, and enchanted the crowd with their two extraordinary performances.

Merci Beaucoup à (Thank you to) Paolo Santos, Acces Culture Montréal (ville de Montréal), Jouers Dehors 2016, Eric Poulin, Paolo Santos, Fred Lalonde and Marie Pier Chevrette (Matane Productions)

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Photo: Paolo Santos

Le Petit Chaperon rouge à Parc Lafontaine à Montréal, mercredi le 27 juillet 2016

Presenting the magnificent dancers of Le Petit Chaperon rouge: Lucie Vigneault and Mark Eden-Towle. They will be performing Wednesday July 27, 2016 at Parc Lafontaine (in front of Le Théâtre de Verdure) in Montreal.

Presentant mes magnifiques danseurs Lucie Vigneault et Mark Eden-Towle. Ils vont dancer mercredi le 27 juillet 2016 à Parc Lafontaine (juste devant le Théatre de Verdure) à Montréal.

 

Le Petit chaperon rouge à Parc Lafontaine le 27 juillet 20h30 et 21h30

Devant Le THÉÂTRE DE VERDURE

http://www.accesculture.com/activite/Le_petit_chaperon_rouge___Tony_Chong_Danse#.V2aiWq-Q8BU.facebook

Le 27 juillet Par Lafontaine à 20h30 et 21h30. Venez voir Lucie Vigneault et Mark Eden-Towle voir dans la forêt! #‎jouerdehors2016

It will be HOT!

Remember Not To Forget: Résidence du Création /Creative Residency au Studio 303 Le 13 juillet le 18 juillet 2015.

The creative research is inspired by Hansel and Gretel taking on the ideas of food and memories. We are Inviting guests as participants and as source material. We will be building an installation/performance that brings the guests along a visual, physical, gastronomic or sensorial journey to the past in order to find the present and to understand the future.

Remember Not To Forget
Remember Not To Forget

Coming this summer June 5, 2015!

http://www.guelphdance.ca/festival/stage-a-2015/

Check out the line up at the Guelph Dance Festival 2015. Nous allons presenter deux pièces de Désillusions de l’enchantement à la Festival de danse Guelph 2015!

Upcoming events for 2015

Upcoming events:

March 2, 2015 @ l’Agora Hydro Québec in Montréal –  Performance of Practices of Everyday Things/Cooking with Navid Navab, Michael Montanaro, and Jerome Delapierre at the MNM Festival (Festival Montréal, Nouvelle Musique 2015) 21h00

June 5, 2015  – Performance of Désillusions de l’enchantement (La Belle au bois en dormant and Le Petit chaperon rouge) @ The Guelph Dance Festival

Summer 2015 @ Studio 303 – Creative Residency with Carol Prieur and Noemie Avidar of Remember Not to Forget

Fall 2015 – Start of solo creation with Lucie Vigneault of Catching the Fish

Désillusions at 2015 Guelph Dance Festival

Yes we will be presenting a part of Désillusions d’Enchantement at the 2015 Guelph Dance Festival on June 5, 2015. The trio La Belle au Bois Dormant and an excerpt of Le Petit Chaperon rouge will be performed on a shared program that evening. Looking forward to seeing you all there!

August Creativity

Currently working on some choreography for Anthony Venisse and his circus cabaret show for Germany’s GOP Entertainment Group at the ENC. The show will be heading out in about 2 weeks.

 

My Eulogy for Dad

This Eulogy was read on June 25, 2014 during my father’s service.

On behalf of my mother Pui King, my brother Ken, my sister Cheryl, and myself, we thank you for taking this time to gather with us in remembering our father Buck Wan. There are few specific people that we would like to thank – Sui Ling Wong, and her son Ming for travelling all the way from Toronto to attend this day. Michelle Pan and all of the palliative care team were so supportive. A big gratitude to Joanne, my sister in law, as well as my brother in law Wesley, and to my cousin Fung for going above and beyond in helping us during a very stressful time. We would also like to give a special thanks to Denny Yu, for his invaluable generosity, presence and energy during our father’s illness. My father was so comforted when you were around. Thank you so much Denny.

I am eternally grateful to my brave niece Lauren, who contacted me early enough in time which enabled me the opportunity to see Dad just before he left.

My dad, he was man with incredible energy, curiosity, beliefs and devotion. He was a man who definitely made his opinions clear and knew exactly what he wanted and how he wanted it. There was nothing ambiguous about him. My dad comes from a special generation of immigrant Chinese who led storied lives of hardship and heartaches. As with many of his fellow immigrant males from Canton, he maintained a single minded determination to create a beautiful life for himself, his wife and kids. He fought hard but he loved affectionately and tenderly. He was a fighter from the beginning to the end. Even as a kid in China, he was already known as someone not to be messed around with.

With this fighting spirit, he overcame and survived the period of the Sino- Japanese war, where he witnessed unspeakable barbaric atrocities and cruelties. Dad himself was almost recruited to fight in that war as a child-soldier, luckily his cousins went and saved him by pulling him out of the truck that was taking him towards the front Iines to a certain death; imagine he was only 8 at the time. My father was forever grateful to these cousins and never forgotten the love that they showed for him. This traumatic period must have influenced and deeply shaped his philosophy of life and how he was to live it.

His perseverance to succeed reflected in his work ethic as soon as he arrived in Canada. He worked hard in the family store and in both Canadian and Chinese restaurants learning and earning a living. During the summer months, he would head north to Prince Rupert where he worked in the Canneries to earn more money. He diligently saved his cash and avoided the many distractions that are often tempted on a good-looking young bachelor as he kept to one singular vision, to return back to China to find a wife. He did just that, my parents got married in 1958.

When I was a child, I saw my father as a larger than life, authoritative, and proud figure, always working and a little impatient at times. This tough exterior however hid one of the most sensitive, caring, and thoughtful human beings who believed in karma and the well being of others. He was a protector, a provider, a caretaker and a teacher. Dad always made sure everyone was properly fed, taken care of, whether it was family, friends, or just mere acquaintances. He sponsored my mother’s side of the family to this country in order help them build a better life. He talked dearly of his own father and elder brother Shong Buck Chong of how they helped him in immigrating over to here. At the time, it wasn’t simple for the Chinese to immigrate here. He also kept a special place in his heart for his sister Sally, his other brother Sonny, his nieces and nephew Jean, Pearl, Gladys, Leona, Joyce, Diane, and Stephen. He always mentioned how amazing his friend Morris was to him. My dad enjoyed the many excursions with his long-time friend Bong and his wife Yuen Joe who also happens to be Wesley’s my brother in law’s parents. After retirement, Dad enjoyed hanging out drinking coffee and bantering with his buddies at the Oakridge Mall food court. My father was extremely appreciative of all the people that touched him and in turn he was generous towards many around him.

I would like to tell you of this one incident during the time my father was working at Ming’s supper club. Ming’s would contract female singers from Asia, flying them from overseas to sing with the house band. At the time it must have been very glamorous and lucrative for these entertainers. On one particular evening, after finishing the Iast night of her contract, one of these singers went celebrating with friends before flying back home to her infant daughter. During the course of that night while driving back, they had an accident, a full head on collision with another vehicle. The driver escaped with minor cuts and bruises however the woman sustained critical life threatening injuries. She was here alone, had no insurance or any financial means and was far away from her child who was thousands of miles away. When dad learned of the accident he would often take the time to visit the woman in the hospital. He took it upon himself to help her as he felt it was his duty to do the right thing. When it was evident that she was not going to survive from the injuries, Dad told her that he would to take care of everything and not to worry. He promised on her deathbed that he would make sure that she would receive an appropriate burial in order for her spirit to make the proper passage, plus money would be sent back home to help her daughter. So Dad did a fundraising drive in Chinatown and collected enough money from the community in support of this cause. When the woman eventually succumbed to her injuries and died, as promised she was given the proper funeral and burial and money was sent overseas. Dad could not have lived with himself if he did not try all he could to save her soul. He believed passionately in social responsibility and justice. My father tried to live a life of integrity and in my opinion, heroically.

My father was heroic up to the day he left. He was the ultimate caretaker, making sure all of his bills and responsibilities were taken care of. Even on the night before he passed, he asked my sister Cheryl if his property taxes were paid up yet. He fought so hard and nobly till the end.

I remember a man that was fiercely independent and autonomous that he drove his car even up till the day of his diagnosis. I remember a man with a smile that was so radiant that it would charm the nurses at the Grandview highway dialysis clinic. He would be so charming that one of the nurses one day brought him gifts of freshly caught crab from their husband’s catch. He really enjoyed that particular clinic because it was a happy place of gather and laughter. I remember when he cackled and laughed uncontrollably all over the couch while watching Peter Seller’s in the movie The Party, I remember the time he would take my mom and us kids driving through Stanley Park every Sunday on his rare day offs, or taking us out to eat with him to discover and develop our culinary palettes. I remember the man who looked forward to planning and preparing diligently 8 course meals every Sunday for the weekly family dinners. He was so happy seeing everyone eating and sharing meals together as a family. I remember the man who loved all of his amazing grandkids, Lauren, Devon, Chris, and Ryan and how proud he was of Cheryl and Wesley, and Kenny and Joanne for being parents. I remember the time how he talked about how he wanted to marry my mother from the very first time he laid eyes upon her. I remember my moments that we shared together, the conversations on life, social issues, politics (l especially liked our common hatred for the Harper government). I remember the time that I was able to have with him, unfortunately in hindsight, it really wasn’t enough. I remember the man who will always be my beloved father, Buck Wan Chong. I love and miss you very much Papa.

November 12, 1932 – June 14, 2014

Do Not Go Gentle Into the Night

Do not go gentle into that good night

Old age should burn and rage at close of day

Rage, rage against the dying of the light

Though wise men at their end know dark is night

Because their words had forked no lightning they

Do not go gentle into that good night

Good men, the last wave by crying how bright

Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay

Rage, rage against the dying of the light

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight

And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,

Do not go gentle into that good night

Grave men, near death, who see with blinking sight,

Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay

Rage, rage against the dying of the light

And you my father, there on the sad height,

Curse, bless me now with your fierce tears, I pray

Do not go gentle into the the good night

Rage, rage against the dying light

 

– Dylan Thomas

Taking time to see

It is important to remind ourselves of seeing the beauty in everything. Take the time to appreciate the world, the people in our lives, the joys along with the pain. We run after what we think is important but manage not to see that it is often already with us. Our over analytical mind is too busy being busy and critical which blocks what is most essential, the present moment.

Comme Hamlet à Festival Rendez-Vous du Cinèma Québécois

Bonjour à tous!

Le film de Mouvement7 Comme Hamlet sera présenté dans le cadre du festival Les Rendez-vous du cinéma québécois.

La projection se déroulera à la Cinématèque québécoise, ce samedi le 22 février à 14h45.

335, boul. De Maisonneuve Est, Montréal QC,

(514) 842-9763

** Film en compétition pour le prix Création artistique CALQ

Au grand plaisir de vous y voir!

COMME HAMLET, produit par MOUVEMENT7  (40 minutes)

Inspiré par l’espace lumineux de l’église du Gesù et librement basé sur le classique Hamlet de Shakespeare, ce film nous amène sur la voie de la passion, la violence, l’obsession.  Où s’arrête la réalité et l’imaginaire dans l’esprit de ce Hamlet?  Que représente l’instabilité de l’être?  Ce film de danse est une illustration abstraite de cette part de noiceur existant en chacun de nous.

Un film de M7

Direction artistique et chorégraphique:  Tony Chong

Direction photo:  Marilène Bastien

Musique:   Jean Lahaye

Interprètes:  Mark Eden-Towle, Mistaya Hemingway, Carol Prieur, Mariusz Ostrowski, Lucie Vigneault, James Viveiros

 

 

 

A little European tour before Christmas

Heading off today to Europe for a little tour. Come say hi if you happen to be in:

Cannes, France – November 20, 2013

Bruges, Belgium – November 23, 2013

Arnhem, Holland – November 27, 2013

Arlon, Belgium – December 1, 2013

Budapest, Hungary – December 6 and 7, 2013

Au Troisième Étage Montréal, QC, Canada (M7) – First Short Film Festival (3 minute shorts) – December 12, 2013

Creative Research period, Montréal QC – December 2013, January 2014

ImageLes pieds de Lucie Vigneault en pointe

Lucie’s little dance – M7 Short Film Festival call out!

Here is a little video example for what you can present for our ShortFilm/Video Festival challenge on December 12, 2013 “Au troisième étage”.
Contact us for submissions: mouvement7@yahoo.com

Come show your creativity with a 3 minute video!

Dancing with Ken again

It has been a while since i’ve blogged. Been neglectful in posting about what it is on my mind lately. Since the New Year, I’ve been traveling quite a bit to Europe on various dance tours as a dancer, and as a rehearsal director/artistic director on tour. In fact just came back a week ago dancing with Louise Bédard Danse on her piece Enfin Vous Zestes. It was an honor to have re-perform this piece as an hommage to our dear friend and colleague Ken Roy who passed away recently. The last time that I danced this piece with Ken over 2 years ago, I never realized that it would have been the last time we were to share a stage together. On this tour, with the spectacular Bernard Martin as his replacement, I felt his presence with us. The whole team lived a beautiful moment together. It was fun and meaningful, as life should always be.

Some images from my Désillusions de l’Enchantement in Montréal, November 2011

Here are images from my piece Désillusions de l’Enchantement – great photos by Dave Macleod Dancers: Carol Prieur, Lucie Vigneault, Mark Eden=Towle, and James Viveiros

Costumes: Marilène Bastien, Lights: François Marceau Sound Compostion: Victortronic Choreography: Tony Chong

Entering the Twilight Zone

For some strange reason my trip back to my hometown this time around was like starring in an episode of the Twilight Zone.  I was literally in a time warp witnessing life rapidly advanced before my very eyes – suddenly transported  or pushed into the future. In fact my flight was more of a time travel that brought me years ahead into the future rather than being my simple annual visit to see my family. Everyone that I have had a chance to see here has in some form physically changed from the last time I’ve encountered them. How could this have happened so quickly and how have I’ve never ever noticed it before? Within a span of two years, everyone and everything has physically gone through a noticeable aging process which means that I too must have aged dramatically in the eyes of others… and that sudden realization has hit me hard. I am no longer the person who I thought I was while instead I’ve become myself in the future. That means that I too must have grown up and have become older…. much older. Why is this so shocking? I guess I’ve always continued to view myself and everyone else around me as the youthful, energetic, starry-eyed, idealistic 20 year olds. Now does that mean that I should wake up a face reality? The aging process is sometimes still a surprising reality for me. I have subconsciously tried to ignore it but obviously can no longer avoid it.

Man drowning in his emptiness

Today I overheard (perhaps eavesdropping is the proper word but it was definitely not intentional) a conversation between two strangers while leaving the gym this morning. I caught portions of a dialogue between a man and a woman in a very private conversation in a public environment – it was exactly like a scene within a movie. What caught me was the frank emptiness leaking from the male figure’s voice and in his physical demeanor while the consoling female tried to provide a bit of advice  in order to alleviate him from his disposition. The brief dialogue went somewhat like this:

Female: Is it because you are lonely?

Male: ….uh… yeah I don’t know what to do.. about… this…

Female:  You should really definitely think of social clubs or activities with other people like you.

Male: ….. Can’t get this feeling out of myself… maybe should…. I’ve stopped taking the ant-depressants you know….

Female: … okay… maybe you should….

Male: maybe should….

That was basically the entire moment that I was able to witness and yet it struck me kind powerful. It was not a huge conversation but it was the sparseness of it which added to the moment. It was the placement of these two bodies in that tight space that intrigued me as well. Even though they were in a rather intimate conversation, there was a huge distance between the two. They were definitely not in the same place in their lives. The tin-like tone along with the time it took the male to deliver his words molded  his whole being. The intense sadness of loneliness was coming out of that man and it was clear he that was losing himself somewhere within. He was void of who he was and could not find the path of getting back to himself. He seemed to be drowning in his sense of nothingness. It was a very quiet and soft cry for rescue that was heard loud and clear by only a few.

A little thought for 2011 and beyond

I am back again reflecting about what I want to achieve for the next 40 or could it be 50? years of my life. There are so many possibilities and projects that I still need to see realized. Dance is still a strong and uncanny passion that will never be  abandoned from my being. There is much more that I NEED to say therefore I am planning to get back into the studio very soon. I already have a few projects that are swirling around my head/heart/stomach and loins just waiting to get out. I’ve missed the creative environment in the studio with crazy courageous dancers and collaborators. The craziness in the kitchen is intense and fun however I do miss a certain sense of magic. Still have a deep appreciation and love of cooking but I am looking for ways to balance these two things that I do in my life. I have come to realize that I am able to achieve anything that I want to if it peaks my curiosity to learn. I guess that is the answer…. I need have to have fun, continue to learn, and to make art. BALANCE of the practical and the impractical will always make me happy…. makes sense doesn’t?

Love Montreal!

While walking around just recently, I had a sudden realization of how much love I have for Montreal (my adopted home for the last 17 years! – nuts). This city is remarkable with all of its history, politics, architecture, and language issues. It truly is the most fascinating, contradictory, passionate, artistic, and sexy place in North America… and it is where I call home! My neighbourhood is a melting pot of nations, styles, incomes, and professions. There is an incredible Montrealer and Quebecers pride that one doesn’t find anywhere else in Canada. The people are as diverse as they are the same. They are beautiful, ugly. pleasant. rude, aggressive. fun but not apathetic to their beliefs. Aesthetics, politics, and lifestyles may differ however the majority of us sing, scream, laugh, dance, drink, and fuck with all of their souls! Now that is what I call the spirit of living – Nous sommes vraiment les Bons Vivants. I am proud and happy to be part of and to share this wonderful place with my fantastic friends, family and fellow Montréalers!

 

Here we go!

The days are counting down. Cooking school is almost over and now I must face what the restaurant world has to offer and what it is that I have to give to the food universe. Even though I am so ready to bolt out of school right now, I know this is only the beginning of my journey. Like many things, being in school is the easy part, the test begins in a month and a half when I will be looking for work in the best kitchens in the city.

Just read an excerpt from Anthony Bourdain’s new book and he said that if you are at least 34 years of age and are thinking of a career in the kitchen…. it would be best to forget about it cause you are just too damn old! Forget about it? Are you kidding me? Holy shit, I’m a decade older than this suggested age limit and I find myself in the middle of embarking into this crazy career. Is he really serious? Am I out of my mind? Am I past my prime to be cooking? Really? Well he must’ve been talking about your average  joes in this world and that my friends, I’m definitely not part of that gang.  Yes of course, I am probably truly out of my mind so… Fuck it – that is my motto.  I’ve started and there is no looking back now! I know that I’m still physically fit enough to work in this demanding environment and I’m creative enough to make great tasting food.  Very passionate, inspired and continually to be motivated to the making and eating of amazingly tasty food. I gather at least that makes me ahead of the curve.

Backyard Summer 2010

Autumn is definitely knocking on the door today. The wind and skies are churning with a mix of chill along with pinches of rain. Very intense and so exciting. It is brewing into something thick and rich. The summer has been incredible here with the sunny hot days and bountiful food and drinks with friends and loved ones.

Performing with Friends

Wow what an incredible privilege it was to perform on stage with my best friends here in Montreal! The last couple of weeks were all about learning to cook, eating, drinking, playing/creating/ with amazingly talented people. As this doesn’t happen very often anymore, I can really appreciate the significance of this experience.  My friend Sabrina decided to gather a bunch of us to help perform in her show ‘Les Creux d’Un Rêves’ at Theatre LaChapelle after her original production fell through last minute. It was a blast to have had the chance to find ourselves performing with old friends and colleagues once again. We were all very tired as most of us had other obligations such as jobs, school, and other commitments however it was all worthwhile as it truly was a labour of love for all of us. I was reminded about how talented all of my friends really are. It was beautiful to watch, dance and share these precious moments together. Thank you!

Miss you my amazing friend from Lyon

It has taken me some time before being able to sit down and blog. Due to a recent tragic event, I have not been able to make a clear sense of things. Nothing ever prepares you for senselessness. My very dear  friend Bernard passed away on February 11, 2010… There are things that are so unexpected and inexplicable in life that no form of analysis can ever resolve or answer the many unanswerable questions. All I can say is that Bernard was an amazingly generous, fun, crazy friend. Someone asked me once if the Personal Fitness Course that I took was a waste of time because I didn’t pursue it as a career in it. I replied: Are you kidding me? I might have found the fitness industry boring, insipid and stupid but I made a great lifelong friend from it. Absolutely no regrets as the choices we make often leads to other possibilities and meanings. Making choices informs you on life and if you are lucky, puts you onto the path of meeting the people that might one day be very important to you. Bernard was one of those very important unique people that I have had the privileged to have met and called a friend.

Bernard and his beautiful wife Carolynn were the best Bon vivants and I wanted to emulate their love of eating great food. drinking amazing wine, and traveling the world. Bernard always found a way to laugh at things when it was going bad and there was always the typical French comment attached to it: “C’est Con!” He always made me laugh.

Eating dinner at their place was always an eventful feast with fantastic food and wine. Each meal was more decadent than the other. Delicious Foie Gras, Cassoulet avec Canard, Fresh raw Oysters on a half shell, Saucisse Boudin (only started to enjoy it at Bernard and Carolynn’s), Fondues, Sushi nights are some of the typical meals with copious amounts wine that was enjoyed at Bernard and Carolynn’s. I always ended stomach full and lying on the couch afterwards while they continued to party on. I admired and continue to admire their endurance and great taste for all the good and simple things in life. Damn, if we could have only eaten and drank our way around the world together! Glad we had a chance to attempt to just that one night in Paris where we met up and ate, drank, and walked as much as we could within a 7 hour period.  Didn’t have much time together but boy did we try to fill our stomachs as much as possible with the time that we had together. Man that was so fucking fun and so privileged to have shared it with these two beautiful people. It was extraordinary!

I devote my pursuit in the culinary arts to you Bernard. I will cook with the passion that you have instilled in me to appreciate food, wine, friends, and life to the utmost. Miss you very much my dear friend. Rest In Peace.

You are much loved and appreciated. Your friend, Tony

Another stupid cut.

Damn, I just cut myself again! What the hell is going on? It never ever happens and it only occurs when I’m wiping my blade clean – not from actual cutting or slicing. Really ridiculous because it is getting stupid. I’m not even in school today!

Off to do more juliennes, allumettes, batonettes, and tournés with my bandaged wounds. Gotta keep on practicing.

Had a great day off as I went to see Avatar with my friends. Outstanding!

Will keep you all up to date.

Creating Dances and Cooking for the time being

Working on a new work with the Collective DeuxplusTrois=Un (Lucie Vigneault, Judith Allen, and Caroline Sirois). We had a informal showing in December 2009 and since then I’ve made some much needed changes. It is now a half hour piece of pure dance. I’m currently working with a score made up of popular music but that may eventually change if we decide to.  However, I really am quite attached to the work of Montreal’s Patrick Watson as it seems to fit so well with the dancing.  Hopefully we will have a chance to show the work to the general public very soon as it is really good and  fun!

This week we got our chef’s uniform and knives. Will be in the kitchen learning French techniques. Super excited! First we begin with stocks.

Cooking and Creating Dances…. I like that combination…

Culinary Academy on January 11, 2010

Will be starting my culinary training on january 11, 2010. It is coming up very soon and have been looking forward to it for almost half a year now. Very excited and will be keeping you up to date with all of my trials and tribulations. Can’t wait to start cooking baby!!

Choreographic Intensive at l’Ecole de Cirque

I finished a week long creative intensive on the circus students at l’Ecole de Cirque in Montreal. It was a rock and roll, fast, throw it out there experience with these highly energized physical specimens. Loved their ‘freakishly’ amazing abilities and youthful enthusiasm. My main goal for the week long intensive was to choreograph to popular music and to fuse dance with the circus arts. The 3 works had to be created quickly and for me had to be accessible and well communicated to any type of viewer. My biggest challenge was not the time limitation but the fact that I was working with inexperienced talent in their formative stage as circus performers. I needed to remind myself that they were not professionals nor were they dancers and we were still within an educational institution. My expectations were lowered on their dancing abilities however my demand for hard work were never compromised. With a few exceptions, the maturity level was very high. I generally ignored or did not use those who were not generous or open to working ‘professionally’.

The results were quite fun. Got most of them ‘dancing’ and managed to make some very interesting work with these folks. It was a hard but satisfying exercise for both the creators and the performers. I tried to get them out of their comfort zone by choreographing dance while still respecting and integrating their particular art forms within each of the 3 works. I highly enjoyed the experience at l’Ecole de Cirque as it confirmed that creation with hungry artists is always satisfying. The kids were great and it was a blast to discover other possibilities of moving. It was damn fun and can’t wait to see a copy of the video.

My Passion for Eating and Cooking #4

The making and eating of food has always been a passion and a way of life to me. I love the idea of creating good healthy meals and sharing it with people. I personally prefer the concept of ordering things for the table where everyone eats the same dishes rather than individually ordering a meal for themselves. Coming from an Asian culture, I grew up in an environment and culture where the central social activity was based around eating together. I essentially grew up being around, thinking and talking about food. My family’s social events were all rooted around cooking, eating and drinking. Since I was a child, I always observed the way my parents and other people prepared meals in the kitchen. I realized that I picked up habits by watching how others cooked.  It is such a beautiful art form. As an artist in the performing arts, I have always been inventive, creative, daring and curious. I see an uncanny parallel with cooking to dance making. It takes hard work, creativity, passion and a joy in what you are doing to become successful in anything.

I am very familiar and aware that the restaurant business is difficult and entails hard stressful work.  My romantic outlook on cooking is balanced equally with a very pragmatic side. My father worked all of his life in restaurants and he had his own restaurant for a number of years in Vancouver. I myself worked in my father’s restaurant along with other eating establishments for years as a cook, busboy, bartender, and waiter to pay my way through school. It is a very competitive milieu and it constantly takes an innovative, fun and fresh approach to be relevant.

TOURNEZ VOTRE REGARD VERS L’INTERIEUR … (just wanted to share this thought from an unknown source)

TOURNEZ VOTRE REGARD VERS L’INTERIEUR …

Il était une fois une vieille dame qui avait laissé tomber son aiguille à coudre.
Pendant qu’elle la cherchait dans son jardin, un homme qui passait l’aida dans ses recherches.
Après quelque temps, ils n’avaient toujours pas retrouvé l’aiguille. L’homme demanda à la vieille dame l’endroit exact où elle avait laissé tomber l’aiguille.
” Oh, je l’ai laissé tomber à l’intérieur de la maison “, répondit-elle. Etonné, il lui demanda pourquoi diable la cherchait-elle dans le jardin car, bien sûr, elle ne la trouverait jamais !
Elle répondit qu’il faisait trop sombre dans sa maison, et que c’était la raison pour laquelle elle cherchait dehors, où il faisait plus clair.
La plupart d’entre nous sont comme cette vieille femme – nous cherchons notre bonheur perdu à l’extérieur de nous-même.
Nous avons le sentiment qu’il fait clair à l’extérieur, et que c’est là que se situe toute action ! Mais le bonheur ne peut pas être trouvé là.
Il peut être trouvé dans le calme et la tranquillité à l’intérieur de nous-même.
Le bonheur est notre condition naturelle, et la méditation notre état d’esprit naturel.
C’est à nous de découvrir ce qui est déjà à l’intérieur de nous.
Source inconnue.

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My Passion for Cooking and Eating #3

I find dining whether in a restaurant, at a friend’s or at home as a complete sensory experience.  When it is done right, it will be a memorable event that one talks about for years. If it was done wrong, it could destroy the whole evening and damage a reputation.  Dining encompasses many of the theatrical elements involved in putting on a performance; there is the conceptual developmental stage in the kitchen, to the presentation on the floor, along with the company that partakes in the sharing of the food. We all want to experience the ‘wow’ factor when we eat as a form of entertainment. The participation of a fine meal with good wine should be approached as a festivity. One must respect not only the act of cooking itself but also the ingredients used to create a dish such as the meats, the produce, the herbs, and of course the spices. Good quality fresh products are essential to a fantastic meal. Food is essential to sustaining life therefore it should respected, savoured and celebrated to its’ fullest potential. Good eating is equivalent to passionately loving and respecting life and people. The ritual of sharing a meal as a cook or with friends is one of the most important acts of communication and appreciation. Feeding someone is fundamentally an act of love.

My passion for cooking and eating #2

My international travels as a dancer has allowed me to taste some of the culinary offerings the world has to offer. One of the most memorable tours was when I travelled to San Sebastien, Spain in between show dates.  My palette could not get enough of the fine culinary creations in this small Basque city situated just south of France. With its’ fine affordable but great eating establishments, pinxos (tapas), wine, and beaches, I could only equate my time in San Sebastien as heaven on earth. I can still taste the beautiful ocean in every bite of the mussels that we tossed back with the vast amounts of wine and cider chasing down our throats. We were  in a little hole in the wall of a eating establishment that was jammed packed with happy noisy people standing in a sea of shells from the discarded mussels… it was pure hedonistic pleasure.

My passion about the cooking and eating of food #1

I love anything that has to do with food! Everything from the conceptual stages of planning and preparation, to the actual cooking, and of course the ritual of sharing a meal are passions of mine. The tasting and eating of food are some of the most sensual and pleasurable acts one can possibly do in their lives. When I cook for others, I feel as if it is like putting on a show, and for the past twenty years as a dancer and choreographer, I certainly do enjoy putting on great performances. It excites me to try out new recipes, to experiment on ideas, and to create possibilities or combinations (some experiments are less successful then others, nevertheless taking chances is part of striving for greatness). The potential for creativity, discovery and imagination are driving me towards the idea of cooking for a living. All types of cuisine inspire me whether it is European, Asian, African, Middle Eastern, or American (Latin and North America). If a meal is made with imaginative intelligence and especially love, then it is all good to me!

Foodie cooking weekend!

Had a fun weekend of cooking and entertaining for my friends. We had a great surprise BBQ for my friend’s birthday on Saturday where I invited about 15 people to attend, of course 20 arrived along with their kids!!!!  It was hectic but I managed to feed everyone properly and happily. Made burgers, lamb, sausages, vegie burgers, hotdogs for the kids, grilled marinated courgettes, and a special mashed potato which was in my opinion was ma pièce de la resistance! (loads of great stuff such as garlic, butter, and bacon)  mmmm bacon….

Yesterday for some friends hanging and playing music in my apartment for the weekend, I made one of my favorites, Hainan Chicken. Eat was easy and so tasty. For dinner I made a risotto with shitake mushrooms, carrots, courgetts and would you believe cheddar cheese and surprisingly it turned out fucking beautifully. In the middle of preparing the risotto, I had to run to my friend Lucie’s place for some cheese as I realized that I had no more parmasean cheese in the fridge.  Since she only had cheddar, I had no choice but to take what was available and try it. Using the broth that I made for the Hainan Chicken, the risotto, was as good as any that I have tasted anywhere in the world. Believe you me, I have eaten risotto everywhere. This may come as a surprise but damn, it was good… real good.

The Closed Mind

When one is so in love with one’s own odor, one can’t perceive or recognize the stink that is imposed on others. Sometimes when an idea is clear in ones head, it does not mean that the idea is clear for others. Often the conceptual does not reflect the reality of the product.  Never assume the obvious and never disrespect the intelligence of your audience.

Foodie

I realize that I am a ‘Foodie’. Just addicted to anything that talks about eating and cooking. Can’t get enough of it on t.v., books, podcasts, and websites. It is food porn and I can’t seem to free myself from this addiction. Find myself working on recipes and talking about what works and doesn’t work about a meal. What is going on? I think it is a sign….

Dancing in the Parc

Been in the studio working as a dancer with Louise Bédard. Will be performing tomorrow night at Le Theatre la Verdure in Parc Lafontaine, Montréal. An open outdoor theatre will be a wonderful setting for a night out in this city.  I’ll be one of the old guys on stage jumping up and down. Come see us and tell me if I still have the chops or not to be dancing… and yes be honest. Whether you like the work or not, it is me that I’m interested about. (just kidding)

Summer has finally arrived (August 13th), it has been a long time coming. However fall is just around the corner and that is coming in faster than I want it to. There is just so much to do and yet there is not enough time or money to do it.  Doing some research on future projects and ideas. All is a stage of unknown at the moment. Ahh how to control it all.

Tell me how!

choreographic works

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