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Tara Cheyenne Performance premieres Porno Death Cult at the Firehall Arts Centre

Photo: Wendy D

Dance/theatre artist Tara Cheyenne Friedenberg lends pathos and a wicked sense of humour to the big questions like why we’re here and who’s looking out for us. Her new solo work, Porno Death Cult, making its world premiere at the Firehall Arts Centre March 5-8, 2014, and explores faith and faithlessness, life and death.  

Following the success of Highgate (2013), her morbid romp through Victorian funerary culture, Porno Death Cult’s subject matter was started on a life changing journey.

“The whole idea was born when the year before (2010) my son Jasper was born, my husband (Marc Stewart also the composer for the piece), and I walked the Camino de Santiago trail. I’m not religious at all but I was interested in the ritual and the pain of the body, “explained Friedenberg. 

“We were smug: we were in shape and young but having to keep walking to find a bed...we had never experienced anything like it before, “ shared Friedenberg. “ Many people do it for a higher purpose: for the devotion or an offering for either themselves dying or someone close to them dying. I remember a rather overweight, older, Italian woman who smoked, she would routinely pass us.”

As the journey went on, the Catholic cathedrals started to seem "gaudy with gold" and the discrepancy between that and the poverty outside the churches was startling.

“I started thinking, "Hey, JC is getting pretty good looking, there was a rock star thing going on, so said the Athiest Jew', “ Friedenberg laughingly said.

Her process from inspiration to a finished product that provides an immersive live experience where dance, art and theatre converge, started with research. “I start with as many ingredients as I can. I do a lot of reading and writing, interviewing people on their beliefs and then I start improvising until characters start to present themselves. I just let it come and them I work with a lot of brilliant minds.

Porno Death Cult, draws on a diverse range of talented collaborators. Director Marcus Youssef (Neworld Theatre) lends his unique style and impeccable eye to this idiosyncratic fusion of text, dance, character, and prayer for something better. Visual artist Mickey Meads' life-sized altar sculpture sets the scene, while Alice Mansell (whose extravagant costumes featured in Highgate) returns as costume designer. Mansell and Meads have also created a special mixed-media installation that echoes the characters on stage and converts the Firehall lobby into a temple. Porno Death Cult is completed with the irreverent sounds of composer Marc Stewart, sinful illumination by James Proudfoot, outside dance eyes from Justine A. Chambers and Susan Elliott (Highgate) and Kim Stevenson, assistant to the choreographer.

LISTINGS INFO:

Porno Death Cult | March 5-8, 8pm at Firehall Arts Centre, 280 East Cordova

Tickets $20 - $30 from www.firehallartscentre.ca | 604-689-0926

PDC: In Progress

Running parallel to Porno Death Cult, PDC: In Progress is a mixed media installation by visual artists Alice Mansell and Mickey Meads that echoes the characters on stage. 

FREE Wednesday – Sat 1-5pm                   |     Opening reception: Thurs Feb 27, 5:30 – 7pm

 

 

 

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