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The Other Gardeners

Very Good Dance Theatre

Details

Categories: Theater, Dance, Immersive/Interactive Experience

Dates: September 2, 2023 - September 25, 2023

Run Time: 60 mins

Venue: The Icebox Project Space

Overview

What happens to (y)our gardens when we can no longer tend to them? When do the things and thoughts we leave behind become burdens, and when are they gifts? Can we both be refreshing fountains of reprieve for others, while we remember to pour into ourselves? What to do when our cup runneth over, and what to do when she’s dryyyyyy … we don’t know, will you help us find out?

The Other Gardeners is a multidisciplinary dance theatre performance created collaboratively by Very Good Dance Theatre by and for Black artists and/or those from African lineage. This work premiered as part of Cannonball’s Miniball festival in April 2023 and returns to Cannonball this fall as a BIPOC New Work Track recipient. Gardeners playfully (re)imagines what remains of Eden after its more popular residents (Adam & Eve) have moved on, and reminds us that paradise cannot be destroyed, only lost. This project explores questions around lineage, diaspora(s), liberation, and asks all those in its midst to grapple with which burdens have been placed on them, by who, and how we can one another shoulder them. The Other Gardeners is a Black queering of our origin stories, both a prequel and a sequel, and a conjuring of all the auto-biographies that never came to be. … or at least not yet?

Expect sobbing and laughing, remembering and visioning, dreaming and forgetting, and loving and loving and loving. Come to learn, come to share, come to mourn, come alone (or not), leave together – connected – nurtured, just as gardens should be.

Cannonball, produced by Almanac Dance Circus Theatre, is the first and largest independent festival hub of the Philadelphia Fringe that presents risk-taking independent artists in back-to-back performances next to delicious lounge spaces, fostering creative collisions and community conversation.

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About the Artist

Very Good Dance Theatre is a queer led, BIPOC centered, collaborative collective of artists that play with the ideas of what is dance, what is theatre, and what is "good". We work collaboratively, devising movement and text with each other, to create work somewhere in-between the scope of dance, theatre, and performance art to explore, experiment with, and expand what performance can be and do, while questioning what gives it value and why.


Very Good Dance Theatre was founded by Colby Calhoun in the summer of 2018, appearing on stage for the very first time at FIT Underground with Elephant Antonyms. Afterwards, we returned to the Festival of Independent Theatres (FIT) as a part of the 2020 festival on the mainstage with The 1st Annual Gay Show which featured 5 queer performers of color and devised their personal stories into a beauty pageant of sorts which revealed the failures, the dangers, the pain, the beauty, the triumphs, and the diverse truths of living as a queer person of color in America. F.A.G.S. went on to be featured as "Best Physical Theatre of 2019" by Frank Garrett at TheaterJones, showing the power of pushing boundaries and affirming our passion for the work we had just begun to make. Our work has always featured voices from the margins of our society while telling stories that are meant to uplift these communities, ask questions about why our world is the way it is, and start conversations about what we can do and must do for one another.


Since 2018 Very Good Dance Theatre has been asked to return to a virtual version of FIT in 2019, selected to participate in AT&T PAC’s 2020/21 Elevator Project Season, was chosen amongst the first cohort of Artists In Residence at Arts Mission Oak Cliff in 2021, and has been selected as a Cannonball 2023 BIPOC New Work Track recipient. Very Good Dance Theatre continues to make work as an independent theatre group through festivals, residencies, and other opportunities like this.

Credits

  • Colby CalhounAuthoring Performer & Collaborator
  • Micah LatAuthoring Performer & Collaborator
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