Expanse Program


An MT Space & Gwaandak Theatre co-production
Written by: Patti Flather
Directed by: Majdi Bou-Matar
Aldrin Bundoc (Khalil)*
Nicholas Cumming (Wally)
Pam Patel (Rachel)
Michael Peng (George)*
Stage Manager: Zac Gungl
Technical Director: Julie Ferguson
Set & Properties Design: David Skelton
Sound Design and Composition: Jordy Walker
Lighting Design: Jennifer Jimenez
Costume Design: Melaina Sheldon

Feb. 8 at 7 p.m. Westbury Theatre
Feb. 9. at 8:45 p.m. Westbury Theatre


An unemployed logger, a young man accused of terrorism, a family doctor and his daughter, all searching for their humanity inside the systems that cage us all. A poetic, complex and challenging work, Paradise is a beautiful marriage of the text and imagery of Gwaandak Theatre’s Patti Flather with the distinct physical style of MT Space.

* The participation of these Artists are arranged by permission of Canadian Actors’ Equity Association under the provisions of the Dance • Opera • Theatre (DOT) Policy.

Hole in the Sky

Producer: Hunter Cardinal
Producer/ Director: Joshua Jackson
Choreographer: Arik Pipestem
Composer: Benjamin Bubeck
Dancers: Robin Berube and Sabrina Cheung
Feb. 10 at 7 p.m. Westubry Theatre
Feb. 11 at 8:30 p.m. Westbury Theatre


“Long ago, there were beings of light and energy called Kisikookuk. These ‘star people’ roamed the realities looking for new experiences, new understandings and new perspectives. The Cree people believe that one of the Kisikookuk, named Atchakos Iskwew, or Star Woman, came down from the Hole in the Sky (Pakone Kisik) into our reality. From her, all people found their way here to learn, experience, gain insight and perspective and teach— and then [move] on.”
– Wilfred Buck

Journey through the universe as two souls discover themselves through newfound love and kinship. This unique exploration transcends the physical world as they discover all sides of their own energy in a space beyond time. The Hole in the Sky blends traditionally rooted indigenous hoop dancing with contemporary combat and mask work.

Coast to Coast

Curated by The Good Women Dance Collective
Feb. 13 at 8:30 p.m. Westbury Theatre
Feb. 14 at 7 p.m. Westbury Theatre


direction & concept: Marcela Giesche
movement & performance: Sahara Morimoto
soundscape/editing: Marcela Giesche

heart – work emerged from the necessity to connect to the physicality and power of the heart.
Through rhythm, variable frequencies, and incessant pulsing – the body of the dancer becomes the heart of the space.

Femme Fatales
Choreography: Meredith Kalaman in collaboration with Kate Franklin, Felicia Lau, Gabi Beier and Teghan Fedor
Performers: Megan Morrison, Felicia Lau & Meredith Kalaman

Femme Fatales is a poetic trio, blending narrative and contemporary dance to bring to light the impact of gender socialization. How do we embody gender beyond a conversation from our logical mind and how do we articulate who we are with or without gender?

I can’t sit still
by Katerine Semchuk
Recipient of the 2017 Good Women New Work Award

Performers/collaborators: Abbie Cogger, Emily O’Neil, Katherine Semchuk
Choreographer: Katherine Semchuk
Sound: Composed by Dan Tansy, featuring Warren Krick, Ross Nicoll and Cameron O’Neil
Lighting Design: Julie Ferguson
Development Credits: Good Women Dance Collective and Expanse Festivals’ New Work Award, Ainsley Hillyard, Robyn Learn, Kate Stashko, Emily Spearing.

Head in ten places
Spread too thin
Bite off more than you can chew
Wears many hats
Bent out of shape
In over your head…

I can’t sit still is an exploration of idiomatic expressions relating to trying to do everything at once. With a compulsion to say yes and urge to remain occupied, three parts of one can very quickly diverge from focus.

What (Black) Life Requires

Dirt Buffet #31 (co-presented with Mile Zero Dance)
Co-created and performed by Mpoe Mogale, Lebo Disele, Ade Adeleye and Hillary Warren
Poetry by Brandon Wint
Feb. 16 at 8:45 p.m. Westbury Theatre
Feb. 17 at 7 p.m. Westbury Theatre


What (Black) Life Requires is an interdisciplinary performance which fuses modern, contemporary and ballet dance styles with spoken word poetry to explore the resilience, ingenuity, diversity and brilliance of Black Life. The piece is a powerful expression of Black creative unity, diversity, and womanhood, which explores the tension between personal narrative and collective experience within the context of Black life in Canada.

Workshop Series

You Move Me
led by Meredith Kalaman
February 14, 2018
11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. in the Westbury Theatre

Turn off your mind and completely let your body flow in movement during this workshop with contemporary dancer and choreographer, Meredith Kalaman. You will develop new tools of listening in the body that will open new patterns and connections in your body. Come experience yourself in your body in a way you have always known is possible. Suitable for people that have a practice in their body and are comfortable in improvised movement and making your own choices in a directed design.


Senses in Motion
Led by Sahara Morimoto
February 14, 2018
1 p.m.-2:30 p.m. in the Westbury Theatre

Through this workshop, Sahara Morimoto will be sharing ways of activating your senses to discover your individual connection to awareness & imagination inside your physicality. Finding familiar and unfamiliar movements within the body, the class challenges duration both with the body and the mind, in order to find better stamina and to better utilize moments when you’re in them and when you aren’t. Variations will be offered, and both dance professionals and physical performance enthusiasts are welcome.


Intimacy for the Stage
February 15 & 16, 2018

Siobhan Richardson from Intimacy Directors International will lead two workshops for theatre professionals, one for performers and one for directors, coaches and choreographers.

This workshop is sponsored by Theatre Alberta with funding from The Alberta Foundation for the Arts and Christie Lites Sales.

Intimacy For The Stage – Facilitators
February 15, 2018
10 a.m.-5 p.m. in the Westbury Theatre

Learn the techniques and the language to stage human sexuality in a way that is professional, dynamic and focused on storytelling. Clarify the artistic and practical approach to this work. Focus is on subtle and specific details in choreography, and on facilitating a workspace that allows for physical and emotional chemistry between characters – without compromising personal boundaries – resulting in powerful chemistry between characters and clear, effective storytelling. Discussion topics include: creating instant chemistry, The Pillars, permission vs. consent, Best Practices and minimum working conditions, and psychological safety.


Intimacy For The Stage – Performers
February 16, 2018
10 a.m.-5 p.m. in the Westbury Theatre

In this workshop, you’ll learn specific techniques for accessing your vulnerability in a dramatic context, resulting in powerful chemistry between characters without compromising personal boundaries. It’s an exploration of intimacy within a dramatic context for the purpose of telling the story of the scene. The principles can include the intimacy between lovers, between parents and children, between dear friends, and can also apply to scenes of sexual violence. Discussion topics include: consent, boundaries, psychological safety, best practices and working conditions.


Performance Lab – Chinook Series
February 11 & 18, 2018
11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. in the Westbury Theatre

This weekly, drop-in, pay-what-you-can, performance training and professional practice session is moving to the heart of Old Strathcona to soak up some mid-winter heat at the Chinook Series.

In partnership with The Citadel Theatre and Foote Theatre School, Azimuth is now offering a performance training laboratory for artists who are interested in a long-term, exploratory, physical practice to enhance, supplement, and complement their performative and creative capacities.

A blend of methodologies, these sessions are for artists who are committed to technique, discipline, curiosity, and play. They are set at a professional training level; however the only prerequisite for the class is a commitment to the rigours of the work. For actors, directors, creators, stage managers, playwrights, dancers, performance artists, teachers, technicians, visiting artists, emerging artists, as-yet-undefined artists, administrators, engaged and active community members.

February 11: Majdi Bou-Matar & Pam Patel

Body, Theatricality and the Creative Space

This workshop focuses on the body presence, movements and actions in the creation space. It explores how the collective physical presence and interaction on stage could lead into powerful theatricality. It looks at how the idea develops, alongside emotion and movement to achieve a creative moment. Starting from simple improvised everyday gestures and actions the workshop will lead participants to move beyond the usual into unexplored ways of body expression.

February 18: Amber Borotsik, ASL interpretation by NICA Consolidated

The Talking Body Shaping Space

In this fun and physical class we will explore movement improvisation as a tool to open and extend our ability to communicate through the body. Working in groups and in partners we will also play with ways to shape and understand space – refining our ability to use space and proximity as a creation tool.

This class is suitable for dancers, actors and all lovers of movement.
Because the floor can be slippery we will work in bare feet.

Ancillary Events

Salon – Evolution or Extinction: Alberta’s Dance Community
February 10, 2018
5:30 p.m.
with consultation from The Good Women Dance Collective

A discussion about what our provincial dance community needs to flourish and the challenges that must be overcome.

Salon – The Sky Talks
February 11, 2018
5:30 p.m.
with consultation from Tatawaw and Naheyawin Creative Incorporated

Experts explore the societal systems that are challenging us and the innovations in thought and practice that will lead the way towards solutions as we fly towards change.

The Lobbyists
Here, there, everywhere throughout Chinook

Somewhere in-between performance, installation and party lie The Lobbyists, a yearly collective of emerging, interdisciplinary artists brought together by Expanse Outreach Coordinator Amber Borotsik. This project connects artists emerging into a professional performance practice and charges them with the task of awakening spaces, both on the festival site and in the city surrounding. This year the Lobbyists will be collaborating with AJA Louden, a visual artist who’s work, fuelled by a background in graffiti and the sciences, brings a multifaceted, collaborative, and multi-narrative approach to contemporary urban muralism.

“The goal is making cities and spaces more inspiring, engaging, informed and thoughtful through strategic and compassionate use of art at design.” – AJA Louden

Follow The Lobbyists throughout Chinook and around town – tune into chinookseries.ca to see where they’ll pop up next.

here, there, everywhere throughout Chinook
Featuring Julie Ferguson

A lobby installation by NIUBOI

NIUBOI brings their experiments in obsolescence to the Chinook Lobby. Antiquation explores our devices go when they become obsolete.

Antiquation was originally workshopped at Theatre Junction GRAND’s TJLAB Series and NextFest’s Workshop Program with support from The Edmonton Arts Council, The City of Edmonton, and The Canada Council for the Arts.

NIUBOI is a trans non-binary alien who came from space to save the word from a life of blasé mundanity.

Script excerpts by Gwaandak Theatre’s Patti Flather
February 9, 2018
1 p.m.-2 p.m. in the FTA Boardroom

Award-winning playwright Patti Flather will read from her play Paradise, featured in this year’s Chinook Series, as well as her previous plays, West Edmonton Mall, Where the River Meets the Sea and Sixty Below.
The public reading is supported by PlayConnect, PGC’s Readings Program Funded by the Canada Council for the Arts.