Final Performance at Walker Art Center

Posted in Uncategorized | October 27, 2008 | by emilyharney | (2) Comments

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Walker Art Center, Minneapolis

Posted in Uncategorized | March 19, 2008 | by emilyharney | (2) Comments

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The flight from Cedar Rapids via Chicago to Minneapolis was extremely frustrating. Firstly the woman at the check in told us the flight had been cancelled and there was no way of rescheduling us on later flights till the next day. There followed a heated conversation about whose responsibility it was with Gordon and Colin and the woman, and the manager was brought in. Finally after 15 minutes, it was discovered the woman had keyed in the wrong flight. The flight was late anyway and we worried about whether we would catch the connecting flight to Minneapolis. We prepared to do a sprint as Chicago’s airport is huge, but we had a break in that the departure lounge was close to our entry into the airport and the pilots from Cedar Rapids were the same pilots to fly the plane to Minneapolis, we didn’t know this. However the bags did not make it on to the flight. In Minneapolis they were located on a later flight and were delivered to the hotel.

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We had braced ourselves for the cold weather as Minneapolis was considered our coldest destination, but it was warm. So warm that the snow began to melt. This caused pools to form in low lying footpaths, and the ground to turn boggy and mushy. The snow which had so seduced me with its brilliance and dazzlingly beauty now showed its other side, it could be slippery, sludgy and unattractive. I am not however complaining about the warmer weather.

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The Walker Art Center has a tradition of strongly supporting the performing arts. I brought Sadness here in 1994, and Colin had performed here in 1986. Besides having a very good collection of contemporary art, it had several theatres which were extremely well crewed. There was a friendly, supportive feeling about the place. We set up in record time.

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The two shows went very well, about 140 each night. One night there was a reception with Minnesota International Center at the theatre. They were supportive of the Walker; while not specifically giving money to my show, they had arranged a group to come. Colin and I did chat with them for quite a long time, and the feedback was positive. I chatted with some black Americans who like the issues in Shadows and they said the racism issue has not been properly addressed in America. They were a sophisticated audience, and like most Americans they like to give their opinions. Fortunately they liked the show. On another night there was a question and answer after the show with the same response. On that night, Philip Bither, the senior curator, took us to dinner at the 20/21 restaurant where we had a fabulous meal. Philip had seen Shadows at Under The Radar two years before and especially liked the new ending.

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Our extra curricular activity was an event at Two Rivers Gallery, Insiders Looking Out: An Evening of Native Performance. The event had been organised by Allison Herrera and Michele Steinwald of the Walker, and the performers curated by Marcie Rendon, an artist herself. It was supposed to be a potluck but it was catered, and the menu was fried bread with a buffalo burger and rice salad. The desert was a sort of stewed berries with an artificial whipped cream.

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The event was important to Walker Education as it was one of their first encounters with Native America. Colin and I performed as well; Colin played his eagle feather flute, his small conch shell, and a variety of flutes. I gave a slide show of my family history and current activities as an artist in Sydney. I worried how I should present my gay life, as I wanted to mention it, and decided on a vanilla version. However later in the evening another performer, Kristopher Kohl Miner, gave a flamboyant, Judy Garland referencing, totally over the top Kamp monologue, spiced with strong language and a sense of the melodramatic, where he told a story about going to a Native American wedding and at the end of the night ended up having sex with the groom, although the incident ended in tears. It went over really well. I thought – And I worried about saying I was gay.

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Other performers included Sarah Agaton Howes, a poet, young, funky and of a very high standard, I thought; Mark Erickson, a traditional singer with a frame drum; Dorothy Lerma, a dancer; and Raphael Syzkowski, a singer in the style of Arlo Guthrie, who sang humorous songs of the outsider in society. It was all very enjoyable.

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We had lunch with Marcie the following day and her I heard her story, how she had escaped from the reservation thirty years ago, with two young children and one on the way. She knew if she stayed she would succumb to a life of drinking. She taught at a school for Native Americans in Minneapolis and developed her skill as a writer. I liked her calm manner, one sensed she had survived a lot. She brought her two grandchildren to see Shadows and she told me the aboriginal story could easily have been a Native American story.

Minneapolis Welcome

Posted in Uncategorized | March 12, 2008 | by emilyharney | (2) Comments

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William Yang, Colin Offord and Gordon Rymer are now in Minneapolis getting ready for the performances of Shadows at the Walker Art Center in the McGuire Theater.

On Monday, March 10th at the Two Rivers Gallery, the Walker Art Center and mnartists.org sponsored an event with artists Marcie Rendon, Sarah Agaton Howes, Raphael Szykowski, Kristopher Kohl Miner, Mark Erickson, and Dorothy Lerma for an evening of performance, music, and poetry to welcome William Yang and Colin Offord. Below is a link to a video from the event:

http://blogs.walkerart.org/offcenter/2008/03/11/yang-shadows/

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