My friend Kristy-Anne took beautiful pictures of the show, so I thought I’d walk you through a picture journey of the night! Kristy-Anne is a stunning photographer. You can reach her for weddings, family or any kinds of photo shoots at http://upandawaystudios.com
(you can click on the pictures for a bigger view)
I was pleased to have the show at the Vertigo theatre downtown, in the base of the Calgary Tower. It’s a lovely lil spot. All four nights sold out. Here’s a bit of the crowd waiting to get in.
We were blessed to have DJ Transform, DJCrosswalk and DJ Reflects do our pre-show AND give us live music to jam to for our dancer warm up before the show.
My dear friend, Harriet Stanley, provided her amazing art for the backdrop of the show.
We started the evening with a question and one of my adidas jackets give-a-ways (don’t know about that? Read yesterday’s blog)
The first piece, Identity, choreographed by Jason Owin Galeos was performed by my Mpact Youth Company. I was SO proud of them!
We often put our best “face” on social media when our lives could be crumbling. Many issues of poverty can be invisible to society because we work hard to blend in. Living in community (does anyone know what that means anymore?), and authenticity can do a world of good in helping combat issues of poverty. It’s a callback to the simple “knowing your neighbor” and caring about them.
Next up was an old fav song of mine, Material Girl, choreographed by Tony Tran.
“Because You’re Worth It”, “American Express: Don’t Leave Home Without It”, “10 Best Dressed/Worst Dressed”… every day beauty and consumerism bombard our eyes and ears with its message: CHARGE IT! When the world is crumbling, we’re called by governments to “go shopping”. You need another pair of shoes. Sure you do. Strut your stuff. Get sexy. Date rich men. Climb the social ladder. Who’s a pretty girl? You are. Do anything you can to stay that way. As long as you stay focused on the prize (yourself), you won’t need to be bothered with the needs and inconveniences of others.
The crowd got hyped (and with a special extra surprise on Saturday evening) with, Let It Rock, choreographed by Oliver Reyes.
What would you do for money? Just to survive? Just to appear rich? It would depend on what you define as “corrupt”. Would it be worth gaining the whole world only to lose your soul? Greed and corruption continue to pull us to depths we could have never dreamed. Time to bring the fire that makes us come alive. “I see your dirty face hide behind your collar. You pray to God to justify the way you live a lie….I wish I could be as cruel as you. But I can’t and I won’t live a lie. No not this time.” – Kevin Rudolph
Sweetest Girl was performed and choreographed by Sabrina Naz. She did a brilliant job of depicting a strippers lifestyle in a lady-like manner.
How many women who find themselves in situations of poverty end up stripping for a living to earn enough money to support their family? Or how many find themselves manipulated and trapped into this lifestyle; told they could never amount to anything else? How many women use their body as a tool to gain more power, more money and what they believe to be “control”? “Some live for the bill. She wined for the bill, grind for the bill. Closed legs don’t get fed, go out there and make my bread because all he wanna know is; Where My Money At. Cash rules everything around me. She used to be the sweetest girl.. – Wyclef Jean
We had some amazing special guests, Dikaios, who performed three pieces from a full length show they do on human trafficking.
Their pieces were raw, shocking and very moving to the audience. What would we do for money? Sell someone? Cycles of poverty are affected by waves of corruption.
Walk Alone was a solo choreographed and performed by the amazing Corinne Vessey
Trapped, no shield, no sword. The unbeaten path got my soul so sore. Allured by the lust, something money can’t cure. The Devil want me as is, but God he want more. Living life without a care, mean pokerface. But I’m forced to play solitaire till I get up out of here. Move like a wanted man with a bounty on his head. Work alone, sleep alone, eat alone, daily bread, Counting till my fingers red, how you gon’ judge a man walking in the shoes of a man with a broken leg? Flame on the trail headed for the powder keg. Last place in the race I ain’t never led, like I ain’t never bled, time to get up out of bed Serving in the army of one, it’s on again. Walk alone, I walk alone, you know I walk it alone. I always been on my own, ever since the day I was born so I don’t mind walking alone.
But should anyone have to walk alone?..
One of my fav K-OS songs, Man I Used To Be, was choreographed by Corinne Vessey
“I used to be a father”, “I used to be a lawyer”, “I used to have a home”, “I used to have friends”. People you pass on the street, people you work with, people sitting beside you right now all have “used to be’s”. We’re more alike than we think – those living in wealth or situations of poverty find themselves yearning to get back to the man they used to be.
Poor Man was choreographed by Jason Owin Galeos and Connie Jakab, featuring special guest, bboy Gomo Cabarroguis
“This is not who I am!” Doesn’t this cry scream out from hearts of every social status, financial situation and race? Does not the homeless man wish you to not judge his exterior and instead, see who he really is? Does the college student just wish that someone could understand and accept them unconditionally? Doesn’t the stay-at-home-mom want to be seen as someone educated and worth listening to? Everyone wants to avoid judgment from what is seen on the outside.
Our finale, Something To Say, was choreographed by Nicole Pemberton
The brokenness some carry could really use someone to come alongside to believe in them. All they may need from you is just to say, “You’re gonna make it. I’ll help you”. Faith might mean there won’t be answers. And hope might mean enduring through the night. But help me not forget in darkness, the things that I believed in light. I’ve got something to say. It’s been one of those days when I’m finding it hard to believe in you. – Starfield
At the end of each thought provoking performance, we invited a panel of people who work in the areas of poverty within Calgary to come and speak to the audience about the truths (and stereotypes) of poverty.
It was a highlight for us to have so many wonderful organizations represented.
And what you didn’t see! Here’s some behind the scenes….