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What’s On (Calgary): Digital Folk – Swallow-a-Bicycle Theatre & plastic orchid factory

Brave Girl – Lunchbox Theatre
Photo Credits

What’s On (Calgary): Digital Folk – Swallow-a-Bicycle Theatre & plastic orchid factory

Photo by Chris Randle. From L-R: Diego Romero, Bevin Poole Leinweber, James Gnam

Swallow-a-Bicycle Theatre presents
plastic orchid factory‘s

November 3-4, 2018
Three shows per night – 7:00, 8:00 & 9:00 pm
Alexandra Dance Hall, 936 9 Ave SE
Suggested ticket price $20; buy online or at the door
For more info: 403.710.0093 or

Created by Vancouver-based company plastic orchid factory, Digital Folk is a video game + costume party + music and dance performance + installation built around the desire to revisit how communities gather to play music, dance and tell stories. It is an interdisciplinary collaboration between dance artist, James Gnam, visual artist, Natalie Purschwitz, lighting designer, James Proudfoot and 10 dance artists that explores a generation’s approach to identity, physicality, social dance and performance.

Digital Folk lives as an in-between world that is not quite a home and not quite a theatre, where the desire for music, dance and community is focused through the lens of video game culture to create an irreverent, interactive, looping experience that probes virtual and physical communities, feedback and paradox.

Digital Folk is an immersive installation by the interdisciplinary artists of plastic orchid factory that explores the strange and beautiful lines between the virtual and the real.
— Erika Thorkelson, Vancouver Sun

In an age where so many people do exist in relative isolation, engaging with the world through technology, Digital Folk is a flash of energy—energy that dance, song, and community so uniquely extract.
— Brittany Duggan, The Georgia Straight

Digital Folk was playful, colourful and energetic, and addressed the anxiety of this new, constantly changing technological space that exists within the contemporary everyday experience.
– Ella Adkins, Peripheral Review

What struck me is how much I wanted to participate […] And it is in these unscripted–or rather, unprogrammed–bodily encounters that Digital Folk as a live performance interrupts the one-way circuitry of human-computer interaction.
– Peter Dickinson, Performance, Place and Politics

– – –


concept & creative direction | James Gnam

scenography & costume design | Natalie Purschwitz

lighting design | Jonathan Kim (adaptation from James Proudfoot original)

sound design | Kevin Legere

artistic production | Natalie LeFebvre Gnam

technical direction | Jonathan Kim & James Gnam

choreography & performance | James Gnam, Natalie LeFebvre Gnam, Vanessa Goodman, Lexi Vajda, Kayla DeVos, Shion Carter, Lorenz Santos, Rachel Maddock and Rachel Helten.

About plastic orchid factory

plastic orchid factory is an artist-run, interdisciplinary organization that uses the body as a site for social commentary. Established in 2008, plastic orchid develops methodologies for creation that foster engagement, play, and exploration with artists from a diversity of backgrounds and practices. Through collaboration, performance and research, plastic orchid deftly probes connections between contemporary bodies and the social, political and technological landscapes that they inhabit. In its very brief history, plastic orchid has created nine short works and three evening length ensemble pieces including: _post, Remember When, James & Natalie, and Digital Folk.

plastic orchid factory’s research and creation have been generously supported by The Dance Centre, EDAM dance, Circuit-Est in Montreal, Opera Estate in Bassano Italy, Progress Lab 1422/Electric Company Theatre and The Vancouver East Cultural Centre. The work has been presented by The Firehall Arts Centre, The Vancouver International Dance Festival, The Vancouver Art Gallery, Dance for a Small Stage, The Shadbolt Centre for the Arts and The New Forms Festival. plastic orchid factory is the founder of Left of Main, an artist run creation/development space located in Vancouver’s downtown east side.

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