The Transformers – Part of the National Transformations Project
“What would it take to transform our society for the betterment of all?”
That is the question that has been asked to artists all across Canada as part of the Transformations Project. This is a national project in which live performance companies from across Canada have asked some of their favourite artists to approach the above question by creating a short video in any format that inspires them. The idea is twofold: to help get some income to at least some of the many arts workers hard-hit by the pandemic; and to enlist the rich artistic imaginations of artists across the country as a way to assess where we are and where we could be going.
Transformations began as a grassroots-initiated project from Canada’s theatre community – including both large and small institutions. Canada’s National Arts Centre graciously agreed to host all the videos. You can see those works here.
Catalyst commissioned three Edmonton based artists to create videos for the project: Chris Dodd, Kristi Hansen and Rebecca Sadowski. Each of them worked with local cinematographer Tamarra Lessard to create three distinct pieces that celebrate the resilience and transformative power of the arts. They called themselves the Transformers as they worked in tandem to create these stunning pieces.
Regrowth by Chris Dodd
Regrowth is a spoken word poem performed in ASL which explores the dreams burnt by this shared pandemic and looks ahead to our rise from the ashes.
Are You Inspired? by Kristi Hansen
What if disability were a part of humanity and neither an inspiration nor a repulsive thought? What if disabled people were allowed to live, love, fail, and exist without the pressures of being an inspiration?
Breaking Baptist by Rebecca Sadowski
Breaking Baptist depicts a continuous attempt of consecration and transformation through religious ceremony. It symbolizes an inner deconstruction of faith, and the pursuit of true autonomy.
THANK YOU TO OUR COMMUNITY PARTNERS
Catalyst would also like to express our gratitude to EPCOR for sponsoring these projects through their Heart + Soul Fund. This fund was designed to help the arts community and charitable organizations build resilience and deliver programming that uplifts Edmontonians.
Regrowth by Chris Dodd
Are you Inspired? by Kristi Hansen
Breaking Baptist by Rebecca Sadowski
CHRIS DODD - Chris Dodd is an Edmonton based Deaf performing artist, playwright, accessibility advocate and Governor General Innovation Award finalist. He is the founder and artistic director of SOUND OFF, Canada’s national theatre festival dedicated to the Deaf performing arts. His solo work, "Deafy", began touring at the SummerWorks Performance Festival in 2019 and will be published by Playwrights Canada Press in 2021. His most recent work, “Please Remain Behind The Shield”, was commissioned by Canadian Stage as part of their multidisciplinary performance event “We Were, We Are, We Will Be”. Chris holds a degree from the University of Alberta’s Drama program. He was recently the recipient of the Guy Laliberté Prize for innovation and creative leadership by the Canada Council of the Arts.
KRISTI HANSEN - Kristi is the co-founder and co-Artistic Director of The Maggie Tree and the former Co-Artistic Producer of Azimuth Theatre in Edmonton, AB. Her one-woman show, Woody, explores the themes of privilege and disability in a reflection of her life as a disabled human living in a white, cis body in North America. Acting credits include Candide (Edmonton Opera); The Silver Arrow, A Christmas Carol, and Alice Through the Looking Glass (Citadel Theatre); The Invisible: Agents of Ungentlemanly Warfare (Catalyst Theatre); Mr. Burns: a post-electric Play (You are Here Theatre/Blarney Productions); The Bad Seed, The Jazz Mother, Pith!, The Scent of Compulsion, and The Ambassador’s Wives (Teatro la Quindicina); The Hollow (Vertigo Theatre); Small Mouth Sounds, 10 out of 12, and Passion Play (Wild Side Productions); Irma Voth (Theatre Network); Christina/Philippe (Northern Light Theatre); The Sound of Music (National Arts Centre); Comedy of Errors, Hamlet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, King Lear, Romeo and Juliet and Love’s Labour’s Lost (Freewill Players); The Snow Queen and Apocalypse Prairie (Azimuth Theatre); The Supine Cobbler, Monstrosities, Age of Arousal, Hroses: An Affront to Reason, Folie à Deux, and Hunger Striking (The Maggie Tree).
REBECCA SADOWSKI - Rebecca is an Edmonton-based Métis performer, choreographer, and dance instructor. She is an artistic member of Good Women Dance Collective, and curates for the Nextfest Festival with Theatre Network. Rebecca teaches dance with Mile Zero Dance Outreach, dancED Movement Projects, and the City of Edmonton. She has performed with Catalyst Theatre, Punctuate Theatre, Alberta Aboriginal Arts, Good Women Dance Collective, Northern Light Theatre, Thou Art Here Theatre, and Catch the Keys Productions. Rebecca has recently directed and performed in several dance films including the adaptation of The Sash Maker presented by Native Earth Performing Arts, as well as a film for the National Arts Centre Transformation Projects with Catalyst Theatre. Her original choreography has been presented by Mile Zero Dance, Expanse Festival, Nextfest Festival, and the Edmonton Fringe Festival. Upcoming this season, Rebecca will be performing with Good Women Dance Collective and vocal quartet, Femme, in their ongoing collaboration of The Beginning of Happiness. Rebecca will also be making her Citadel performance debut in Bears, by Matthew MacKenzie, as well as choreographing After the Fire, at the Citadel presented with Punctuate Theatre and Dreamspeakers. Rebecca holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance from Ryerson University.
TAMARRA LESSARD - https://www.canuproductions.com/