what i am dancing sundays

A dance, protest, busk experiment in how the deeply personal is political and conversely,
how the political, has personal repercussions in any artist’s creative life.

Daelik, Anne Cooper and Monica Strehlke

Jennifer Clarke

I began doing this because I was questioning  my validity as a professional dancer of 22 years, one who was facing the cyclical demoralization of being underemployed. Even though in the last 2 decades, I have been one of the most employed dancers in Vancouver, in the summer of 2010 I found myself again forced to look for work that was outside my field. I knew that there were other  professional artists in the same dilemna: waitressing, joejobbing, at the EI office, leaving the province to find work elsewhere, terrible equation that does not auger well for culture in BC.

So I decided to do this dance, busk, protest thing. I decided to do it in the most embarassing context I could do it in: in Mount Pleasant, the neighborhood where I live, where I am usually anonymous in the crowd that is my hood. I decided to do it at Gene, the cafe where hipsters hang out. I wanted to draw attention to the fact that artists are not anonymous. Even though we are marginalized in the economic infrastructure of BC, we insist on thriving. Art is an integral part of all that is meaningful in this province, this country, this lifetime.

Documentary by Peg Campbell:


 By the time I completed the 4th and last summer edition, I was  joined by a diverse cross-section of artists from BC:

Dance artists: James Gnam, Daelik, Anne Cooper, Jay Hirabayashi, Barbara Bourget, Lee Su-Feh, Monica Strehlke, Jennifer Clarke, Peter Bingham, Susan Elliott, Alvin Tolentino, Laura Hicks, Tara Cheyenne Friedenberg, Mariko Kage, Kim Tuson, Caroline Farquhar, Susan Elliott, Nicole Dupuis, Alvin Tolentino, Donald Taruc, Caroline Liffmann;
Musician composers John Korsrud, Jeff Corness, Peggy Lee, Brian Harding, Joseph Pepe Danza and Eileen Kage, André Lachance, Sam Schoichet

The protest was timely. Jane Danzo, former chair of the British Columbia Arts Council, resigned and sent a letter to Minister Krueger, demonstrating her stance regarding the cuts and diffusion of funds to arts in BC.
It was also timely for me, as  for any individual, to know that in our struggles and our celebrations we are not alone. There is no shame in the challenges that we encounter as we exercise our creative voices. We  are but  microcosms,  jewels of imagination in the environments where we live.
So… thanks to all the artists… for letting the world know,  that art is a place where friends and strangers meet, to make the invisible visible, even and especially, in the most uncertain of times.

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