Is that all there is?
Throughout SummerWorks 2011, I approached people, mostly strangers, in a number of ways. I asked them to spend some time talking or walking with me before and after performances. Sometimes the encounters were more brief and spontaneous... At the end of each meeting I gave people the following invitation in a small envelope:
I’d like to invite you to meet at the SummerWorks Art Bar
952 Queen Street West (MOCCA Courtyard)
Sunday August 14th, 4:30pm
I’ll pour you a drink, we’ll roll up our sleeves, and
spend some time together as strangers who share a city.
'...Imagine a future for creative buildings, called theatres, which are at the heart of civic life... They would be the kind of buildings that were either designed to last or fall down, depending on the needs of the people...' **
With this in mind, please bring an object to contribute to our gathering.
It should be something significant, but that you are are willing to part with.
We’ll raise a glass to the hope that whatever we make together will both last and fall down.
We made an exhibition of our objects and talked with each other about them.
I told some stories about some of the other people I had met throughout the festival and performed a script with Alison, one of the people who accepted my invitation.
I proposed and gave reasons for us to learn a dance together. The last reason was this:
"And when I was 12 years old, my father took me to the circus, the greatest show on earth. There were clowns and elephants and dancing bears; and a beautiful lady in pink tights flew high above our heads. And as I sat there watching the marvelous spectacle I had the feeling that something was missing. I don't know what, but when it was over, I said to myself, 'Is that all there is to a circus?' Is that all there is, is that all there is? If that's all there is my friends, then let's keep dancing. Let's break out the booze and have a ball. If that's all there is…"
We learned a dance together to Peggy Lee's Is That All There Is?
We did the dance in our exhibition and knocked much of it down.
We made some toasts.
With thanks to Peter McMaster and Michael Rubenfeld.
And Peggy Lee: