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Curator's Welcome

Curator MG
Photo: Sean Dennie

A little over 100 years ago, Calgary was a wooden fort of spiky poles with soldiers on the inside and teepees on the outside. Seventy-five years later, One Yellow Rabbit was banned from South Centre Mall for scaring the children with cardboard masks and juggling machetes.

You wouldn’t think of corporate-playground Calgary as being a haven for world-class puppetry, punk dance or Theatre of the Oppressed. But it is. Subversive expression bursts through the seams of conservative Calgary the way chamomile weeds struggle through the cracks in our paved environment.

At twenty years of age, the High Performance Rodeo festival has been around for almost a quarter of Calgary’s existence as a city. During that time, the Rodeo has been allowed to play a very special role in the development of our cultural life. This year, for the first time, we are incorporating a few select family-oriented performances into the festival mix. Expect a good deal more than South Centre Mall got that Saturday afternoon in 1982, but don’t expect anything less than the very best of Canadian performance today.

Start them young, and they’ll soon be as hooked on experimental theatre as you are. Give them another twenty years and, if you’re lucky, they’ll be liberating you from the care home in a Handibus to catch a Rodeo matinee of the newest and best example of comic dada movement-based oratorios anywhere!

Curator - Michael Green