Compilation of visions from first incarnation of TIGHTROPE @ Buddies In Bad Times Theatre (Toronto, CANADA), June 2011
created and performed by 2boys.tv
(transdisciplinary art duo Stephen Lawson and Aaron Pollard)
in collaboration with Alexis O’Hara and Radwan Moumneh
with special guest performers
International cabaret sensations 2boys.tv embarked on a quest to confront their relationship with the generation that vanished with the AIDS crisis and the societal amnesia surrounding this loss. While touring performances in North and South America a parallel presented itself to the artists; individuals and cultures threatened by a systemic suppression of memory and the ever present ghosts of the “disappeared”. The result of their exploration is Tightrope, a theatrical song-cycle for the forgotten. Backed by a virtual choir of singers and musicians, 2boys.tv summon the shadows, apparitions and voices of the disappeared; an invitation for us all to participate in a communal act of remembering.
As cabaret performers, Montreal-based 2boys.tv elevate drag performance to the level of a sacred art form. ForTightrope, they gather a chorus of local drag queens and gender-queer performers to play the roles of sublime high-camp phantoms. Through a virtuosic display of multimedia technology, this queer chorus interacts with projections to create a stunning visual spectacle. Within the cosmology of the performance, these queens function as profane shamans, witnesses and guides through our communal memorial.
Tightrope also features internationally-renowned Canadian/Lebanese producer and musician Radwan Ghazi Moumneh, whose solo project Jerusalem in my Heart has opened for the likes of Diamanda Galás. Radwan is well-known as the engineer behind several Montreal superbands such as Arcade Fire, Wolf Parade and The Dears. Tightrope also features and was created in collaboration with Montreal-based performance artist and musician Alexis O’Hara whose poetic soundworks have been presented internationally.
Award-winning transdisciplinary duo 2boys.tv are Stephen Lawson and Aaron Pollard. Partners in life and in art, they have created and presented a wide repertoire of multidisciplinary cabaret works, performances, videos and installations in clubs, galleries, museums, theatres and festivals around the world. They were the 2009 recipients of the Canada Council Victor Martyn Lynch Staunton Award recognizing outstanding mid-career achievement in the field of Integrated Arts.
TIGHTROPE was presented in a premiere version May 25 – June 05, 2011 as part of the 2010/11 season at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre in Toronto, Canada. Originally created with the support of Montreal arts organisations Studio 303, festival les Trois Jours de Casteliers, OBORO New Media Laboratory and Usine C, the performance was re-imagined and reconfigured for an engagements in Montréal (Musée d'art contemporain de montréal, October 2011) and will be presented in Sao Paolo (Encuentro of the Americas, January 2013) and London, U.K. (SPILL festival of performance, March 2013).