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Light, sound, drum, media arts, sculpture, music. Play. A mosaic of performance and experience. This is The Whole Shebang.

The origin of the term whole shebang is from 1920s America, and means all of it, the entire thing. But the phrase has roots dating back to the 1860s. It has connections to the Irish word ‘shebeen’ meaning rustic dwelling, and Mark Twain used ‘shebang’ in 1872 referring to a type of vehicle. By the time “whole” was added to the phrase (much like “the whole nine yards” and “the whole kit and kaboodle”) the phrase took on its catchy meaning as shebang was a simply a colourful way of saying ‘thing.’

Audiences are about to take part in the whole thing. Eight Niagara artists and Andrea Nann of Dreamwalker Dance Company have taken part in a creative residency, four years in the making. For two nights only, their artistic collaboration will culminate in Robertson Theatre.

One of Canada’s leading collaborative artists, Nann has brought her signature Shebang process to Niagara, shared a holistic ensemble-based creation practice with established and emerging artists to help grow their practice and creative vocabularies.

Nann is an accomplished dancer whose artistic process embodies the intrinsic collaboration of dance. She sees the Shebang as an opportunity for individuals to come together and shake up the way they have done things in the past. Nann and Dreamwalker artists have been working in Toronto, Kingston, Burlington and St. Catharines with the Shebang project. Nann is the passionate artistic lead and looks to dig deep into a community’s heart through the arts.

“Niagara shebang artists are already

part of a stimulating inspiring vibrant local arts community,” observes Nann. “To have this chance to share a space and to create a safe and positive working environment with a really eclectic group of dynamic individuals who bring so many different perspectives has been transformative.”

Nann’s time in Niagara has been rich with discovery. Sara Palmieri, FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre’s Programming and Marketing Manager engaged Nann at Brock’s Centre for the Arts to share her collaborative practice with a hand-picked group of Niagara-based emerging and established artists in 2011. The group has been getting together several times a year in a workshop setting to learn new ways of creating and sharing their art.

The Niagara Shebang artists are Aaron Berger, Brittany Brooks, Adam Buller, Elizabeth Chitty, Mark Steiger, David Vivian and Deanna Jones. Artistic and Community Translators are Vickie Fagan and Annie Wilson.

“I think it’s important to recognize the diversity of ages, artistic backgrounds of the ensemble,” declares Nann. “The collective range of experiences, information and knowledge that they bring into the room is vast and extraordinary.”

The group has already shared two public presentations of their work at Centre for the Arts, Brock University in 2013 and at The Sullivan Mahoney Courthouse Theatre in 2014. This time, the Shebang collaboration has welcomed Ohnia:kara Singers, the Perpetual Peace Project, students from local high schools and Brock’s dramatic arts program.

Audiences can expect an enhanced performance experience where Robertson Theatre will be transformed by the artists to include a rich visual, aural, tactile, sensory environment in which there will be short performances by the artists and other delights and surprises. The Whole Shebang will share the entire thing with audiences this April.

Dreamwalker Dance Company artists: Andrea Nann, AJ Morra, Brendan Wyatt, Elysha Poirier, Tom Kuo, Gabriel Cropley

Niagara Shebang artists: Aaron Berger, Brittany Brooks, Adam Buller,


Elizabeth Chitty, Mark Steiger, David Vivian and Deanna Jones. Artistic and Community Translators are Vickie Fagan and Annie Wilson.

Community Organization participants: Onia: Kara, The Perpetual Peace Project, St. Catharines Collegiate Institute, Holy Cross Secondary School, Chorus Niagara, Welland Centennial High School and Glendale Public School.

- Annie Wilson

DreamWalker Dance Company

The Whole Shebang Robertson Theatre MEMBERS: $25.50 REGULAR: $30 COLLEGE/UNIVERSITY: $25 HIGH SCHOOL: $5

7:30PM Fri 22 - Sat 23 Apr

# niagara

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