The Coming Silence (on site)

Photo by @SentientForms

The Coming Silence

The Coming Silence is a site-based performance installation that aims a critical eye at the divisions humans create between themselves and the rest of the biotic world.

The Coming Silence comments on the larger notion of human extinction, whether through viral, climatic or ecological crises, highlighting humanity’s ethical dilemmas in the Anthropocene.

An in-process showing of The Coming Silence occurred as part of TRAction’s ‘Procession for End Times II’ in September 2020 as audiences honoured the loss of the Milne Ice Shelf.

The premiere of the work occurred as a walking tour and performance on Prince’s Island Park on May 1&2, 2021, presented as part of ReLoCate’s The Experiment series. For more information, see https://relocateyyc.wixsite.com/. A film that documents the live performance was released in August 2021, again as part of ReLoCate’s The Experiment series.

The Coming SIlence enjoys support from the Canada Council for the Arts and the Alberta Foundation for the Arts.

Lot C

Lot C

Lot C

Lot C is a site-specific performance produced by kloetzel&co. with direction by Melanie Kloetzel and choreography by students in the BFA Dance at the University of Calgary. The work evokes images of cinematic landscapes and children’s perspectives amid the peculiarities of a pandemic. Performed in an abandoned lot next to a Children’s Hospital, the performance offered a free and accessible live viewing experience for those more and less intimately connected to the hospital during the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic.

MEN in charge

Photo by Kevin Leiver

MEN in charge

MEN in charge is a film that explores the creation and presentation of the live performance work, It began with watching. In doc(mock)umentary form, MEN in charge depicts how kloetzel&co. was able to create a brutally humorous take on gender and/in the U.S. political landscape as ‘alternative facts’ and outlandish acts took centre stage. Co-created with the cinematographer and director Linnea Swan, MEN in charge offers an entertaining and honest portrait of a sector enthralled with power. 

Since its release on January 20, 2021 (U.S. Inauguration Day), MEN in charge has  been selected for presentation through the Toronto International Women Film Festival, Spring Grove International Film Festival (MN), the ARTS x SDGs Festival (NY), the LA Independent Women Film Awards, the New York City IO Film Festival, Freedom Festival International (SC), the Festival of Genders and Performances (Portugal), dance:made in canada festival (Toronto in September 2021), Reading Film Fest (Reading, PA in October 2021), FLOW Festival (FL), Moving Parts Film Festival (Los Angeles in October 2021).

Watch for upcoming screenings at the  Sans Souci Festival of Dance Cinema (Boulder, CO in November 2021) and at the Washington, DC-based GO Independent International Film Festival.

 MEN in charge has received a BEST DOCUMENTARY award from the Mabig Film Festival in Germany, a Best Female Short award from the Freedom Festival International, as well as an Honorable Mention in the Documentary Short category at the New York IO Film Festival.

Two sneak previews of the film were presented by Wild Dogs international Screendance Festival and through ReLoCate’s The Experiment #4 series. Subscribe to the kloetzel&co. YouTube channel to see three episodic trailers for the film. 

The film is based on the work It began with watching that toured to over ten theatre spaces and alternative sites in Canada between 2016-20.

The Coming Silence

The Coming Silence

The Coming Silence

Are we exempt from the diorama? Who will be left to witness our appearance in the museum of the disappeared?

The Coming Silence aims a critical eye at the divisions humans create between themselves and the rest of the biotic world. Through a work that places very still or slow-moving performing bodies on display, The Coming Silence asks us to consider when or how humans might inhabit the display cases of natural history museums currently inhabited by ‘animals of interest’.

The Coming Silence encourages audiences to question humanity’s future in light of climate, ecological, and viral emergencies, thereby highlighting humanity’s ethical dilemmas in the Anthropocene. 

The Coming Silence developed as a work-in-progress in 2020 through Kloetzel’s work with dance majors at the University of Calgary; it is currently in development with the company for an evening-length exhibit.

The Gene Sharp Legacy Project

Gene Sharp Legacy Project

The Gene Sharp Legacy Project

The Gene Sharp Legacy Project is part research project, part training, part temporal collision. Delving into the research by historian Gene Sharp on non-violent protest, this project by Melanie Kloetzel (kloetzel&co.) considers what past bodies can teach present and future bodies who move beyond despair or feigned ignorance and take to the streets in protest.

Premiere presented by ReLoCate, The Experiment #4 series. The work has toured to Vancouver’s Left of Main as part of Left of PuSh (co-produced by plastic orchid factory), to Edmonton’s Spazio Performativo (with co-production by Mile Zero Dance), and to Calgary’s Doolittle Studio Theatre, all with support from the Canada Council for the Arts.

It began with watching

It began with watching

It began with watching

Through blunt text and even blunter physicality, It began with watching offers a brutally humorous take on the political landscape as ‘alternative facts’ and outlandish acts take centre stage. A site-adaptive work that is tailored to each space it visits, the absurdist exchanges between performers and audience members and droll commentary in  It began with watching  provide an entertaining and honest portrait of a sector enthralled with power. A droplet of intelligence here, a hint of a shadowy figure, and we are all marionettes, putty in the puppet master’s hands.

The evening-length site-adaptive version of It began with watching premiered in Edmonton on June 27-29, 2017 at Edmonton City Hall and on June 30, 2017 at the Vignettes Building through The Works Art & Design Festival. 

Excerpts of this work have also been shown at more than ten sites between 2017 and 2020 across Calgary’s downtown, at various on-campus locations at the University of Calgary, as well as at EV Junction as part of Alberta Culture Days and at the DJD Dance Centre for the Canadian National Dance Assembly’s annual conference in 2017. 

The film, MEN in charge, which was released in 2021, is based on the stage and site versions of It began with watching, directed by Melanie Kloetzel and shot and edited by Linnea Swan.

Contact kloetzel&co. to book the MEN for your site – restaurant, brewery or boardroom!

The Fairy Queen

The Fairy Queen

The Fairy Queen

Henry Purcell’s semi-opera, The Fairy Queen, was written for a caste system, where the landed gentry wanted, nay demanded, entertainment to fill their hours. So, how can such blithe baroque fare be relevant at this juncture? 

In 2020, three co-directors, Melanie Kloetzel, Peter Balkwill and Laura Hynes came together to engage in a research project to restructure The Fairy Queen for the contemporary period. Performed by students at the University of Calgary, this new version of The Fairy Queen also offered a vision of utopia (dystopia), but one predicated on the ideals of both consumption and the creation of waste that is ingrained in capitalist society today. Through a rewritten libretto, restructured musical arrangements and tongue-in-cheek choreography, The Fairy Queen examined the behaviours that support our inequitable system.

February 2020 at the University Theatre.

Room (a film)

Room (a film)

Room (a film)

Room, an environmental dance film by kloetzel&co., examines the themes of ecological precarity and adaptation in the Anthropocene. Based on the live site-adaptive performance work, Room, and filmed on site in Glasgow, UK and Calgary, Canada, the film uses close-ups of physical interactions with a diversity of sites and quick cuts between sites to display the human body as both inherently mobile but also fixed in place, unable to escape the vagaries of environmental transformation.

Created by Melanie Kloetzel, in collaboration with set designer Fergus Dunnet and cinematographer Chantal Wall, Room weighs the limits and possibilities of human efforts to adapt to a rapidly changing world. Winner of a 2019 ‘Creativity Award’ from A Show for a Change film festival, and one of only ten films selected for spudFILM: Wasted – An Environmental Film Fest in the UK, Room has also been selected for Seattle’s Virtual Cinema Festival and as a special feature for the Equinox Mountain Film Festival in Manchester, Vermont.

It began with watching

It began with watching

It began with watching

It began with watching, a dance theatre work by kloetzel&co., explores the transformation of democracy as ‘alternative facts’ and outlandish acts populate the political landscape. A droplet of intelligence here, a hint of a shadowy figure, and we are all marionettes, putty in the puppet master’s hands.

Commissioned by CrossCurrents 2016, a showcase version of It began with watching premiered at Pumphouse Theatres in February 2016. After residencies at the University of Calgary and the DJD Dance Centre funded by the Canada Council for the Arts and the Alberta Foundation for the Arts, the work grew into an evening-length site-based work and a 35-minute theatre work. The theatre version premiered at the 2017 Fluid Movement Arts Festival. It then toured to the Brian Webb Dance Company series in Edmonton in September 2018 and to New Horizons Dance in Regina in May 2019. The work is also the basis for a documentary film, MEN in charge, released in 2021.

It began with watching also exists as a site-adaptive work for boardrooms and government spaces.

2016-2019

Dance of the Puppets

It began with watching

Dance of the Puppets

Dance of the Puppets explores the transformation of democracy as ‘alternative facts’ and outlandish acts populate the political landscape. Through sardonic interactions, blunt physicality, and a brutally humorous text, the work exposes the alarming possibilities that arise as governments, concentrated wealth, and surveillance technologies join forces. A droplet of intelligence here, a hint of a shadowy figure, and we are all marionettes, putty in the puppet master’s hands.

The film is directed/edited by Melanie Kloetzel with camera work by Kevin Leiver. Winner of a ‘Best Cast’ award from Toronto’s Alternative Film Festival and nominated for a Best Story/Message award from MarDelDance Film Festival, the work has also been selected for screening through EnCore: Dance on Film in Atlanta, Georgia, the Dallas Dance Film Festival in Texas, the Film Collective in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Desert Edge Global Film Festival in Andore, India, and for Kinetoscope International Screendance Film Festival in Missoula, Montana.

This film short is based on the stage and site works, It began with watching and MEN in charge, as seen under the ‘On Site’ and ‘On Stage’ pages. It was filmed on-site at Edmonton City Hall.

Dance of the Puppets also functions as a trailer for the upcoming feature film MEN in charge, that offers a complete documentary of the creative process of making It began with watching.