by Anais West
Developed as part of Dumb Instrument Dance's CONJURE Residency at MORROW Studio
January 27 - February 3, 2023
Tomboy (Chłopczyca) is a dance-theatre performance using contemporary movement and Polish folklore to investigate gender and memory. By reclaiming cultural beliefs and practices (including folk dance), Tomboy interrogates the violent legacy of patriarchy, then imagines new, trans masculinities.
A non-binary university student learns that a boy from their Polish immigrant community committed a disturbing act of violence. This revelation forces them to re-examine their shared adolescence in an insular and tradition-bound culture. But with each remembering, the sequence of events becomes more ambiguous, the choreography of memory more complex, unravelling the narrative they’ve constructed of themself, their gender and the boy's culpability. Were his actions his own, or was he cursed by a monstrous and mythic inheritance? By reimaging folk traditions, Tomboy seeks to be both an unflinching autopsy of masculinity, as well as a vision of queer metamorphosis.
Residency Creative Team:
Writer: Anais West
Co-Choreographers: Tanya Marquardt and Oksana Augustine
Performers: Rae Takei and Kami Reed Schuyler
Dramaturg: Joanna Garfinkel
Photography: Kimberly Ho
RUSSIAN HALL 2024
Workshop and In-Development Showcase
Canada Council for the Arts, BC Arts Council, City of Vancouver and Playwrights Theatre Center