by Anais West
Developed as part of Dumb Instrument Dance's CONJURE Residency at MORROW Studio
January 27 - February 3, 2023 & at The Russian Hall from November 23 - January 6, 2024
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.
Workshop Creative Team:
Writer/Producer: Anais West
Choreographer: Oh Augustine
Theatrical Director: Fay Nass
Performers: Rae Takei, Kami Reed Schuyler and Emily Jane King
Dramaturg: Joanna Garfinkel
Sound Designer: Sasha Langford
Intimacy Director: Lisa Goebel
Stage Manager: Jasmin Sandhu
Technical Director: Fil Wiatrak
Accessibility Consultant: Veronique West
Cultural & Linguistic Consultants: Piotr Wieczorek, Karo Hanula and Julia Siedlanowska.
Previous Residency Collaborators:
Co-Choreographer: Tanya Marquardt
Photography: Kimberly Ho
Canada Council for the Arts, BC Arts Council, City of Vancouver, Playwrights Theatre Center, the frank theatre company, Dumb Instrument Dance, and the Federation of Russian Canadians of BC.