Sunday, February 04, 2007

What's in all those buckets?

A snowbank takes the subway
Last Sunday, I took part in Diane Borsato's "Snowbank," which I wrote about on Torontoist last month. At the time I wrote that post, it looked like the winter weather was never going to get here, and Diane was considering possible sources of artificial snow. Luckily, January soon reverted to type, and by Sunday there was fluffy, all-natural snow piled in banks all over Toronto, and more coming down for good measure.

Our group, made up mostly of York dance students, gathered at Christie Pits early in the afternoon. We packed a snowbank (really, only a tiny fraction of one: it was a huge snowbank) into white buckets, then carried it onto the subway, to the puzzlement of passers-by. We transferred to a bus at Downsview and bore the snowbank triumphantly to the AGYU, serenaded all the way by the trumpet stylings of Emilie Le Bel. It is a rare and special pleasure to listen to live trumpet music on the subway.

The piece was conceived as a work of choreography -- a dance made out of everyday movements -- and as an exercise in exhuberant, organized absurdity. The now-melted snowbank (it is being stored indoors) will be reconstructed into "a large-scale installation" at the AGYU, opening April 4.

Click here to see my photos of the snowbank's crosstown journey.


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