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CIFA Announces Performance Rodeo Lineup, 1/6-30

Today, Curator Michael Green announced the 2011 line up for the 25th annual High Performance Rodeo, Calgary's International Festival of the Arts. The popular festival runs January 6 to 30, 2011 at various venues throughout Calgary and will feature a collection of the boldest and the brightest artists from the realms of theatre, dance, comedy, music and visual arts.
One of the major highlights of the festival will be One Yellow Rabbit's flagship creation Smash Cut Freeze.  Mother. Father. Son. There's nothing simpler - but when you knock down the white picket fence, out spills a neurotic bundle of block parties and family secrets. Tumble back to the 1950s with One Yellow Rabbit, and experience Denise Clarke's hilarious vision of family dysfunction. Inspired by the classic 1952 film, The Member of the Wedding, SMASH CUT FREEZE is performed in glorious black-and-white by One Yellow Rabbit's Denise Clarke and Andy Curtis with guest artist Christopher Duthie
The High Performance Rodeo is pleased to announce ground breaking musician, composer and artist, Brian Eno as this year's artist-in-residence. The residency will be comprised of three very unique projects. Together with the Glenbow Museum and Cantos Music Foundation, the Rodeo welcomes Mr. Eno for Brian Eno: Illustrated Talk to the stage of the Jack Singer Concert Hall for a keynote discussion on the world of arts and creativity. The Glenbow Museum will present the instillation 77 Million Paintings, in association with the High Performance Rodeo.  Conceived by Eno as "visual music", 77 Million Paintings is a constantly evolving sound and imagescape which continues his exploration into light as an artist's medium and the aesthetic possibilities of "generative software. Cantos Music Foundation will host Mr. Eno through a research residency where the music icon will have uninterrupted creative solitude with their renowned keyboard collection.
Other highlights include a collaboration with Theatre Calgary to present Billy Bishop Goes to War. John Gray and Eric Peterson's timeless story of World War One Canadian fighter pilot Billy Bishop is now considered a masterpiece of Canadian theatre. Now, more than thirty years after its creation, the original pair take flight again in the acclaimed production by Soulpepper Theatre Company.
Acres of Dreams brings four of the province's most talented singer-songwriters - Kris Demeanor, James Keelaghan, Wendy McNeill and Cadence Weapon to join forces with Emmy Award winning arranger Dave Pierce and the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra to craft a powerful tale of immigration in the Canadian West. This one night only musical event is co-produced with Calgary Folk Music Festival, Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra & Tooth Blackner Presents.
Building on last year's successful Snowblower, the Rodeo moves back out to Olympic Plaza. Fire and ice collide in this mind-expanding winter wonderland of new media. Featuring huge audio from an onslaught of international electronic musicians, including Piranha Piranha (Calgary, AB) Noah D (Portland,OR) Subvert, Mat the Alien (Whistler, BC), RJD2 (Philadelphia, PA).
Along with Vertigo Mystery Theatre, the High Performance Rodeo is thrilled to welcome back the Catalyst Theatre with their internationally acclaimed gothic tale told in song Nevermore: The Imaginary Life and Mysterious Death of Edgar Allan Poe.  Echoes of his work are fused with music in this enthralling, fantastical, visually stunning biography, revealing the psychology of the man whose haunting, darkly comic writings resonate in each of our tell-tale hearts.
Switzerland's Compagnie Drift brings sound machine to this year's Rodeo. This multi-media performance removes boundaries between concert, theatre and dance. The poetry of the performances is strongly influenced by surrealism, Dadaism and absurdity. In this offbeat piece, which is a musical concert in dance, Compagnie Drift tries to surprise the audience and itself.
Presented with Theatre Junction GRAND, Quebec City's L'Orchestre d'Hommes-Orchestres Performs Tom Waits. Using nearly 100 objects and invented instruments they come to the Rodeo armed with a colourful repertoire of songs by the legendary Tom Waits with a reinvention of the music concert genre L'Orchestre d'Hommes-Orchestres unbridled energy creates music to be seen.
The Rodeo is proud to welcome the return of Bash'd: A Gay Rap Opera. A tale about a pair of lovers, one of whom is bashed, prompting the other to take revenge, and is told entirely through rap, spoken word and poetry. Since Bash'd was last in Calgary it has won a GLAAD Award, a successful off-Broadway Run and sold out the Edmonton Fringe.
Filling out the Rodeo's schedule is a mixture of great theatre performances. Germany's TheaterLabor makes a return to the festival with Absurdesque, which tells the story of four haggard actors who, for 25 years, have been performing Ionesco's The Bald Soprano, whose final stage direction instructs them to start the play anew. The 2010 Betty Mitchell Award winning best New Play, Downstage's In the Wake explores contentious issues surrounding climate change and how radical solutions are not easily implemented.
It would not be the High Performance Rodeo without a few festival favourites. Downstage has been handed the torch for the always popular 10-Minute Play Festival, and will add their new elements and surprises.  Midway returns to the Centre Court of the EPCOR CENTRE for three different weeks of high flying fun. The always exciting Freak Show will continue to transform mundane secret downtown locations into outrageously bizarre performance spaces. The EPCOR CENTRE's curated Soundasaurus roars to life with three days of an experimental cacophonic array of sound and video artists that range from live animation to psychoacoustic elevator music This is My City, in partner ship with ProArts/ Cathedral Church of the Redeemer, continues to offer a platform for artistic expression by the homeless community with three different events that include discussion, performance, film and visual art. 

This year's High Performance Rodeo includes the visual art of Kirsten Johnson. Her new series of hyper-realistic paintings Prom Storm creates a teenage world at a prom in a tornado. This expedition will be at Axis Gallery.
Wine Stage celebrates its 12th year as Calgary's premier wine and food event with a dramatic twist. At this sophisticated and sexy fundraiser for One Yellow Rabbit Performance Theatre, guests will savour the world's finest wines from the city's best wine merchants, expertly paired with the succulent culinary creations by some of Calgary's finest restaurants.
Tickets are on sale and can be purchased on line at, by calling 403-294-9494, or at the EPCOR Centre Box Office.
Now in its 25th year, the High Performance Rodeo is an annual festival featuring theatre, dance, comedy, music and multimedia presentations. Curated by Artistic Director Michael Green, and produced by One Yellow Rabbit, it is dedicated to entertaining as wide an audience as imaginable, while remaining fertile ground for the progressive and wild. The High Performance Rodeo is the largest festival of its kind in Western Canada.

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