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The Biting School Presents A Dance Double Bill Of Solo Works

Learn more about Blue Space and Melon Piece!

A double bill of personal, bold solo works created and performed by Kelly McInnes and Arash Khakpour (The Biting School). The two dance solos, Blue Space and Melon Piece, offer a balance of light and dark, evoking a timely reflection on our current struggle to exist in harmony with one another and the planet.

Blue Space

In Blue Space, Kelly McInnes explores our intrinsic connection to water - the water that makes up our bodies and the world we inhabit. Full of startling imagery, this deeply-felt solo born of grief and hope explores tensions between the healing and the exploitation involved in our relationship to earth. It is an invitation to remember what we're made of.

Blue Space is a reflection, a prayer and a mourning. It is hope, action, confusion, grief. It is remembering and healing. A celebration of oceans within oceans, waterfalls from wet eyes. Blue Space is all shades of blue.

"Blue Space is remembering we're oceans. It is rivers of relentless care. It is wishes and prayers. It is melting, pouring, swirling sorrow and peace."

Kelly McInnes is gratefully based on the unceded Coast Salish territories of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations. She is driven to explore the expressive, transformative power of embodiment through her work as choreographer, performer and facilitator. With an artistic approach prioritizing research, creation and performance, Kelly's choreographic practice is concerned with embodying the socio-political and imagining new ways of being that invoke collective healing. Often multi-disciplinary, collaborative and site specific, Kelly explores the complex relationships of body, community and earth.

Along with her growing portfolio of self-presentations, Kelly's work has been performed at Vancouver International Dance Festival, Feminist Art Conference, Espacio Expectante, Lake Studios Berlin, Dance In Vancouver, New Works at Night, SKAMpede Festival, Vines Art Festival, ArtsWells Festival, Casa de la Cultura and Interplay Project, among others. Kelly received the Choreographic Award at the 2019 Vancouver International Dance Festival for her work SHINY.

Melon Piece

Melon Piece is a symbolic portrayal of human dilemmas. It is a story about the primal and maturing self in constant transformation. It is a study of our contradictory desires-those we choose to act upon, and the ones we suppress and repress-through different stages of our lives.

The performer unearths embodied memories of love, joy and play to create a distracting playground of desire to drown in. Melon Piece is a living portrait of a man finding himself lost in a world of abundance.

You are born. There's your brain. There, are your memories. It is red. It is a melon.

When life hands you melons... you take them... you...

Originally from Tehran and based in Vancouver, Arash Khakpour is privileged to be a dance artist who has immigrated to the ancestral and unceded Coast Salish territory.

Arash has been lucky to work with EDAM Dance, Wen Wei Dance, Out Innerspace Dance Theatre, Kinesis Dance Somatheatro, Emmalena Fredriksson, David McIntosh (Battery Opera), Arts Club/Vertigo Theatre among many others. Arash's choreography has been presented at PuSh International Performing Arts Festival, Montreal, Arte Interculturel (Montreal), Dancing on the Edge, Art for Impact, Dance Days Festival (Victoria BC), Dance In Vancouver, rEvolver Festival and Vines Art Festival.

Arash's practice is concerned with the reveal of the complexity of the human experience, and of having a body. He investigates how thoughts influence the body and how bodily states and sensations influence thoughts. This leads to his ever-evolving and intense interest in experiencing what it feels like to be a body without any direct focus on intellectual thinking and concerns. How can I just be a body?

He is interested in dance as a language that researches the human condition through historical, social, political and existential interpretations.

Arash is the co-founder of the dance-theatre company The Biting School (alongside his brother Aryo Khakpour), co-founder of Vancouver's guerrilla performance group Pressed Paradise, and the founder and co-host of How About A Time Machine, a podcast on the history of Canadian performance. Arash is grateful to be the 2016 recipient of Dance Victoria's Chrystal Dance Prize.

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