Saturday, 13 August 2016

Mile Zero on the High Level Bridge

Mile Zero Dance
September 6, 2013
High Level Bridge
Edmonton, Alberta

Concept: Gerry Morita

The High Level Bridge streetcar ride is one of the best things you can possibly do in Edmonton. It's inexpensive, there is an introduction to the city's transit history, there are unparalleled views of the river and its city, and the people who drive the cars and take the tickets are passionate about the history of streetcars and about Edmonton. As the streetcar enters a graffiti-covered tunnel, the conductor fondly calls the tunnel the art gallery. If you go first thing in the morning, they respectfully wait for the artists to safely leave the tunnel before venturing through.

photo by Jen Mesch

And, they allow events on the streetcars. You can have a wedding, and you can have a dance performance, which is precisely what Mile Zero Dance did.

The evening was very community oriented, with a lot of die hard Mile Zero supporters and dancers in the audience. Morita and Olivares, strong improvisors both in or out of contact, performed lovely solos and duets, that were sensual and engaging, but not necessarily romantic. Morita managed her  long and high extensions, barely clearly hanging the vintagey light bulbs with the tips of her toes. Olivares cut through the space seductively. Both freely expressed their joy as they navigated the tight spaces through the aisle of the street car, at times diving and expanding close to the faces of onlookers - the onus was on them to move out of their way.

The streetcar journey is generally the same, the car goes past the largest community garden in the city, and they point out where the previous streetcar tracks were. The streetcar makes a stop and waits on the north side near the legislature building, and Mile Zero took the opportunity for the timing stop to dance outside the car, and mingle with the audience.

The performance then went back over the bridge and stayed in the middle, high over the North Saskatchewan River, for part performance, part dance party.

photo by Marc J Chalifoux