testimonials

Pepe Danza & Sunny Matharu
ANU 8  2010
ANU 10 was a delightfully powerful exploration of the feminine that achieved a spontaneous and synchronistic celebratory vibe. It was a priviledge to soak it in as a member of the audience.
Risa Candour, Vancouver artivist
ANU 10 Audience Member

ANU was like jumping into a pool of moonlight and resurfacing shinier and more colourful than before. It was a magical treat from start to finish and I still pinch myself every time I think about it. The concept and execution were pure brilliance. During the performance I felt a stream of creation bubble up and turn into a river, and then a delta, and then an ocean.  And then I felt the whole lot of us, performers, audience, technicians and theatre mice, get carried away into the mytsic. True to the theme of mother, ANU day was born.
Katheryn Petersen (aka Salmon Avalanche)
Accordion, ANU 10

Such a beautiful night it was! I truly enjoyed this moment of improvisation with awesome artists!!! I look forward to do it again. Great applause for ANU 10 and Tanya Evanson!
Kozue Matsumoto
Koto, ANU 10


The Show was Fantastic. Many times and right from the start I found myself with electricity running through me. Such beauty makes it easy to leave the hectic world behind  and settle in. What a treat!! Thank You (and your Sisters) for a wonderful evening that left me feeling full and fine. I would have stayed to gush but truly words would not do justice to what I would try to express and would just bring me back to the spoken plane sooner. I enjoy revelling in silent  good feeling after such a gift. I suppose if I could have given you all a big silent hug that would convey it. In a sense though, I guess that is what happened for all of us there. Connection in that moment.
Anonymous
ANU 10 Audience Member










I really enjoyed watching the two different paintings taking shape... and the mix of cultural sounds listening to each other and learning to find ways into and out of each others rhythms and beats.
Jamie Lynne Griffiths, Visual Artist
ANU 10 Audience Member


In my humble opinion, ANU 10 The Mother, stayed true to the concept as were the nine before it. It was lively and flowing in creativity and vibrant energy. I loved the way the participants were feeding off and feeding each other. It was a beautiful presentation. Thank you so much for wonderful dedicated effort to producing these events for the last ten years. We will miss you but look forward, with excitement to your coming back in a couple of years!
Much love and blessings Sista!!!
Ezeadi Onukwulu, Vocalist
ANU 10 Audience Member (Vocals ANU 8)


My dreams were rich with images sound and feeling after last night's sharing.
Dr. Jane Garland
ANU 10 Audience Member


Was such an unexpected gift and pleasure to make music with all of you.
Stefan Smulovitz
Viola & Laptop
ANU 9


It was such a great honour to make art with everyone. There were MANY moments in the rehearsals and show where I found myself moved by the music, words, dance and painting that you all made. THANKS!!!!
SAM! Shoichet
Upright Bass
ANU 9


Only time could tell whats next, awesome idea. Unique celebration of talent and fusion. Keep the fire burning, they shall seek the warmth.
David Murphy Kiwanuka
ANU 9 Videographer


That was a brilliant performance... My compliments to [the Artistic Director & Producer] and the entire crew of musicians, dancers, singers, and artists.
Jack Hass, Artist
ANU 9 Audience Member


Wonderful show everyone- Thanks for the creation, courage and daring that brought it all together!
Siobhan Barker
ANU 9 Audience Member


It was a gift and an honour to perform. Thanks to my fellow artist[e]s for their spirit and generosity, and to Tanya for spinning us all into the web of Anu. May we stay there as long as it sustains us.

Afuwa Granger
Visual Art ANU 8


It was a wonderfully rich experience. I appreciate all of the integrity, talent, and warmth that went into this work.

Meghan Goodman
Dance ANU 8



It was my pleasure to work with such wonderful, wonderful artists in ANU 8, and I would like to say thank you to all. ... Please allow me to say ... ANU 8 was the best ANU ever.
Serwan Yamolky
Oud ANU 8 (Musician ANU 1-ANU 9)



Thank you all for such an inspired evening. It was a pleasure to see and hear us all working together.
James Gnam
Dance
ANU 8


I was touched by everyone’s kindness and creativity.
Sunny Matharu
Tabla
ANU 8


I had an incredible time!! Very beautiful music.
John Korsrud
Trumpet
ANU 8


WOW! What a awesome project to be a part of! Thanks to everyone who performed and created. There were many moments during the rehearsals and performances when I felt such excitement and inspiration from the music and the art and the dance. It's been a while since I've felt that so strongly. It really was an honour to be part of such great creation made with all you talented people! My creative batteries have been recharged in a big way. Yippee!
SAM! Shoichet
Upright Bass
ANU 8


The performance was phenomenal.
Chemistry amongst the artists was apparent and invigorating;  particularly with respect to the vocals and musicians!  One had a true sense of being immersed in what was taking place on stage.  
It was satiating and highly delectable!
Well done!

Vesna Jasura Toronto, ON
ANU 8 Audience Member


Layers of paintings

Shape of sculptures
A dash of paint
A twist of plastic
intertwine
with layers
of meaning
of spoken word
Dancers
wrap themselves
around
the empty canvas
of the stage
Make love to the music
respond to the caress
of a voice
the music
spiced
with a hint
of song

Angela Brown
ANU 5 Audience Member


I thought there was real workability amongst the performers. Giving everyone room to function is key, and I definitely felt that. Very door-opening for me; I've long been interested in overlap amongst different disciplines (such as feeling influenced by visual art as a composer), but this was several steps beyond, and I appreciate it. I think it's functioning well and don't see any requirement for alterations.

George McFetridge, Pianist
ANU 5 Audience Member


Congratulations on the show. It was daring, symbolic and many beautiful moments. I also loved how you had used plastic sheets in the play of light and movements and as mediums of sculpture and canvases. Very symbolic and powerful messages. Congratulations to all the other artists too.
Pari Azarm, Visual Artist
ANU 5 Audience Member


When I was dancing I kept surprising myself, playing with acting and reacting, following the music, listening hard to it and letting it translate itself through my movement. At times I would lose my flow, become slightly uncomfortable, slightly self-conscious, I kept reminding myself not to judge, a difficult thing when one is so accustomed to a highly structured environment. It was wonderful to feel that my movement was affecting all the others and at the same time they were affecting me. Whether they were playing, painting, singing, dancing, speaking or just observing, the energy and the tension and the freedom we felt encouraged a pure expression, instinctive reactions.
Julia Wollrab
Dance
ANU 4 War



As always, this year's ANU IV was a cosmic experience where I really felt like we externalized the internal jihad that is ongoing in all of us.  We became a mirror of the world in all its beauty and ego-ugliness. The director tested us further this time by adding new twists like having all stringed instruments playing together for example, or flashing the light on us so that just as we step to the mic the light disappears. Also, having the lights on all artists at once was a new test in learning to be silent when the soundscape is already full.
Tanya Evanson
Spoken Word/Vocals/Dance ANU 2-ANU 4



My intention was to create a reflection of the diptych: attraction, seduction and evolution, with three obvious progressions from top to bottom, cool to hot. Unable to perceive these distinctive sections, I decided to move through the canvas organically, guided by the intensity and nuance of sound.

I was excited and motivated to give it my best attention. The tall white canvas was a pleasure to dive into. Hot red was the colour to frame it in. I worked kinetically from the bottom up, with cool blues crossing into green, then yellow, orange and eventually red, then back into dark blues and purples to begin the next layer the following night.

I stretched my body to match the energy in the room. And I needed lots of room. Adding white gave me space to pull back and move over the canvas landscape again and again, dabbing swirls and dots of pinks and silvery blues to highlight my marks as I moved up, then down and up again and around, as the sound swelled.

Curious and wondering what shapes would form, needing authenticity, craving structure, yet relishing a freedom form and feeling the sounds with the words giving pictures. Circles and dots became my marks, touching staccato-like to the rhythms surrounding me, entering my body.


Bill’s harp stirred and hummed me into graceful lines. Leanne’s smooth warm words connected and tantalized me with her vignettes of erotic experience. I laughed. Kagan amplified the thoughtlessness of popular culture, lyrics building lies in my youth. Stories of his damaged innocence angered me. With “sexing the cherry” I dove into red, and I wanted to cover my entire canvas with it. Carl’s conga licks rippled through me in an upwards spiral. Amir’s sitar hummed gently behind me, supporting me. Corrine’s sax and Laura’s voice melted me. Mercifully, Salome approached and seduced my yellow soaked brush leaving the left side of my canvas strangely warm… The symphony of sounds rose up and up and I saw the circle full of dancers, and I danced and wept in the final moments of our ecstatic evolution. Suddenly the lights went down. But I could never be finished."
Madeleine Wood
Visual Art ANU 5



So about ANU. What can I say? First off, thank you Jabbar, for giving me this rich learning opportunity. It was a great proving ground for me as a director.
   
The project had an incredibly diverse and talented cast, crossing numerous mediums, disciplines, ages and nationalities. The public was given a rare opportunity to see some of the Lower Mainland’s highest calibre musicians and most progressive dancers, spoken word performers and visual artists together in a one-of-a-kind cultural event never to be repeated.

   
As a person without any musical training, I was challenged to understand how music works, and how different musical instruments, most importantly percussion, become essential in the creation of music. I found the musicians to be fantastic teachers and inspirational leaders.

   
Indeed, I was very fortunate that the project attracted such talented artists and performers. I relied implicitly on their experience and intuitive skill in lieu of formal choreography, script or musical score. I believe that, for a large part, this was as a result of being able to pay the artists for their efforts, and being able to bring back performers from previous years. In my opinion this helped to foster an atmosphere of professionalism and mutual respect between the performers and myself.

   
I also learned a great deal about the importance of theatrical lighting, which will no doubt help me in my own professional growth as a live event director and producer. The Roundhouse has great facilities and it’s staff were very patient and understanding with me in this regard.

   
I’m not sure that we were completely successful broaching the topic of sex. Post performance, it was suggested that “desire” was actually a more appropriate title for the piece. I found it very difficult to develop a way of focusing each artist’s creative process, without transposing my own thoughts and biases. This would likely be as a result of my own inexperience as a director.

   
That said, I think that the audience was less concerned with process and theme, and more intrigued by performance and sensory stimulus.

   
The dress rehearsal and the performance were completely different experiences. Each performer left with different attitudes and opinions about their own parts and about the performances in general. While the consensus would seem to indicate that most artists felt more connected during dress rehearsal, the handful of people who came to see both shows said that the main performance was tighter and ended on a more positive, energetic note.

   
The end outcome for the audience was dynamic and mesmerizing. Not a moment went by without something happening, whether it was a crescendo with all instruments playing at once, or a more subdued instance where perhaps just one dancer and a maybe a visual artist played off of each other’s actions and gestures.

   
Physically placing the audience in the performance space includes them and certainly affects the way the performers approached their work.

   

Most rewarding for me was seeing several members of the audience being willingly drawn into the centre stage and dancing in the “finale”. Considering the subject matter, I had wanted the audience to leave feeling connected to the performance and the other people around them (and I had prompted the dancers to try to make this happen) but the uncertain nature of improv doesn’t always allow for this interaction, and I’m sure that this wouldn’t have been successful in the dress rehearsal the night before, or perhaps again in the future if the conditions were to be duplicated."

Steve Duncan
Spoken Word ANU 4,
Director ANU 5


Now, through the years of respect and love that the artists have for each other, it is hard to create war for the ease and love shines through it all. And that being said, the exercise of War does work.

   
The way the wind sounds worked together, the strings, the drums and speech and movement showed a weaving.

   
When all parts were brought in and the intensity of individuals took over, even that revealed the inherent harmony of all.

   
There was a sound that was almost crippling in its fractioning, but the resonance took you further into the noise of all existence.

   
The vibrations opened areas previously undiscovered and were profound.

 
And that is because, usually people run away at that point.

   
Most do not stay to allow the process to complete itself.

That the dancer curled up upon the floor in impotency is what we generally do. Such an authentic motion.
   
So the gift was the ability to GO THROUGH..........and come out the other side.

   
We survived!!!! We can survive our single visions and work though to peace. The stillness after was exquisite.

   
All the superb artists should know that this process totally works.

   
Love is..... and love is revealed in our differences and love is resilient and only love is left. You all showed that!


Thank you, and all of you, for your willingness to unite in the unknown and to be shown the way by being Present.

Always in the light of Spirit with you.
Lahana Gray, Visual Artist
ANU 4 Audience Member

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