Mile Zero Dance’s upcoming show blur formed a new collective of artists

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A sensory and thought-provoking cabaret of dance, music, poetry and visual art is reactivating the downtown gallery dc3 Art Projects this weekend.

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Put on by Mile Zero Dance and curated by interdisciplinary Edmonton sound artist Stephanie Patsula, blur is a multi-group program opening with experimental folk-drone music played by Ethan Bokma and Mustafa Rafiq.

Getting to know the curator, Edmonton-born Patsula graduated with an MFA from the University of Alberta in 2020, finding in her studies that she needed to follow her artistic urges wherever they led her.

“When (Mile Zero artistic director) Jerry Morita came to me last summer,” notes Patsula, “I was very excited at this idea I could curate something really interdisciplinary, with theater people working with dancers, visual artists and musicians.”

Besides curating, Patsula is playing her instruments and background sounds as part of a performance by the brand new queer, feminist project, soft tooth // SFTTTH, which also layers dance and singing by eryn tempest with movement and audio-reactive immersive visuals and design by Alyssa Nider.

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Nider’s visuals also run through all of blur’s other performances.

Early in the event, Rueben Brinker will read a poem called Hello to You, Starchild. Anna Wildlish and Andrew Thorne will then perform Listening to Many Voices Speaking at Once, a sound piece involving the static and crackling voices of radio.

Next up is Josh Languedoc’s Taiy, a spoken-word piece about surviving residential schools the artist hopes to eventually develop into a full-length solo show.

After the intermission with more from the Bokma/Rafiq duo, the choreography of Shrina Patel and wormy textile sculpture of Zana Wensel come together in a performance piece touching on the former’s experience as the queer daughter of immigrants.

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The show’s name, blur, suggests the way its various disciplines shift and mix into one another.

“It’s just exciting to me to show people that we don’t really need to label things,” says the 34-year-old curator, “and there can be this kind of amalgamation of the whole, having sound as the kind of through -line.”

While there’s a comforting softness and an almost womb-like quality to the show’s low lights and ambient sound, Patsula says the performances have some serious emotional weight.

“Just the idea of ​​being in space with bodies again is pretty tender,” she notes. “Josh’s work is this monologue that deals with residential schools and brotherly love and companionship. Trina’s piece is speaking to the identity of a South Asian woman who is queer. Andrew’s work is scanning through radios where you’re getting whatever news is on — so that piece has become kind of heavy in a way we didn’t expect.

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“And mine and eryn’s piece comes out of this strong desire to connect with people,” she adds, “to give that sensation of the body of touch or closeness, without actually touching or being close.”

eryn tempest, left, and Stephanie Patsula, performing as soft tooth // SFTTTH in Mile Zero Dance's blur.
eryn tempest, left, and Stephanie Patsula, performing as soft tooth // SFTTTH in Mile Zero Dance’s blur. Photo by supplied

Before starting a master of fine arts in sound at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in September, Patsula will be continuing the project with tempest in Portugal in May.

It’s remarkable blur is just the first event happening at the lately quiet dc3 Art Projects in the next few months. Gallery owner David Candler says we can expect exhibitions in June and July, September and October.

“It is also being used as space to workshop and produce works when artists or groups need a larger space to work with,” he says, another way the always-innovative hybrid exhibition and event space continues.

“This really has been an activation site for a lot of cool collaboration,” says Patsula. “Nobody had collaborated before, but a lot of strong relationships have formed. It’s kind of wild, actually.”

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Mile Zero Dance presents blur

Where: dc3 Art Projects, 10567 111 St.

When: 8 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday

Tickets: In-person $20, or by donation at

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