Moving with the Buffys
As the lights dim in the theatre, a bright ball of light can be seen on stage. Slowly, it starts moving, until it’s spinning, twirling, bounding all over, spreading it’s light across the room. Katrina and Aaron Duff of the local flow-arts group In Motion are performing and enthralling the audience with light, movement, hula-hoops, and poi. Their performance art challenges the conventional, entertains with new creative ideas, and you will be able to see them once again at the 2019 Wood Buffalo Excellence in Arts Awards.
“In Motion performed at the first annual Buffys, four years ago. Our group had participated in various social and artistic events around the city previous to this, however, the Buffys was especially exciting for us as the audience is that of Fort McMurray's vast art community gathering together for a celebration of accomplishments. This really felt like the community we wanted to be a part of, and we were honoured to participate as an opening act in this inaugural event,” says Katrina. In Motion had traditionally performed solely as a flow arts and dance performance group. The Midnight Circus theme of 2016 fit their genre perfectly.
The following year, they were offered a longer performance time than in past years. The showcase was based on the prohibition era, set in a speakeasy; “we saw this as an opportunity to broaden our horizons into new forms of performance to fill the allotted time” says Aaron. “This included our first ever acting and speaking roles in which we took much enjoyment from interacting with the attendees and a small amount of audience participation. We had a great time incorporating not only era appropriate outfits, but also utilizing words and phrases from the time period.”
Their unique style and creative approach was an immediate hit, and in 2018, In Motion was asked to participate in the Andy Warhol themed Buffys; “WOW! What a fun era and theme! We were thrilled,” exclaims Katrina. ”Being offered an even larger time slot, we again pushed our boundaries by incorporating what we called ‘still art in motion’ combined with costumes and theatrical makeup for both parties of the group; this also offered us a safe space to step out of our comfort zone; which resulted in, what we can only describe as otherworldly. We were again humbled by the opportunity to bring our vision to life. This event also gave us a chance to create our first collaborative piece with another artist from the community; Justin Shaw (as Andy Warhol).”
Returning for the fourth year, In Motion yet again has something new up their sleeves: “This year we are going back to our roots with a five-minute flow art/dance performance,” says Aaron. “However, with the growth we have been afforded by Arts Council Wood Buffalo and past Buffys we are not only using costuming, acting, and videography this year, but we are able to collaborate with the wondrous wordsmithing and banging beats of Caius Hubris (Cory Huber). We have tried to make every year even more entertaining than the last, and we hope to carry that tradition forward by presenting a unique performance that will capture the imagination of the art community we are proud to be part of! We would like to express our deep thanks to ACWB and the community for making us, proudly, the OG’s of the Buffys.”
The 2019 Wood Buffalo Excellence in Arts Awards is taking place on October 19 at Suncor Energy Centre for the Performing Arts. Tickets can be purchased for $40 (ACWB members) or $50 (non-members) at https://buffys2019.eventbrite.ca.