Meet the artists involved in HYDRA 2023!
The Spirit of Water, HYDRA’s finale, is a piece produced by anARC Theatre and The Kingston Stilters.
Tracey Guptill is an actor, mover, maker, and teacher. For HYDRA: The Spirit of Water she is wearing her hat as a producer for Jane Kirby and The Kingston Stilters to contribute a special piece to be performed during the finale. Tracey is the artistic director of anARC Theatre and co-creator of the company’s coLABoratory method. She is currently a cultural studies PhD student where her research-creation involves exploring the actor’s tools – of body and voice – as an avenue for reconnecting settlers to the earth. Look for her in Odyssey Theatre’s production of The Miser this summer in Ottawa.
Portrait by: Amy Gibson | @amygibsonprojects | amygibson.photoshelter.com
Jane Kirby is a Kingston/Katarokwi-based circus artist whose performance and creation work has been seen on stages across North America. Some of her most memorable performances include playing a monarch butterfly in the rigging of a tall ship on tour with the Caravan Stage Company; reading books while dangling from silks for hours at the Halifax Central Library as part of Nocturne: Art at Night; and performing contortion at a construction site for St. Catharines’ In the Soil Arts Festival. Jane is excited to add Hydra to her list, and will be performing on lollipop, a new-to-her apparatus.
The Kingston Stilters is a collective of six stilt walkers with the mission of spreading joy in their communities. They often walk in the Kingston Pride Parade and animate the Skeleton Park Arts Festival. For this piece, we have Sarah Wiseman and Meredith Dault. Sarah is a carpenter, maker of stilts and poet. Meredith is a communications whiz and long-time dancer who teaches ballet at the Kingston School of Dance.
Gordon and Darko have been creating together for 20 years as the Bucket List Collective. Their collaboration began on the eve of the Iraq war as they prepared an “army” of giant puppets that were very effectively utilized in the peace protests against the impending invasion of Iraq.
Gordon Darral is an artist who produced his first puppet show when he was 10 years old; but his dog bit a member of the audience and his theatre was shut down. Trying to recover from this trauma, he has been building puppets every since, for Santa Claus parades, protest parades, dramatic productions, puppet groups and forgotten causes. Working with Darko is always interesting because he has several solutions for every challenge which leads us to create more possibilities.
Darko Matovic PhD, P.Eng is an Assistant Professor on faculty at Queen’s University in the Engineering department. He teaches Mechanical and Materials with expertise in combustion and fluid dynamics. Darko is Chair of the Kingston Environmental Advisory Forum and is an Ontario Biochar Initiative board member.
The Department of Illumination is a non-profit arts organization based in Prince Edward County. Lead artists Krista Dalby and Nella Casson have been collaborating since the company was founded in 2013. Their work is characterized by community engagement, bringing art to public spaces, and the use of recycled materials.
Krista Dalby, Artistic Director of The DOI, is a multi-disciplinary artist with a passion for community building. She has founded and produced numerous creative festivals and events in Toronto and Prince Edward County, using arts as a tool to bring people together. With a background in theatre, she is drawn to creating characters in many forms: puppets of all sizes, sculptures, masks and costumes. Her cardboard sculptures have won her several awards and have been exhibited internationally. Krista believes in removing barriers to participation in the arts and loves working in public space.
Nella Casson is a multi-disciplinary artist who has been working primarily with textile and fabric art for more than 10 years. Since completing a conceptual arts based BFA in University of Toronto’s Art and Art History program, Casson has been employing techniques of more traditional craft such as quilting and embroidery. Using soft media to express simplified and graphic shapes, she employs these traditional practices to create series of bright and playful works. Nell has been a core member of The Department of Illumination since 2013, leading community and school workshops, creating large-scale installations, costumes, and more.
Jill Glatt (she/her) is a Katarokwi/Kingston-based illustrator, printmaker, arts educator, and French Immersion teacher with the Limestone District School Board. Her artistic practice is based around and informed by ecology, community, and sustainability. She has developed and delivered programming for the Tett Centre for Creativity and Learning, Kingston Arts Council, Centre Culturel Frontenac, Modern Fuel Artist-Run Centre, Union Gallery, Kingston School of Art, and the Juvenis Festival. Jill is also the Volunteer Coordinator for the Skeleton Park Arts Festival and sits on their board of directors as Treasurer.
Kyla Todd is a teacher in the Limestone District School Board and an artist in the community. She formerly taught in the LEAP program, and has created art for a variety of organizations within Kingston: Kingston Meistersingers, Domino Theatre, Kingston School of Literacy and Skills, Thousand Island Playhouse, among others.
She is joined by a fabulous artistic team! Emily Moorhead, an arts enthusiast and learning coach, will be joining Kyla on the float, helping to propel the installment throughout the water. Duncan Parker, a project manager and engineer, is organising the construction aspect of the float and making sure nobody drowns! Jacklyn Wright, a potter and contract manager, is assisting with both the artistry and the construction. Al Doseger is assisting with the construction and is affectionately known as The Aquisitioner! The team is excited to be a part of HYDRA!
Kyoko Ogoda hails from Shizuoka, Japan. She started playing the piano with her mother Tomoko Ogoda at the age of 3. She began studying her major instrument the marimba at the age of 9. She attended the University of Toronto from 2003-2006 where she studied percussion with Robin Engelman and Russell Hartenberger of Nexus, and marimba with Beverly Johnston.During her time in Toronto, Kyoko was also a member of the Japanese taiko drumming group Nagata Shachu and toured Canada, the US, and Italy with them.
After immigrating to Kingston in 2011, joining a city project “Whole Shebang” for Tett Centre Grand Opening with a Toronto based contemporary dancer Andrea Nann widened her horizon as a “mover”. Kyoko has performed and given workshops with marimba locally, also she taught Japanese Taiko drumming and directed a local community group Kings DON Taiko from 2013 until COVID lockdown. She has been getting back artistically since the summer of 2022.
Norah Greatrix SEP. C-IAYT. RMT. Sound Therapist
Norah is an embodiment guide, a sound maker, a soul traveller, and a transformative sonic somatic ritualist. She supports those she works with to connect to their voice, their body, their sense of aliveness, and open to the blueprint of the body and be in flow. She mentors women looking to create and hold somatic safe spaces for healing with the Earth. Her passion is helping all bodies merge with their divine selves through practice, ritual, and ceremony. www.EmbodiedSacredSpace.com
NorthFIRE Circus is a female-led troupe dedicated to the creation and production of contemporary circus arts. The mission is to further develop contemporary circus through encouraging collaboration and integration of other art forms: theatre, dance, film, visual arts and music. Through the development of circus arts into a unique physical language, they create dynamic physical performances that engage with audiences through character, story, the complexity of theme, and human spectacle, bringing audiences closer to art.
The NorthFire Circus mandate is a combination of disciplines such as fire, dance, aerial performance, music, and storytelling. NorthFire Circus creates contemporary circus while incorporating other art forms: it also creates original inclusive material, while cultivating the arts in smaller rural areas. In creating collaborative Theatre on FIRE shows, knowledge is shared between collaborators. Theatre on FIRE is a different piece of theatre that showcases a combination of dance, fire, and music to tell a story.
Penelope Knowles is an emerging theatrical performer, based in Kingston/Katarokwi. She studied ballet and contemporary dance at Kingston School of Dance before she discovered a love for circus. She has a preference for performing on silks and has studied with Kingston Circus Arts and Circus West in Vancouver.
Penelope is also a student of theatre, appearing in local productions with Bottletree, Calliope, and Central Public School, and last summer expanding her acting experience as an extra in the Hallmark film The Most Colourful Time of the Year.
She is excited to be joining the cast for HYDRA to embody the spirit of water.
Calliope’s Musical Director has been involved in most of our productions since 2018, composing and performing AND for HYDRA: The Spirit of Water he adds “large-scale installation artist” to his list of titles.
A multi-instrumentalist and instrument maker, Teilhard Frost specializes in traditional Appalachian old time music. He was raised on Manitoulin Island, Ontario, spending time with the elder fiddlers in the area. At the age of three he was given a jaw harp and harmonica by his father, and his mother gave him a fiddle and a record of Kentucky fiddle tunes. He has continued to play them all ever since. As a teenager, he moved to Southern Ontario, where he took up the more ‘urban’ Saxophone, leaving the fiddle in the case for over ten years.
Coupled with a keen interest in drumming, he pursued a career as a percussionist, co-founding the acclaimed Cuban Folkloric ensemble, Klave Y Kongo. In the ten years with Klave Y Kongo, the band hosted many Cuban artists including Eliados Ochoa and Quartetto Patria of Buena Vista Social Club fame. Yet after a while he felt a responsibility to take his Great-Grandfathers fiddle out of the closet and get re-acquainted with the tunes. His website is https://tfrostmusic.com/