April 27: Julie Lassonde, Nilan Perera and a.rawlings perform Drift at Calgary’s Engineered Air Theatre.

On April 27, Calgarians will have the opportunity to experience Drift, a unique interdisciplinary performance combining music, movement, and text, performed by three internationally renowned artists. The event will be hosted by dandelion magazine editor Kathleen Brown and Calgary Writer In Residence Oana Avasilichioaei, and is sponsored by dandelion magazine.

Drift is a structured improvisation of politicized bodies in performance developed by Julie Lassonde, Nilan Perera, and a.rawlings. Drift starts from the impulse of mantra, repeating a partial sentence to senselessness. Text derails into dialogue, discovery, passion, confrontation, inquisition, interrogation, indictment. Investing deeply in the political and personal power of words, Drift explores and explodes our cultural, sexual, age, gendered, racial, and consumer dichotomies. Drift offers transcendence through deconstructing the assumed roles identified within the performers’ bodies.

The “drift” effect is a constraint-based performative reading practice, a discipline of rapidity, repetition, and limitation. Nilan Perera and a.rawlings improvise syntax via repetition of a predetermined, borrowed paragraph, embellished by full-body gesture of Julie Lassonde. “Drifting” challenges performers and witnesses to listen while in dialogue, to wrestle and tussle with realtime communication between individuals.

Selected texts that undergo the “drift” effect are frequently sourced from legal documents, academic essays, and personal letters. The text undergoes a literal transformation of meaning in the mouths and gestures of the performers. Questions become answers as answers lose their certainty. Lassonde, as dancer, acts as a non-verbal translator of the dialogue, internalizing conflict and agreement while externalizing interpretation. Movement acts as both embodiment of tension and release.


by Julie Lassonde, Nilan Perera and a.rawlings
Wednesday April 27 2011

8:30 p.m.
Engineered Air Theatre, EPCOR CENTRE for the PERFORMING ARTS
205 8 Avenue SE, Calgary
Tickets: $15
Tickets available at the door; for advance tickets, please contact

For media requests or more information, please contact Kathleen Brown at 403-478-5632 or via email at kmehbrown@gmail.com.


Originally from Montreal, Julie Lassonde is a movement improviser and performance artist who is interested in femininity and masculinity in art and social justice. Based on her training in corporeal mime at the École de mime corporel de Montréal and in theatre at the Collège Lionel-Groulx, Julie presented solo performances and improvisations with musicians and dancers in Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver, Victoria, Berkeley and Edinburgh. Julie also received degrees in law from McGill University and a master’s degree in law and society from the University of Victoria. Her master’s thesis entitled “Performing Law” was published in the International Journal of the Arts in Society in 2006. This thesis, which included video, text and performance, also won the Innovative Electronic Theses & Dissertations Award awarded by the Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations consortium in Sweden in 2007 (seehttp://law.uvic.ca/lassonde/). In 2008, she published the book Collision: Interarts Practice and

Research at Cambridge Scholars Press as co-editor and author. Julie regularly performs with improvising musicians from AIM Toronto such as Joe Sorbara and Nilan Perera. Her work has also been presented by groups such as the Regroupement des arts interdisciplinaires du Québec (RAIQ).



In the past 20 years, guitarist/composer Nilan Perera has been active in some of the most forward looking, influential, and radical Canadian ensembles including NOMA, Bill Grove’s Not King Fudge, Handslang, and the Excalceolators. He has performed and recorded with John Butcher, Evan Parker, William Parker, Jandek, Mary Margaret O’Hara, Glen Hall, John Oswald, David Toop, Sarah Peebles, Eddie Prevost, Urs Leimgruber, Rainer Wiens, and Michael Ondaatje. His decade-long association with multidisciplinary artist Susanna Hood has placed him in the vanguard of experimental sound artists working in performance with four major works with Ms. Hood’s company (being nominated for a Dora Mavor Moore award for the latest one: ‘shudder’) hum dansoundart as well as many other independent dancer/choreographers and theatre companies. Currently Perera leads the improvising ac. bass/drum/acoustic guitar country duo ‘faint praise’, electric improvising freefunk octet ‘rEDwIREaRCHaNGEL’, electroacoustic duo ‘Smash and Teeny’, and also performs frequently as a soloist and collaborator. Perera is also a music critic with the national music paper ‘exclaim!’ and is on the board of directors of the Association of Improvising Musicians of Toronto.


Poet, arts educator, and interdisciplinarian a.rawlings has presented and published work throughout North America, Europe, and Australia. In the last decade, she held the position of assistant publisher for The Mercury Press and hosted the first season of television documentary series Heart of a Poet. Her first book, Wide slumber for lepidopterists (Coach House Books, 2006), received an Alcuin Award for Design and was nominated for the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award; the book is being translated into French. Her works-in-progress EFHILMNORSTUVWY and Rule of Three have been exhibited in the Simon Fraser University Art Gallery, Niagara Arts Centre, and Infusoria in Belgium. The last few years, angela has sat on the board of directors for bluemouth inc. and hum dansoundart. As the recipient of a Chalmers Arts Fellowship, angela spent 2009 and 2010 in Belgium, Canada, and Iceland working on her next manuscripts, researching sound/text/movement with special emphasis on vocal and contact improvisation, and collaborating with local artists. angela’s current collaborators are experiential theatre company bluemouth inc. and Belgian artist Maja Jantar.

dandelion magazine publishes literature and art on the edge. We are committed to supporting both emerging and established writers and artists of local, national, and international stature. Our tastes are eclectic. We are, however, particularly interested in concrete, hybrid, and collaborative work. Recent and upcoming issues feature work by Erin Moure, Lisa Robertson, Caroline Bergvall, Sina Queyras, Nicole Brossard, derek beaulieu, Lance Blomgren, Daniel Canty, Kevin Mc-Pherson Eckoff and Jake Kennedy, Jessica Hiemstra-van der Horst, Ray Hsu, Nikki Reimer, Steve Savage, Christine Stewart, Sandy Pool and Blair Prentice.


dandelion magazine gratefully acknowledges the support of the Canada Council for the Arts,

Calgary Arts Development, and the Alberta Foundation for the arts for our publishing program