A dramatic duo from Priddis is celebrating its long history in spectacular fashion.
Dance and theatre company Sun.Ergos, headed by artistic directors and Priddis-area residents Bob Greenwood and Dana Luebke, will be presenting a multi-medium myriad of works for its 45th Anniversary Gala, opening Jan. 18 at the cSpace Studio Theatre in Calgary.
“It’s really a potpourri of all kinds of things,” said Greenwood. “We’re going to have live pieces, we’re going to have videos, slides.”
The show will run several nights over two weeks and on docket for the two-hour performance are a range of live dance, drama and screening of past works from throughout the company’s decades of performing both locally and internationally.
Some parts of the program, like The Legend of Old Befana and Halvar, are old folk tales adapted to stage.
“[The Legend of Old Befana] is a fun story, it’s a Christmas story,” Greenwood said. “And Halvar, that’s a Norwegian folk tale about a guy catching a white bear and chasing it halfway across the countryside, running into trolls and all kinds of great fun.”
Another segment, written by Greenwood and premiered in Edinburgh in 1984, is simply dubbed Rain.
“Rain is a memory piece actually, a show we did in Edinburgh, and it’s about how rain affects somebody’s memory, and what we remember because we listen to the rain,” Greenwood said. “It’s about Dana doing a dance of tree roots and branches and trunks.”
Taking sometimes deep dives in their inspiration, another piece named Solo came from Greenwood spending time with a man living with cerebral palsy that invited him into his home.
“He allowed me to do this study of him for that piece, and we took that show to Edinburgh as well,” Greenwood said. “It’s a piece about how somebody who is disabled feels normal inside.
“He ended by saying he had a nurse who wore thick glasses, and they always made fun of her for that, and she said, ‘Well on the other side of the thick glasses, I’m just as normal as anybody else.’ and he said that made him think that each of us is on our own particular side of our own particular piece of glass looking out at the world, and that inside we’re all normal.”
Their many works, and the empathy that’s gone into them, has touched people in unexpected ways, as was the case with another act.
“This was based on an interview I heard of a woman years ago, she was taking care of her husband for 16 years after he had a stroke,” Greenwood said.
“What we do in /Stroke/ is Dana picks up a very long piece of white silk, and he’s wrapping me up in the silk as I do the speech.
“I don’t move, I just talk, and the speech is from the husband’s point of view of what it was like to watch his wife take care of him, and even though he could not speak or walk.”
The grounding in real life experiences came full circle for the performers.
“Well what happened is we did this in Edinburgh, and there was a group of physicians from San Diego in the audience, and they came up to us afterwards and said, ‘May we use this speech?’” Greenwood said.
“I said sure, if they would tell us why, and they said, ‘Well, some of our interns don’t understand that stroke victims can still hear and still feel and still care, and they need to know.’
“So they took it, and they’ve been using it apparently ever since.”
The show runs Jan. 18-21 and 25-28 at 7:30 p.m., with two performances being held for those who prefer a masked audience on Jan. 22 at 1:30 p.m. and Jan. 25 at 7:30 p.m.
Tickets and information can be found at sunergosgala.ca.