A long awaited, new version of Poetry on Tiptoes came together in the QUIET PARADE in Nocturne 2022!
Images at the top gallery are from Saturday workshops at Wonder’neath prior to the parade to write, edit, rearrange, and fabricate the words for the poem. The lower gallery have audience perspectives from the event itself! See some great coverage from CBC Halifax’s, Vernon Ramesar here.
“Poetry on Tiptoes” is a performance of text that has been written and fabricated collaboratively, whereby each participant quietly tiptoes along while carrying a word or two. The text is a self referential poetic visual description that is choreographically malleable – allowing revisions en route as the participants tiptoe along in lines that shift and revert as the parade proceeds.
We move with phrases: tiptoeing quietly together/we/travel/forward/carrying words/moving and unspoken/is it poetry/ ?/ *crickets/cheer silently/
Shared learning experiences, studio spaces and overlapping interests have led Jessica and Sophie to Collabor-Active endeavours. Over the past few years, they have been interpreting public art spaces, leading pedagogical explorations with volunteers, and inter-being/acting during multilingual walks and parades. They are joined in this project with Maria Jose Yax Fraser, who volunteers with the Immigrant Migrant Women’s Association of Halifax (IMWAH) and Wonder’neath Open Studio participants.
A previous, unfinished version of this project was planned to occur in the Gold Cup & Saucer Parade, which occurs at the culmination of Charlottetown, PEI’s “Old Home Week”. Registrants’ have the potential to engage in this ‘public sphere’ via their own floats, which are the visible elements of the reflected community, allowing for the recognition of one’s individual values, and the issues at hand in one’s social circles, while incorporating a concept of “New Home Week”. In particular, we invited newcomers to Canada to participate alongside longtime residents. The parade also coincides with the beginning of Charlottetown’s Art in The Open – creating an opportunity to combine these two events through this project.
 This is what artist Suzanne Lacy calls the “activated value system” of the audience that art has the ability to connect with. Her public performances demand audience consideration, by bringing disregarded social and urban issues to the forefront. This activation could be seen as blurring the distinction between ‘high art’ and social practice taking place on the tableau of society.