My Winnipeg: Club Plug In

October 6, 2012 – 8pm

Once there was Zurich’s Cabaret Voltaire. Then there was Winnipeg’s Club Morocco. This fall, Club Plug In presents Conférencier Grant Guy’s The Circus of Objects: an evening of mixed live performances that explores performance in all its vocabularies and practices.

Performance, as old as the oldest profession, goes back to the old travelling minstrels, jugglers, fairground puppet booths, and comedia dell’arte. The Circus of Objects at Club Plug In is inspired by archaic art-entertainment formats that include the circus, vaudeville, Variety Theater, old cartoons, and nightclubs. Here high and low cultures clashed and merged –­– something that rarely happened elsewhere.

This diverse world existed in Winnipeg. There was the Walker, the Allen, the Fourth Dimension, Empress and Pantages theatres, Chan’s, Ranchero, Club Morocco, and Jazz on the Red. The acts included monologists, jugglers, magicians, talking clowns, singers, dancers (from burlesque to ballet), theatre, and acts that resisted categorization—acts that were at home on these stages segued into the realm of performance art.

This world is not a comfortable world of easy escapism or a factory for candy coating. It can be quite bitter. It is both ridiculous and sublime. It embodies contradictions; it is our city’s contradictions. It could shock our consciousness; just like the 1919 General Strike.

Club Plug In will include three separate variety shows, with each show consisting of six to seven live acts and an assortment of music and videos. On view during the first chapter of the My Winnipeg Project: There’s No Place Like Home (September 8th to October 7th), Club Plug In interprets Winnipeg through the living language of performance.