Wild Excursions Performance is a physical theatre company whose artistic purpose is to research, develop and present, both locally and on tour, performance works in which movement and original or adapted text are meaningfully inter-related. The company aims to startle, surprise, challenge and delight audiences, and to ignite in their imaginations a renewed sense of the possibilities of live performance. Wild Excursions’ productions address subjects that are central to the human journey: issues of relationship, gender and power, and the nature of the performance event itself. They often explore issues of relevance to a particular constituency, the community of gay men. Drawing from a number of performance genres and disciplines, which are deconstructed and then recombined in sometimes startling ways, the company’s productions are often subversive, interrogating conventional theatrical procedures and forms. These include works that are text-based but contain significant movement or other non-naturalistic components; works adapted from the standard play repertoire and staged in innovative ways; and works that are movement-based, but make significant use of theatrical elements. They are risky and challenging, and yet frequently employ the comedy of satire to achieve their ends. Wild Excursions Performance was founded in Vancouver in January of 1995. Artistic director Conrad Alexandrowicz hails from Toronto where he enjoyed a successful career as an independent choreographer and writer with a national profile. He is widely credited with having pioneered a form of interdisciplinary performance that is based in dance, but that makes extensive use of original or adapted text in ways that are highly effective theatrically. His work, both dance- and theatre- based, has been presented across Canada, in New York City, and in France and the U.K. Wild Excursions enjoyed considerable success over the years, establishing an enviable reputation locally and nationally for high artistic achievement and integrity. Among others, the company’s works have included The Wines of Tuscany, which toured across Canada and received numerous awards; Passion: Elysian Fields, a full-length play co-produced with Touchstone Theatre; and Dance, Little Lady, a satirical cabaret about women, dance and the patriarchy.
In 2002 Conrad Alexandrowicz completed his M.F.A. in Directing at the University of Alberta. In the course of completing this degree (with distinction) his shift as an artist from a dance- to a theatre-based practice was further emphasized, and given an institutional formality. The company was in hiatus during this time, but was legally restored in the fall of 2002, and completed its first productions early in the 2003-2004 fiscal period. These were the physical theatre duet How Can I Miss You If You Won’t Go Away?, presented in Stanley Park as part of Dusk Dances, an annual event co-produced with the Dancing on the Edge Festival; the Fringe Festival production of The Erotic Curve of the Earth, a comedy about dysfunctional relationships, break-ups and pop songs that was staged at the Odyssey nightclub, and then held over as part of the Pick of the Fringe at the Waterfront Theatre; and The Singer Falls Silent, a performance piece for five actors about the functions of language produced at Performance Works on Granville Island as part of the 2003-04 See Seven series. This work won the Critics’ Choice Award for Innovation at the 2004 Jessie Richardson Theatre Awards.