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Wednesday, June 19, 2024

20 questions with Conrad Alexandrowicz

Meet director, writer and choreographer Conrad Alexandrowicz.

Meet Conrad Alexandrowicz

Conrad is a director, writer and choreographer, and the artistic director of Wild Excursions Performance. He is a storyteller who combines elements of theatre and dance in different ways. To date he has created over fifty dances, plays and physical-theatre works, some of which have been presented across Canada, in New York City, France and the U.K. He is an associate professor at the Theatre Department of the University of Victoria, specializing in movement for actors and devised physical theatre creation. He continues his explorations into that mysterious territory where dance and theatre overlap.

20 Questions with Conrad Alexandrowicz

1. Your first job.

I had a horrible job at the Taxation Data Centre in Ottawa. It was in the basement of this horrible building, a kind of factory with machines loading boxes with tax forms to go all over the country. We worked twelve hour shifts alternating days and nights. I think I lasted three days and two nights.

2.  The job you always wanted as a child.

I wanted to be an archeologist.

3. Your pet peeve.

Given that my rage, horror and grief at the destruction of the biosphere is more than a pet peeve, I’d have to say the decay of the English language brought on by digital technology.

4. Your hero.

I don’t have just one; it would depend on what field of endeavour one was talking about. But I guess my artistic hero was Pina Bausch. Anyone who is an environmental activist or human rights lawyer is a hero to me, especially in China, as is any woman who works in a public capacity in Afghanistan. And I was blown away by that young gal Brigette DePape, who was a page at the Senate and who held up a sign that said “Stop Harper”.

5. Your biggest indulgence.

Good coffee—it makes me even more hyper!

6.  One thing no one knows about you (and you’re willing to share).

I once worked as a scab delivering Hydro bills in Toronto during a Canada Post strike. I had started dancing at York, auditing classes in my first year, and I guess I would have done anything to make ends meet. Not proud of this.

7.  Three things you would want with you on a deserted island.

Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro, the complete piano sonatas of Beethoven, and I guess the complete works of Will Shakespeare; that could keep one busy.

8.  The one word your best friend would use to describe you.

Highly reactive.

9.  If you were not an actor/dancer what would you be doing right now?

If I weren’t in theatre/dance I hope I could have been a musician or opera singer. If I had to work outside the arts altogether I think I’d like to be a librarian.

10.  Hero or villain?

This binary is invalid, in my humble opinion! We all have the capacity to be heroes and villains, and all the stuff in between as well.

11.  Your life’s motto/mantra.

“Life is too short to drink bad wine.” But seriously, some combination of “Live in the moment,” and “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

12.  Your favourite playwright or author.

Right now my favourite is American novelist and short story writer John Cheever.

13.  The last book you read.

The Wapshot Scandal by John Cheever.

14.  If you were a breakfast cereal what breakfast cereal would you be?

Ancient Grains.

15.  What will it say on your grave marker?

Tried to have some serious fun, and do no harm to others.

16.  Who would you most like to have dinner with?

Most people aren’t going to know what I’m talking about here, but I’d have to say English tenor Ian Bostridge: he sings like an angel, and was a scholar of the highest order before becoming a singer, holding a Master’s degree from Cambridge and a doctorate from Oxford. His dissertation was published as a book called Witchcraft and Its Transformations. Cool!

17.  Your idea of happiness.

I’m going to go for the big picture here: If we could achieve a state where humans could live in peace and justice in harmony with the natural world.

18.  If you could go back in time, what would you tell your twenty year old self?

Don’t worry, be happy!

19.  The one thing in your life that makes you most proud.

That I’ve survived as an artist in the performing arts in Canada!

20.  To be or not to be?

Both. Neither.

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