Monday, May 6, 2013

Shadow Jam in Vancouver

The sun was reflecting off the snow capped peaks in the distance as I entered an industrial building in Vancouver, Canada for my first encounter with a Shadowjam. For 8 years now Mind of Snail has been putting on these fully participatory improvisations at the intersection of music, shadow puppets and storytelling. 

It started with a Potluck, then as the sun went down, we crafted shadow puppets out of old cardboard, plastic waste and color cellophane sheets. Once it was dark we gathered in a circle and tuned into the light and sound that was already in the space, before collaboratively improvising stories with light and sound. It's often described by participants as a shared dream.

I was excited to finally meet Jessica G and Chloe Z (Mind of Snail), compost-modern puppeteers, and I was blown away when they brought me along for a film shoot of their show, The Whales Back. Watching them weave a magical underwater world through music and cleaver shadow effects was truly inspiring. The video isn't out yet, but here is an old trailer with some of their work. Get their updates on the Mind of a Snail Facebook Page.

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