Season 35 
MZD MAIN STAGE

The Disaster Show

Jumping into chaos with a lens of hope

Mile Zero Dance premiers The Disaster Show by Gerry Morita

Streaming live on:

November 27 – 7 PM MST
November 28 – 2 PM MST

For the third instalment of its 35 season (De-program), Mile Zero Dance Society premieres The Disaster Show, an interdisciplinary, full production performance devised by MZD Artistic Director Gerry Morita and her dream-team of collaborators, completely developed under the veil of ongoing public health restrictions and practices.

The Disaster Show explores new ways to create and maintain dance and art in the wake of global chaos. The online performance places viewers within multiple camera lenses to tell the story of three solitary humans imagining ‘final dances’ with the last glacier, a hurricane, and a forest fire, all while facing the natural elements of their own force and beauty.

Moving away from a traditional rehearsal and performance venue, The Disaster Show is set within an open warehouse. This space was chosen for safe collaboration between artists and to ensure elements like ice, wind and fire could be incorporated into the show. Scenographer T. Erin Gruber will adapt the space with sound design by Nico Arnáez, and cinematographer and multimedia artist aAron Munson will film the show live. The Disaster Show features dancers Justin Calvadores, Deviani Bonilla and Richard Lee, and Persian music by Farhad Khosravi and Daniel Stadnicki.

About Gerry Morita

Originally from rural Saskatchewan, Gerry Morita (BA Dance/ MFA Theatre. She has lived and worked in Vancouver, Montréal, and Tokyo as a dancer, choreographer, performance artist and teacher before moving to Edmonton and becoming Mile Zero Dance’s Artistic Director in 2006. Her work has toured Poland, Turkey, Estonia, Canada, and Japan.

Morita has a history of creating pieces that focus on nature and environmental catastrophe and hopes The Disaster Show will encourage others to think about global warming and the subsequent environmental and biological catastrophes humans are now experiencing.

“I want people to think about the wonders we still take for granted and how those things will be explained to future generations if they no longer exist,“ said Gerry Morita. “I am also curious about the small and large steps people are making, especially here in Alberta, to try to reduce their carbon footprint to avoid what science predicts to be inevitable.”

Richard Lee

Richard is a performer, creator, and educator based in Amiskwaciwâskahikan (Edmonton). In addition to B.F.A. in Acting from the University of Alberta, he has independently trained in contemporary dance across North America and Europe. Past adventures with Mile Zero include Night Cuts, R.V. There Yet?, Archival B.A.M., Dances & Devices, Endangered Species, and Knowledge Box. He has also danced in works for Mélanie Demers, The Good Women Dance Collective, Tania Alvarado, kloetzl& co., Amber Borotsik, Cloudsway Dance Theatre, and Troy Emery Twigg, among others.  His own creations (dance, theatre, and stuff-in-between) have been presented by Mile Zero Dance, The Good Women Dance Collective, The Expanse Festival, Dancers’ Studio West, and CanAsian Dance. In 2015, he was honoured with a Sterling Award for his work on The Antyssey, co-written with Joel Crichton.

Deviani Bonilla

Deviani Bonilla (she/her) is emerging as a choreographer, dancer, and collaborator. With a background in different styles of dance, she has performed as a dancer with the National Folk-Dance Company and Mexican Folk-Dance Company, touring national-wide in her natal México. Since moving to Canada, she is actively engaging with well-established dance groups in Amiskwaciwâskahikan, including Good Women Dance Collective, Mile Zero Dance Society, and dance groups at the University of Alberta.

Her work has been part of NextFest and Dance Blitz, and has participated in GWDC’s Creative Incubator and the Creative Practice for Contemporary Dance workshop by the Banff Center for the arts. She likes to dance in relationship with space, sometimes translating visual cues to movement, sometimes feeling the space occupied by the body in relation to other objects. Stay tuned!

Justin Calvadores

Justin Calvadores is a second generation Filipino-Canadian freelance dance artist based in Vancouver BC, the lands of the Squamish, Tseil-Waututh, and Musqueam First Nations. In 2018/19 they apprenticed for Ballet BC under the directorship of Emily Molnar and they most recently danced with Ballet Edmonton under the leadership of Wen Wei Wang and Karissa Berry. Justin is currently striving toward creating in unilateral and collaborative spaces. They are determined to root themselves in self determination and to cultivate a practice that moves away from ideas of the heteropatriarchy, settler colonialism and capitalism. Justin thrives to be community oriented and hopes to utilize their knowledge toward being a healer. They are grateful for dance as a catalyst for enriching their perception of the world and is motivated toward the art of embodied dance.

aAron Munson

aAron Munson is a Canadian filmmaker, cinematographer and multimedia artist. His work has taken him from his personal studio to war zones, high-Arctic weather stations, reindeer nomad camps in Siberia, and the Arabian Desert. aAron’s projects tackle extreme human experiences, both far from and close to home, utilizing film, video, photography and sound to create visual explorations relating to mental illness, memory, and the nature of consciousness. For more information, visit aAron’s website at www.aaronmunson.com.

T. Erin Gruber

Erin is an artist working professionally as a visual storyteller. She collaborates with directors, builders, performers and technicians to bring experiences to audiences across Canada. She is committed to combining the powers of visual communication with the passion and emotion of live performance. The projects that excite her most connect her core values of human compassion, empathetic awakening and joyful experience with the audience- the community of people she strives to serve.

As a young person her artistic spirit was cultivated through a rigorous and committed dance practice- she trained in the professional division with the School of Alberta Ballet and developed a true sense of dedication to craft and expression. Achieving a degree with distinction in Theatre Design from the University of Alberta honed her skills as a scenographer and enabled her to develop her connection between physical and visual storytelling.

She is a proven specialist in the field of integrating projected media elements into live theatrical performance and this passion was born of her discovery that she could move as a designer. The application of her internal rhythm, balance and passion for performance to her visual and technical skill sets became the doorway to the niche that continues to fulfill and ignite her professional identity.

Visit her website www.eringruber.com.

Nicolás Arnáez

​Originally from Godoy Cruz Mendoza Argentina, Nicolás Arnáez is now based in Edmonton Alberta, Canada. Nicolás’ works and contribution to the cultural scene have been awarded in Argentina and Canada; his pieces have been performed also in Brazil and the United States. He is an active and experienced sound technician and sound projectionist on both, the popular and new music scenes. He holds a Doctorate in Music Composition from the University of Alberta. For more information, visit his website www.nicolas-arnaez.com.

Farhad Khosravi and Daniel Stadnicki

Farhad and Daniel have been collaborating as a duo and in a string ensemble since 2017 starting with Farhad’s debut album titled ‘Sleeping in Sorrow’. Farhad plays the santur, the Iranian hammered dulcimer, and Daniel is an award-winning percussionist, music scholar, and educator specializing in adapted drum kit practice. Although coming from very different cultural backgrounds, the long resonating tones of Farhad’s santur weave naturally with the earthy sounds of Daniel’s percussion, creating a seamless musical journey.

Farhad released his sophomore album titled “Mosàfer” on August 8th, 2020. This work is a santur and percussion duo that translates some of the deepest existential Persian poetries into instrumental music. Farhad and Daniel have performed in multiple venues and festivals in Edmonton including Royal Alberta Museum, Alberta Culture Days, Mile Zero Dance, Alberta Spotlight, and the Yardbird Suite.

The Disaster Show Credits

Gerry Morita, Concept and Choreography
T. Erin Gruber, Scenography
aAron Munson, Cinematography
Nico Arnáez, Sound Design
Deviani Bonilla, Dance Artist
Justin Calvadores, Dance Artist
Richard Lee, Dance Artist
Farhad Khosravi, Musician (santur)
Daniel Stadnicki, Musician (percussion)
Trent Crosby, Technical Director
Kyle Armstrong, Camera Operator
Marc Chalifoux, Camera Operator
Giovanni Young, Production Assistant

Mile Zero Dance Staff
Gerry Morita, Artistic Director
Kelly Ruth, General Manager
Katrina Smy, Accounts Manager
Crystal Eyo, Marketing and Communications
Trent Crosby, Technical Director

Thank you to the following funders and stakeholders 
MZD Board of Directors
Edmonton Arts Council
Alberta Foundation for The Arts
Alberta Lotteries
Canada Council for the Arts
Canadian Heritage
Edmonton Community Foundation
City of Edmonton

Thank you to the following organizations for in kind support on this production;
Events Edmonton
Taste of Edmonton
Silver Skate Festival
The Pet & Pond Warehouse
Theatre Garage
Art Lab Design & Build

Additional thank you to the following individuals
Kevin Humphrey
Ivan Siemens
Tracy Carroll
Christine Lesiak
Nicole Deibert
Annette Louiselle
Robert Shannon
Megan Koshka
Brianne Jang
Tessa Stamp

Mile Zero Dance is located on Treaty Six Territory, the traditional lands of the Cree, Blackfoot, Saultaux, Nakota, Dene, and Metis people.