Mosh pits and dreamscapes: Mile Zero Dance’s tribute to SNFU

Feb 07 2020

Source: Daze Magazine – Stephan Boissonneault·Arts·February 7, 2020


A few years ago, dancer, choreographer, and artistic director of Mile Zero Dance, Gerry Morita, was reminiscing about the world—wondering what happened to the pure rebellion that came from punk rock. It’s quite difficult to define what punk is, as the understanding of the word changes generationally, Morita says.

“So I think there’s something from the original source that’s actually gone and missing from society,” she says. “Maybe it’s something about a safe place for transgression to occur or maybe it’s the capacity for people to say ‘Fuck You’ to society.”

Punk has always been inextricably linked to music and for Morita, one vocalist and his band have stood above it all: Chi Pig and SNFU. So much so that Morita has developed a live performance called Second-Hand Dances for the Crude, Crude City—somewhat of a ‘thank you’ to Chi Pig and his work.

“I’ve done many pieces about Edmonton and Edmonton failures, you know, the dirt city aspect of Edmonton,” Morita says. “So SNFU as an Edmonton band, if they hadn’t been from Edmonton that would have been like the biggest band in the world. That’s my personal opinion.”

This will be the second iteration of Crude, Crude City. The first took place at the Timms Centre for the Arts in September 2018. The show was a good turn out, but Morita says the venue choice was the “opposite of punk.” This time around she chose the Hilltop Pub.

“I felt like I had to bring it back and sort of redeem the piece. So I put it in a bar,” she says.

Morita saw SNFU a few times in their heyday, back when “Chi Pig could really jump—when he was a dreadlock, skater punk guy.”

She has always been fascinated not only with his music but his life and artistic merits.

“I saw him in the bar he hangs out in Vancouver and he’s still selling art,” she says. “The thing I really appreciate in Chi Pig is that’s he’s a gay Chinese male doing punk who is still expressing himself completely and not having to hide that.”

The performance will feature dancers Ben Kamino, Katherine Semchuk, and Morita herself with local punks Rebuild/Repair playing covers of old SNFU songs. Soundscapes will be taken care of by Nicolas Arnaez.

“It goes from sort of a frenzy—and we’re asking the audience to join us in the mosh pit—it goes from that to a sort of dreamscape, magical realism piece,” Morita says. “The whole thing is like a big nightmare with some recognizable songs in the middle.”