You do not need to go inside the building. Listen to or read the art on the sidewalk or inside the bus shelter a little further south. Or, now that you’ve unlocked the art, you could listen to it or read it one block south in Peace and Friendship Park.
Into The Out Of, or I, TOO
The Chicken Dance was composed in the late 1950s by Swiss accordionist Werner Thomas. Thomas originally called it The Duck Dance, being inspired by skiers who reminded him of ducks. Official recordings and covers of the song followed for over twenty years, with titles like “Tchip, Tchip” and “Dance Little Bird.” It is now frequently celebrated on most of Turtle Island as The Chicken Dance since its appearance at Oktoberfest in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1981, 60 years after the genocidal Tulsa massacre. As part of the festival, a German band wanted the dance to be led by a person in a duck suit. Since only a chicken suit was found, the song became known as The Chicken Dance.
Do the Funky Chicken is a song written and recorded by American singer and entertainer Rufus Thomas for Stax Records in 1969. Thomas improvised the song after performing with Willie Mitchell's band at the University of Tennessee, later developing it further. Do the Funky Chicken became a dance trend particularly popular as a way to break up the twist. In Thomas’ words: “I did it in the middle of doing another song... and the words just started to come. I don't know how, they just came out of the blue. I just separated it. 'You raise your left arm up, and your right arm too.' When you're doing the funky chicken you use both arms. You don't just use one. It just happened I separated it. Then I put a little rhythm in between it. The same pattern that you heard on 'The Dog' is here on 'The Funky Chicken' but it is cut in half. That's how it came about.”
A 3-minute long experiment in sound, Into The Out Of, or I,TOO asks listeners to trouble their ideas of what makes a good city. Recognizing recent forced and endorsed emergency shelter removal along with the legalized rise in rental prices and “demovictions”, the artists ask listeners to discomfort urban planning and gentrification in Halifax. The outward appearance of the location associated with this piece is expected to change over the course of 50 Things, which will alter the time, meaning and tense of audio segments, and the way audience members relate what they hear to what they see.
The transcript or descriptive text for this piece can be found by touching the "Text" button in the bottom right hand corner of your screen in the "View the Art" section.
Rooks Field-Green (He•They) is a white rooster who was once known as a spotted hen. Rooks has a combined-honours degree in Psychology and Theatre Studies from the University of King’s College/Dalhousie University. Rooks has worked behind the scenes with Zuppa Theatre Co. (City Ditties, This is Nowhere, F.I.S.H.), 2b Theatre (The Bridge), DaPoPo Theatre in association with Shakespeare by The Sea (Queer Theatre Ensemble: Shakesqueer). He has also performed with Zuppa Theatre (F.I.S.H.) Villain’s Theatre (M: The Berlin Murders, Isolate Nights, Scene of the Crime), Neptune Theatre (Boys, Girls, and Other Mythological Creatures, Jabber) and Ship’s Company Theatre (Good Grief). Rooks produces, writes and directs queer children’s radio plays (Frog and Toad are Together: Ice Cream, A Swim, Cookies). Rooks is in Tarragon Theatre’s Young Playwright’s Unit as he develops his play Translating with Dramaturg Makram Ayache. Rooks’s writing focuses on childhood development, transgenerational trauma (with queer and jewish lenses), and subversive depictions of gender and queerness. Rooks is also the Chair of Eastern Front Theatre’s Board of Directors.
Coral Maloney (She•Her) [++++euro/±latina/~unspecified borders] is an interdisciplinary artist in Kjpuktuk/Halifax. Coral was born by a big lake and raised in a prairie city. Her performance works are driven by place-based connections to cultural and ecological transitions, and explore personal accountability as represented by the body. Coral has created original works for the stage, the outdoors and site-specific public locations, implementing physical score, craft, installation, video, poetry and ritual. She is heavily influenced by living and working in Winnipeg, Manitoba (1997-2015). Examples of work include queered interrogations of colonial fervour in “WEproteSTern” with Ian Mozdzen, and juxtaposing childhood nostalgia with themes of danger and displacement from hydroelectric development in RUNNING and Red Socket Spine. Theatre for the Ears Edition IV was an experimental story in sound - a live aural collage with multiple performers that asked the question “Are we finished with the end of the world?” Coral has worked in devised and original performance creation since 2003 with Young Lungs Dance Exchange, Adhere & Deny, out of line theatre co-op, and others. Coral is currently working as a registered midwife in the HRM.
For over 4 years, Blaze Fraser (They•Them) has been an alternative drag performer in the genderfck, genderqueer, and drag king spaces and communities in Kjipuktuk (Halifax). Dixon Knickers, Blaze’s drag alter ego, debuted in January of 2016 in a Genderfck show at Menz & Mollyz, the only dedicated queer, gay, and 2SLGBTQIA+ bar in Halifax at the time, which has since shut down. Currently, Blaze is an event coordinator and restaurant administrative/operations manager, and has recently participated in a mentorship with HEIST (a Halifax-based live art company), coordinated social media for two HEIST shows, and aided the Director of the Scotia Suzuki School of Music in developing, promoting and running digital courses. With a passion for queer and experimental performance, they continue to pursue backstage roles in projects and event-related work with the goal to support and uplift the voices and stories in queer and marginalized communities.
The by-laws and policies that are created by HRM’s city council have a direct impact on the way we can live our lives. Can you grow a garden in your front yard? Keep chickens in the back? Can a company demolish houses just because they want to? Can developers put a skyscraper wherever they want? Is a grocery store allowed on this corner? The way our city decides to answer these questions influences our health, well-being, and food security.
In the early 2000’s, the EAC helped mobilize the effort to allow the raising of chickens within the HRM. This included a rally at city hall where everyone did the chicken dance. They succeeded! - sort of. The rules are still a little unclear, and a lot depends on whether your neighbours take offence to clucking sounds in the morning. And while this municipal issue could seem like merely an excuse to dance in public, urban chickens, like community gardens and personal honey-bee hives, provide a tangible connection to food and the food process and an opportunity to learn about food security and access to food issues. Similarly, access to shelter is another municipal issue that requires attention. Out of the Cold Association, like other emergency shelters, provides vital support and care for those in need. But the solution to homelessness is not shelters, it’s affordable housing. And solving our current housing crisis is going to take a coordinated policy approach from the city and the province working together to rein in developers and mandate affordability.