Gutsy Work Celebrates Beauty in All Forms in Perfect Imperfections: The Art of a Messy Life

JUNO-nominated jazz bassist Jodi Proznick, award-winning educator and performer Celeste Snowber, and emerging harpist Alexa Reimer come together in the world premiere of Perfect Imperfections: The Art of a Messy Life at Vancity Culture Lab at The Cultch from June 14–16. Interweaving comedy, dance, and live music, the work offers a poignant reflection of the many ironies faced by all women today. Directed by Lynn Fels, this multi-generational trio will be joined by guest artist singer-songwriter Katherine Penfold.

Our lives are made up of many roles: professional and personal, physical and spiritual, maternal and educational; and they don’t exist in separation, but spill over into one another. This simple truth is our inspiration: that we each possess the potential to inhabit a full, creative, messy, and generative life. This is a show for every woman of every generation. We are found in each other’s stories; the personal and the universal are deeply intertwined. — Snowber

Perfect Imperfections will delight and move in a hilarious and heartrending combination of lived experiences and narratives. The provocative show addresses sensuality, loss, the spirituality of worry, wonder — and incorporates a range of formats from TED Talk parodies to haikus, and all-out improvisation. The playful energy of the program can be gleaned from set list titles, such as “Not enough – Too much!” “Funeral for Superwoman,” and “Spirituality of Worry.” The aptly named “The Roll” waxes poetic on the well-known source of many people’s deepest insecurities, while recognizing that the belly holds women’s deepest eros.

Proznick and Reimer will improvise original music on upright bass and harp, respectively, as Penfold sings from Proznick’s applauded album Sun Songs, which was included in the Top 10 jazz albums of 2017 (Ottawa Citizen). Throughout the performance, Snowber’s dance, comedy, and spoken word will create an intimate space where both humour and humanity collide.

The interdisciplinary work has relevancy to the #MeToo movement and recent proliferation of stories about the objectification of women. The artists seek to reclaim and inhabit the body by honouring its paradoxical beauty of imperfections. In a pivotal moment in the performance, they confront the lurking, destructive feeling of “not enough-ness” that plagues the ambitious, the unrecognized, and the overwhelmed.

Proznick and Snowber have previously collaborated on Woman Giving Birth to a Red Pepper, a sold-out performance at The Cultch in 2013 that was also directed by Fels. Their reunion in this work marks a continuation of their dedication to exploring the multifaceted challenges of being female in the 21st century. The addition of Reimer to their ongoing partnership brings a renewed energy that will enliven people to reconnect with their beautiful, untameable selves and fascinatingly complex lives.

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