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Performances

The Bijuriya and Boujee Wacky Tacky Cabaret by Gabriel Dharmoo & Olivia Shortt

Friday, June 25, 2021
 – Wednesday, July 21, 2021
 | Online 
 | Free

Event Details

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! No, it’s Bijuriya (Gabriel Dharmoo) and Nina Boujee (Olivia Shortt), soaring onto the screen nearest you for a three-act, camp-heavy, exclusive-to-MOCA cabaret. Yes, there will be all of your usual cabaret goodies: music, dance, colour, sparkle, and pizzazz—but with artists of such inventiveness, it’s a case of more than meets the eye. Presented in parallel to Mika Rottenberg’s MOCA exhibition Spaghetti Blockchain, the irreverent and irresistible nature of Dharmoo and Shortt’s work accentuates unspoken social realities of the day.

Stalwarts of the improvised music community, Dharmoo and Shortt are celebrated composers and performers. Through their drag personas of Bijuriya and Nina Boujee, they bring to life a delectably pop art-inspired, Bowie-esque virtual experience that delves into what it means to perform identity, with an emphasis on a queer and BIPOC lens. It’s playful, quirky, heavily inspired by all things TikTok, includes sprinklings of ASMR, intricately rapid video editing and features many, many outfit changes (as well as cat cameos!). We invite you to step into this alternate world created by two of Canada’s most well-respected interdisciplinary artists.

The three-act virtual performance will debut on Friday, June 25, on MOCA’s website and runs until Wednesday, July 21. Also, on Sunday, June 27 at 2 pm, join Dharmoo, Shortt and Charity Chan, Head of Public Programmes and Learning at MOCA, for a lively discussion on the thinking and inspiration behind this performative work, the intricacies of interdisciplinary practice and the nature of collaboration in the time of COVID.

Act 1

Queer Joy, Part 1 03:58 min
Bijuriya and Nina Boujee
Produced by: Suoni Per Il Popolo
Filmed at: Suoni Per Il Popolo and Arraymusic
Text: Crowdsourced on social media
Set: Alba Daza
Arraymusic Audio: Aleda Deroche
Arraymusic Video: Dan Tapper

Portraits 05:53 min
Concept, Voice, Makeup: Gabriel Dharmoo/Bijuriya
Video: Jonathan Goulet
Additional styling: Laura Sasseville
Made possible through the Canada Council for the Arts Strategic Funds and Initiatives: Digital Originals

makwa 07:41
Nina Boujee
Produced by: Suoni Per Il Popolo
Filmed at: Arraymusic
Array Audio: Aleda Deroche
Array Video: Dan Tapper
Editing: Nina Boujee

TOTAL 17:01 min

Act 2

Meow Mix M3oW M1x 04:40 min
Bijuriya and Nina Boujee
Produced by: Suoni Per Il Popolo
Array Audio: Aleda Deroche
Array Video: Dan Tapper

Cold Genius Aria 04:24 min
Concept, Drag Performance and Singing: Bijuriya
Music: What power art thou by Henry Purcell
Musical arrangement: Gabriel Dharmoo/Bijuriya
Video: Paul Neudorf
Audio mix: Gabriel Ledoux

Violet Pancake 02:41 min
Concept, Editing and Drag Performance: Nina Boujee

Aankhen Main Maikhana 04:51 min
Concept and Drag Performance: Bijuriya
Video: Paul Neudorf
Original music: Sonik Omi
Playback singer: Asha Bhosle

TOTAL 15:57 min

Act 3

Queer Joy, Part 2 01:37 min
Bijuriya and Nina Boujee
Produced by: Suoni Per Il Popolo
Text: Crowdsourced on social media
Set: Alba Daza
Array Audio: Aleda Deroche
Array Video: Dan Tapper

oshkiinzhig 10:41 min
Nina Boujee
Produced by: Suoni Per Il Popolo
Filmed at: Array
Editing: Nina Boujee
Array Audio: Aleda Deroche
Array Video: Dan Tapper

Ghaav 04:17 min
Vocal improvisation by: Gabriel Dharmoo/Bijuriya
Produced by: Suoni Per Il Popolo
Additional editing: Paul Neudorf
Additional audio mixing: Gabriel Ledoux

Artists

Gabriel Dharmoo is a Montreal-based composer, vocalist, improviser, drag performer and researcher. His works have been performed in Canada, the U.S.A, Europe, Australia, Singapore and South Africa. He has received many awards for his compositions, such as the Canada Council for the Arts Jules Léger Prize for his chamber work “Wanmansho” (2017) and the Conseil Québécois de la Musique Opus Award for his opera “À chaque ventre son monstre” (2019). As a vocalist and interdisciplinary artist, his career has led him around the globe, notably with his solo show “Anthropologies imaginaires” which was awarded at the Amsterdam Fringe Festival (2015) and the SummerWorks Performance Festival (2016). Gabriel also explores queer arts and drag artistry as Bijuriya.

(Anishinaabe, Nipissing First Nation) Olivia Shortt is a Tkarón:to-based transdisciplinary performing artist and musician. Career highlights include their Lincoln Center (NYC) debut with the International Contemporary Ensemble, their film debut in Atom Egoyan’s 2019 film Guest of Honour and recording an album two kilometres underground in SnoLAB, a quantum physics research centre outside of Sudbury Ontario. Shortt was a finalist for the Toronto Arts Foundation Emerging Artist Award as well as awarded and named one of the 2020 Buddies in Bad Times’ Emerging Queer Artists. They were featured in the 2020 Winter edition of Musicworks Magazine. Fall of 2021 sees them attending Dartmouth College in the Masters of Digital Musics Program. Nina Boujee (AKA Olivia Shortt) is your weird drag-adjacent Two-Spirit Trickster friend who is always ready to stir up chaotic energy in the room. Nina is a spirit who doesn’t understand gender binaries.

Left: Nina Boujee. Image credit: Jenn Collins; Right: Bijuriya. Image credit: Jonathan Goulet.

Lead Sponsor of Public Programmes
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