At the Secret Souls Walk, the audience was guided on their own journey through a fantastical parallel world.
Last year, we returned Parade of Lost Souls to its roots, and gave all participants, performers and patrons a rich and new experience of art created by the community, for the community.
The artist collective known as the Dusty Flowerpot Cabaret told the story of a world void of art or music, coming to life in a bombastic celebration, full of connection and community. Entering off Victoria Drive, patrons found themselves in an alley transformed into a labyrinth, with an eerie sense of loneliness and desertion. There, the Lost Souls, dressed all in white and moving in slow unison, wandered searchingly amongst the crowd.
The audience traveled deeper until the first signs of life appeared . . . with howl of the trickster coyote. Further they spiraled into overwhelming clutter, noise and excitement, with giant puppets, trash monsters, and a big band playing wild jazz. Then, the renewal of life, in the form of swing and zombie dancing, clowns, stilting, and shadow puppetry . . . all building to a haunting crescendo, until being released back onto the same street they departed from, transformed and uplifted.
With more than 130 performers and some 15,000 participants, Secret Souls Walk was created specifically to balance audience appreciation with audience participation. The workshops leading up to the event were facilitated by professional artists, with the intent to empower community members to develop their own creative instincts and be the parade. The result was a resounding success; one neighbor projected light and shadow from his balcony, another couple played beautiful, improvised jazz, a group of drummers entertained the crowd as they waited to depart on the walk. And the majority of the scheduled performers played and danced for the entire four-hour period – out of pure enjoyment!
Each of the 20-some odd houses that partnered with us to create the event went above and beyond — many created beautiful set pieces all their own. In addition, on the night of the event, some additional 15-20 houses opened their garages and yards, and brought out their own performances – a beautiful sight to behold.
The team from Dusty Flowerpot Cabaret who took on the production of Secret Souls Walk included Kat Single-Dain as Performance Coordinator; Ari Lazar as Site Coordinator, Andrea Curtis as Event Coordinator, Travis Jones as Puppet Master, and Brodie Kitchen as Production Designer.