The Arts

Artrageous! performance group paints, dances and sings on stage


Have you ever been curious about the process of creativity? How is a masterpiece created by a painter? How does a dancer channel emotions into movement? And how can music amplify a visual performance? This weekend, discover all this and more during an Artageous! performance, in which dance, song, paint and even bubblewrap are celebrated.

On an Artrageous! stage, “there is always something to feast your eyes on,” said Lauri France, a member of the performance group.

At least for the Triad, this idea of culminating so many art forms into one performance is new and exciting.

“This is the first time I can recall having this many different genres of art, music, dance and visuals on stage at the same time,” said David Briggs, director at High Point Theatre, where the show will be performed. “ It’s very eclectic and much like a variety show.”

In its upcoming performance at High Point Theatre, the audience will watch as three artists paint a pop-icon masterpiece at electric speed right before their eyes, with accompanying dance choreography (sometimes on top of bubblewrap), musicianship, vocals and audience participation. All of the art forms are fused together by a common theme.

“It is a journey through the decades, paying tribute to famous icons and music of the eras,” Francis explained. “I think that a common theme of the show is really joy. We have a lot of fun with each other and with the audience. The arts are important to Artrageous! and we feel that if you work as a team you can do anything.”

As with any creative artist with constantly budding ideas, Francis says the biggest challenge in organizing a show is not including too much.
“We are always thinking, ‘oh we could do this or this or that!’ We get excited about ideas and funneling them into a 90-minute show proved to be the difficult part.”

The troupe of artists, musicians, singers and dancers got its start about 20 years ago, performing with life-sized theatrical puppeteers on the streets of Granville Island in Vancouver, Canada.

They now travel the world in about 80 shows a year, and have about 100 performances planned for 2017.

“At our core, we are really a troupe of friends with each of us wearing many different hats both on and off stage,” Francis said. “We had been wanting to put a show together for several years that combined all the different kinds of performing we have done over the years. We wanted to put the elements of action painting, live music and dance together with Bunraku Puppetry (from our early days) and audience interaction (from our touring as a band).”

The inspiration for the group’s creation was the purpose of exploring the arts and traveling to experience the world. They pay tribute to a variety of art forms, pop icons and musical genres – from Lennon to Elvis, Hendrix to Journey – culminating in a gallery of fabulous finished paintings.

“We are service oriented and we want to have a very positive impact on those that we work with and work for. Creating art and music for a living is pretty special and we are very fortunate to have been able to do that together over such a long period of time.”