Put your hand up if you’ve ever participated in a collective om with a dancer holding cabbages (Winnie Ho).  Put your hand up if you’ve made the grossest sound in the world -- think of lips, nibbling -- with hilarious and humble host, Mark Ikeda. Put your hand up if you’ve seen dancers doing the chicken dance to Leonard Cohen’s “Dance Me to the End of Love” (Serenella Argueta). If your hands are in the air, there’s a good chance you’ve been to Physical Therapy Cabaret, one of the wildest, most rollicking events at the Fluid Movement Arts Festival.

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The diversity of performances, from Danielle Wensley’s haunting “As Long As There Is No Pain” to Ainsley Hillyard’s satirical commentary on arts funding, “Like Most Artists I Only Do This For the Money”, are interlaced with Mark Ikeda’s brilliant, interactive hosting. The performances move with the speed and momentum of a passionate, late night date. Intense! Fun! Hot!

This annual event is a festival favourite, and for good reason. Not only is it a joyous celebration of local talent, but the cabaret format unleashes collective energy and ensures that everyone is part of the performance. It is a beautiful reminder that every body has a story to tell and the story is made larger when its shared. 

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Rosemary Griebel is an award-winning  poet, librarian and cultural maven.