Hercinia Arts Collective synchronized swimmers out of water at Buskerfest

News Aug 19, 2014 by HILARY CATON Parkdale Villager

Think flapper girls in gold meets synchronized swimmers, only the routine isn’t done in water at all, and you have Money Fish, one of this year’s many entertaining acts coming to the 2014 Scotiabank Buskerfest.

Decked out in ‘50s inspired swimsuits with matching swim caps, green flippers and glittering gold and green makeup, a trio of women – Molly Keczan, Emily Hughes and Natalie Parkinson – from the Hercinia Arts Collective put on a body-twisting synchronized swimming routine.

“People like it, they think it’s super weird and funny,” said 30-year-old Hughes.

“I think the way we look in-and-of-itself with the weird costumes and the flippers is a spectacle.”

This year Buskerfest has teamed up again with the Downtown Yonge Street BIA to bring the eclectic street festival to the heart of the city. It plans to have a performance for everyone, including silent comedies, magicians, daredevils and high skill circus acts, to name a few.

The three-day festival is Epilepsy Toronto’s largest fundraising activity for the year. It brings performers from all over the world to one area for a good cause. Participating acts will be performing between Queen and College streets on 11 different stages.

The Hercinia Arts Collective will be one of the handful of “roamers” that will take to Yonge Street from Aug. 21 to 24 to entertain audiences.

“It’s really fun to wander around to people who are sitting on a patio eating or drinking beer and just go over and play with them for a minute. And they get to see pieces of the festival walking by,” said 27-year-old Parkinson.

“We’re kind of like an unexpected installation.”

To prepare for Buskerfest the trio practices their routine for 15-20 hours a week in their studio on Jefferson Avenue in Liberty Village. They’ve been a part of Buskerfest for four years and each year they bring something different to patrons. This time around it’s Money Fish, a silent comedic body bending routine.

The 10-15 minute show has Hughes, Keczan and Parkinson twisting their bodies and climbing on each other to make various shapes and letters. The routine is also interactive and gets the audience involved in more ways than one.

The idea of Money Fish came from collaborating with one of their fellow buskers, Kalen Davidson, also known as Pyromeo. They were in a show about underwater exploration and he had a vision of these Money Fish, a fictitious species, as part of it. From there the idea evolved and eventually Parkinson, Hughes and Keczan decided to take that part of the routine, change it and test it out on unsuspecting audiences. It was well received and they decided to run with it.

None of the women have a background in synchronized swimming, but they do enjoy watching it on television and use it as a source of inspiration.

“I love watching it because they walk on and they’re so serious and poised,” said Keczan.

“That’s kind of what we wanted to capture with these characters, but go over the top with it.

For all three women, the best part of participating in Buskerfest is the audience interaction and feedback.

“That’s the beauty of street theatre. Every time you go out it’s something different. Even though we might be doing the same thing, it’s never boring because you’re getting so much back from your audience,” said Keczan.

“Even if someone is giving you a hard time, or not joining in, there’s so many ways that we grow from that because we find new ways to deal with it and create something.”

For more information about the 2014 Scotiabank Buskerfest, visit www.torontobuskerfest.com

For more information about the Hercinia Arts Collective, visit www.herciniarts.com

Hercinia Arts Collective synchronized swimmers out of water at Buskerfest

Silent comedic body bending routine, Money Fish, an ‘unexpected installation’

News Aug 19, 2014 by HILARY CATON Parkdale Villager

Think flapper girls in gold meets synchronized swimmers, only the routine isn’t done in water at all, and you have Money Fish, one of this year’s many entertaining acts coming to the 2014 Scotiabank Buskerfest.

Decked out in ‘50s inspired swimsuits with matching swim caps, green flippers and glittering gold and green makeup, a trio of women – Molly Keczan, Emily Hughes and Natalie Parkinson – from the Hercinia Arts Collective put on a body-twisting synchronized swimming routine.

“People like it, they think it’s super weird and funny,” said 30-year-old Hughes.

“I think the way we look in-and-of-itself with the weird costumes and the flippers is a spectacle.”

This year Buskerfest has teamed up again with the Downtown Yonge Street BIA to bring the eclectic street festival to the heart of the city. It plans to have a performance for everyone, including silent comedies, magicians, daredevils and high skill circus acts, to name a few.

The three-day festival is Epilepsy Toronto’s largest fundraising activity for the year. It brings performers from all over the world to one area for a good cause. Participating acts will be performing between Queen and College streets on 11 different stages.

The Hercinia Arts Collective will be one of the handful of “roamers” that will take to Yonge Street from Aug. 21 to 24 to entertain audiences.

“It’s really fun to wander around to people who are sitting on a patio eating or drinking beer and just go over and play with them for a minute. And they get to see pieces of the festival walking by,” said 27-year-old Parkinson.

“We’re kind of like an unexpected installation.”

To prepare for Buskerfest the trio practices their routine for 15-20 hours a week in their studio on Jefferson Avenue in Liberty Village. They’ve been a part of Buskerfest for four years and each year they bring something different to patrons. This time around it’s Money Fish, a silent comedic body bending routine.

The 10-15 minute show has Hughes, Keczan and Parkinson twisting their bodies and climbing on each other to make various shapes and letters. The routine is also interactive and gets the audience involved in more ways than one.

The idea of Money Fish came from collaborating with one of their fellow buskers, Kalen Davidson, also known as Pyromeo. They were in a show about underwater exploration and he had a vision of these Money Fish, a fictitious species, as part of it. From there the idea evolved and eventually Parkinson, Hughes and Keczan decided to take that part of the routine, change it and test it out on unsuspecting audiences. It was well received and they decided to run with it.

None of the women have a background in synchronized swimming, but they do enjoy watching it on television and use it as a source of inspiration.

“I love watching it because they walk on and they’re so serious and poised,” said Keczan.

“That’s kind of what we wanted to capture with these characters, but go over the top with it.

For all three women, the best part of participating in Buskerfest is the audience interaction and feedback.

“That’s the beauty of street theatre. Every time you go out it’s something different. Even though we might be doing the same thing, it’s never boring because you’re getting so much back from your audience,” said Keczan.

“Even if someone is giving you a hard time, or not joining in, there’s so many ways that we grow from that because we find new ways to deal with it and create something.”

For more information about the 2014 Scotiabank Buskerfest, visit www.torontobuskerfest.com

For more information about the Hercinia Arts Collective, visit www.herciniarts.com

Hercinia Arts Collective synchronized swimmers out of water at Buskerfest

Silent comedic body bending routine, Money Fish, an ‘unexpected installation’

News Aug 19, 2014 by HILARY CATON Parkdale Villager

Think flapper girls in gold meets synchronized swimmers, only the routine isn’t done in water at all, and you have Money Fish, one of this year’s many entertaining acts coming to the 2014 Scotiabank Buskerfest.

Decked out in ‘50s inspired swimsuits with matching swim caps, green flippers and glittering gold and green makeup, a trio of women – Molly Keczan, Emily Hughes and Natalie Parkinson – from the Hercinia Arts Collective put on a body-twisting synchronized swimming routine.

“People like it, they think it’s super weird and funny,” said 30-year-old Hughes.

“I think the way we look in-and-of-itself with the weird costumes and the flippers is a spectacle.”

This year Buskerfest has teamed up again with the Downtown Yonge Street BIA to bring the eclectic street festival to the heart of the city. It plans to have a performance for everyone, including silent comedies, magicians, daredevils and high skill circus acts, to name a few.

The three-day festival is Epilepsy Toronto’s largest fundraising activity for the year. It brings performers from all over the world to one area for a good cause. Participating acts will be performing between Queen and College streets on 11 different stages.

The Hercinia Arts Collective will be one of the handful of “roamers” that will take to Yonge Street from Aug. 21 to 24 to entertain audiences.

“It’s really fun to wander around to people who are sitting on a patio eating or drinking beer and just go over and play with them for a minute. And they get to see pieces of the festival walking by,” said 27-year-old Parkinson.

“We’re kind of like an unexpected installation.”

To prepare for Buskerfest the trio practices their routine for 15-20 hours a week in their studio on Jefferson Avenue in Liberty Village. They’ve been a part of Buskerfest for four years and each year they bring something different to patrons. This time around it’s Money Fish, a silent comedic body bending routine.

The 10-15 minute show has Hughes, Keczan and Parkinson twisting their bodies and climbing on each other to make various shapes and letters. The routine is also interactive and gets the audience involved in more ways than one.

The idea of Money Fish came from collaborating with one of their fellow buskers, Kalen Davidson, also known as Pyromeo. They were in a show about underwater exploration and he had a vision of these Money Fish, a fictitious species, as part of it. From there the idea evolved and eventually Parkinson, Hughes and Keczan decided to take that part of the routine, change it and test it out on unsuspecting audiences. It was well received and they decided to run with it.

None of the women have a background in synchronized swimming, but they do enjoy watching it on television and use it as a source of inspiration.

“I love watching it because they walk on and they’re so serious and poised,” said Keczan.

“That’s kind of what we wanted to capture with these characters, but go over the top with it.

For all three women, the best part of participating in Buskerfest is the audience interaction and feedback.

“That’s the beauty of street theatre. Every time you go out it’s something different. Even though we might be doing the same thing, it’s never boring because you’re getting so much back from your audience,” said Keczan.

“Even if someone is giving you a hard time, or not joining in, there’s so many ways that we grow from that because we find new ways to deal with it and create something.”

For more information about the 2014 Scotiabank Buskerfest, visit www.torontobuskerfest.com

For more information about the Hercinia Arts Collective, visit www.herciniarts.com