On Our Radar: Stephen Hamm's video for "Creatures" a surreal reminder not all dance is created equal

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      Spend enough time at the Firehall, Vancouver Playhouse, Scotiabank Dance Centre, or lurking at the Chain + Forge performance area on Granville Island, and you'll quickly learn that dance comes in many forms. If unitards, pink ballet slippers, and an austere black backdrop aren't your thing that'a okay—there's always going to be someone smashing glass plates in a phone booth while Japanese techno comes dangerously close to blowing the sound system.

      On a really good night, you'll hit something that's just like what you see in Stephen Hamm's video for "Creatures", a song found on his just-released album Theremin Man. The kind of show that gets you feeling mildly stoned when you're completely sober. The kind of dream-warp spectacle that's every bit at beautifully messed up as David Lynch back in the DIY Eraserhead years. 

      When not continuing on his journey to master the most fantastically sci-fi of instruments, Hamm is of course a Vancouver legend who holds down bass duties in bands like Slow and the Evaporators. He describes the video for "Creatures" as follows:

      "Creatures has an interesting story to it. Erin Green who was doing the cover art came up with the idea of me playing theremin amongst these alien plant creatures. I loved the idea and decided to make sounds for the creatures using the theremin. I put a beat to these sounds and this song was born. I  approached my friend, musician, filmmaker and artist Clancy Dennehy to do a video for the song. While brainstorming ideas he suggested we work with his partner Caro Chan who is a contemporary dancer with among others Kokoro Dance. She came up with the Unicorn Creature and Clancy decided to play the Bongo Dog Creature. We shot it in a few fun and spontaneous hours. It evokes a sense of play that I really wanted to capture on this album and shows off the uniqueness and novelty of the theremin. I think the final video is quite special and I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to collaborate with these super-talented people!"

      So yes, that's actual dance from a modern dancer that you seen in "Creatures". Hopefully, you now realize what you've been missing. 

       

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