The Art of Stealing, World Premiere at Firehall Arts Centre, May 28-31, 8 PM (with Amber Funk Barton)

Amber Funk Barton’s The Art of Stealing combines contemporary dance and fashion, and her latest work has spawned a unique collaboration between her dance piece, described as “post-apocalyptic”, and a new lululemon clothing line. Interestingly enough, Vancouver has had three yoga-related productions this spring that I know about: Tara Cheyenne Friedenberg’s Porno Death Cult, Emelia Symington’s Through the Gaze of a Navel, and now Amber Funk Barton’s The Art of Stealing. I enjoyed the first one, and although I missed Through the Gaze of a Navel, it sounded fascinating, and I expect the same for Barton’s work.

I am curious to know how this collaboration works out, and lululemon is always good for an interesting story. Most recently, now that the somewhat tactless Chip Wilson has stepped down, the somewhat bulgy Laurent Potdevin has taken on the CEO role, to the chagrin of some shareholders who want their CEO to reflect chiseled physical perfection. Image, reality–does it matter which is which?

See the trailer for The Art of Stealing

Although I typically do not post entire press releases, I think you will find this one of interest.

Amber Funk Barton’s The Art of Stealing: Contemporary dance meets clothes design

VANCOUVER, BC – When one of Vancouver’s hottest dance choreographers, Amber Funk Barton, started creating a new contemporary dance piece she had no idea the project would turn into a lululemon clothing line. After 3 years of incubation,Barton’s unique post-apocalyptic vision for her dance piece The Art of Stealing is close to being realized, as is the collaborative clothing line produced by lululemon lab’s Capsule Collection and Barton’s company, the response. The Art of Stealing makes its World Premiere on May 28, 8pm at the Firehall Arts Centre and the lululemon line will launch May 16.

Barton’s most complex creation yet draws on an array of collaborators, which include the lululemon lab team, who are credited as the Costume Designer for The Art of Stealing. The series of dark, austere clothing pieces for men and women was inspired byBarton’s explosively physical athletic hybrid movement and the ideas behind The Art of Stealing. The team at lululemon lab, including Team Director Jean Okada, worked with Barton and her dancers from the initial concept design through to fittings and finishing adjustments.

Barton says many of the elements in The Art of Stealing are straight from her ‘creative bucket list’. This exploration of transformation, survival and death visually references her love of dark cinematic styles, live animation and graphic novels, casting her ensemble of 6 talented dancers (including herself) as survivors in mysterious, dark vision of a post-apocalyptic future. Barton’s visceral, high energy choreography delves into the idea of stealing – what we take from each other, both physically and emotionally. In the struggle for survival, the group is constantly striving to cooperate while simultaneously finding themselves in conflict.

Amber Funk Barton is the Artistic Director of the response. which was formed in 2008 to produce her works. The National Arts Centre recently announced Barton as part of their new dance season with Hero & Heroine (a duet with Josh Martin). The Art of Stealing is the response.’s third full length work, following RISK (2008) & Portraits and Scenes of Female Creatures (2011) which both premiered at the Firehall.  For info about the response see

The response. production The Art of Stealing is presented by the Firehall Arts Centre.

Choreography and Direction by: Amber Funk Barton | Performers: Amber Funk Barton, Heather Laura Gray, Maiko Miyauchi, Manuel Sorge, Kevin Tookey, Lexi Vajda.
Original Sound Composition: Marc Stewart | Light Design: Mike Inwood | Projections: Jenn Strom
Stage Management: Philomena Sondergaard | Costumes: lululemon lab (Jean Okada, Thuy Vu, Erika Rekis, Sze-er Huang, Neil Mcmillan, and Emily Spence)


The Art of Stealing at the Firehall Arts Centre (280 East Cordova)

May 28 – 31, 8pm

Post-show Talkback Thurs May 29

Tickets $20 – $30 | 604-689-0926




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