The Vernon Performing Arts Centre presents Shay Kuebler’s Glory April 1. - David Cooper, submitted

The Vernon Performing Arts Centre presents Shay Kuebler’s Glory April 1. - David Cooper, submitted

From Glory to Telemetry

Shay Kuebler’s dances are more than just movement, they have a message

The stage is a circle measuring 32-feet in diametre. Lit only by a spotlight, a percussive tapping builds to a crescendo as dancers start to gyrate.

On the edge of the circle, a man moves his feet faster and faster to the swingin’ jazz score as strobe lights start to bounce shadows on the walls. “Tap, tap, tap, boom,” the sound explodes in what feels like 1,000 beats per minute.

One of the dancers calls “cut,” and the stage falls silent.

Known around the world for his contemporary dance productions, choreographer, performer and martial artist Shay Kuebler is a familiar figure to Vernon dance fans.

Locals who caught his show Karoshi (meaning death from overwork) in 2014 will remember the physically demanding performance, complete with taiko drummers and video backdrops.

Kuebler and his company of dancers from Radical System Art have made Vernon their second home as of late.

They are not only bringing their 2015 dance creation, Glory, to the Vernon Performing Arts Centre April 1, they were in Vernon two months ago to conduct a residency of Kuebler’s latest project, Telemetry, which features one of Canada’s brightest tap dance talents, Danny Neilson.

“I have had a really positive reception here,” said Kuebler when interviewed by The Morning Star in January. “It’s been fantastic to dedicate time to get this show ready at this venue… It’s one of the best residencies I have had. We have a good team and the communication with the theatre has been great.”

While Glory is currently making a spring tour around B.C., Kuebler hopes to bring Telemetry to Vernon in the near future.

The performance made its world premiere at Vancouver’s Chutzpah Festival in February. Heralded for its “balls-to-the-wall movement, a physical spectacle, [Kuebler] loves to build to insane crescendos as the music pulses faster…” (The Georgia Strait), Telemetry uses technology in a new way.

The dance is an automated communications process by which measurements and other data are collected at remote or inaccessible points and transmitted to receiving equipment for monitoring.

“(Neilson) wears two wireless micophones on his shoes and controls the lighting with an infra-red camera, which tracks where his body is moving,” said Kuebler. “We have micro cubes, little square LEDs around the tap floor, so when he taps fast, it’s like strobe lights.”

While Telemetry explores more technical elements in an abstract way, Glory, like Kiroshi before it, explores a more socio-political topic. It examines the complexities of violent behaviour and its glorification in our media-drenched culture.

It also incorporates Kuebler’s martial arts experience. He has studied Shito-ryu and genbu-kai, both forms of karate, as well as Brazilian capoeira and aikido, a form of boxing.

“I like to give a reasoning to a piece first and then pull the abstract out of it,” said Kuebler. “I grew up with action films, Van Damme and Chuck Norris and with a form of controlled violence, primarly defence. There’s a sanctity in the violence I grew up with. I learned that it should not be played with.”

The performance includes a company of six dancers who create that physical essay around numerous themes of glorification.

Today’s culture has been desensitized to the level of violence that is parlayed through the media, especially through video games and movies, where ratings on violence are normally lessened to PG or PG-14, rather than R-rated, said Kuebler.

“Glory speaks about it more indirectly. It’s not a PSA. It’s a commentary of the glorfication and the way we normalize violence, that sense of shock,” he said. “It looks at how violence is socialized. It’s a blown-out product that we all consume. It has become the normal.”

The Vernon Performing Arts Centre presents Glory Saturday, April 1 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $30/adult, $27/senior, and $25/student at the Ticket Seller, 250-549-7469,


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Okanagan Regional Library is holding a pair of online contests for its young readers. (File photo)
Okanagan Regional Library challenges young readers

Pair of contests online aimed at kids aged up to 18

Vernon Winter Carnival Cop John Fawcett (left) and Carnival director Paul Cousins are at Vernon’s Real Canadian Superstore on Anderson Way until 3 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 24, selling raffle tickets for a 2019 Polaris Snowmobile plus $1,000 worth of gear from BDM Motorsports. Tickets are $20. Only 5,000 tickets are being sold. The draw will be made Wednesday, Feb. 17. (Roger Knox - Morning Star)
Vernon Winter Carnival prize sled on display

Grand prize in Carnival raffle draw is 2019 Polaris snowmobile and $1,000 in gear; tickets $20

With a hockey stick and ice bucket to ensure social distancing, volunteers with the Kal Rotary Club collected cash during a drive-thru donation event in Vernon Saturday, Nov. 21, 2020. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
Kal Rotary seeks local non-profits in need of Dream Fund support

The deadline to apply for this year’s $105K in Dream funds has been extended to Feb. 28

Terrance Josephson of the Princeton Posse, at left, and Tyson Conroy of the Summerland Steam clash during a Junior B hockey game at the Summerland Arena in the early spring of 2020. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
QUIZ: How much do you know about hockey?

Test your knowledge of Canada’s national winter sport

(Hal Brindley - Dreamstime)
Enderby farmers caught between coyotes and bylaw tickets

The Smith family is stuck in a Catch-22 between protecting their livestock and incurring noise complaints

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders sits in on a COVID-19 briefing with Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer, and Adrian Dix, B.C. minister of health. (Birinder Narang/Twitter)
PHOTOS: Bernie Sanders visits B.C. landmarks through the magic of photo editing

Residents jump on viral trend of photoshopping U.S. senator into images

Auldin Maxwell stacks the 693rd block on the top of record-breaking Jenga tower on Nov. 29. (Submitted)
Salmon Arm boy rests world-record attempt on single Jenga brick

Auldin Maxwell, 12, is now officially a Guinness world record holder.

A woman injects herself with crack cocaine at a supervised consumption site Friday, Jan. 22, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Drug users at greater risk of dying as services scale back in second wave of COVID-19

It pins the blame largely on a lack of supports, a corrupted drug supply

A Dodge Ram pickup similar to this one was involved in a hit-and-run in Lake Country on Saturday, Jan. 16. (Crime Stoppers photo)
Stolen truck involved in Okanagan hit-and-run

Incident happened on Highway 97 in Lake Country just before 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 16

Wet’suwet’en supporters and Coastal GasLink opponents continue to protest outside the B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Thursday, February 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
‘We’re still in it’: Wet’suwet’en push forward on rights recognition

The 670-km Coastal GasLink pipeline was approved by B.C. and 20 elected First Nations councils on its path

Kelowna Fire Department. (FILE)
Early morning downtown Kelowna dumpster fire deemed suspicious

RCMP and the Kelowna Fire Department will conduct investigations into the cause of the blaze

Jennifer Cochrane, a Public Health Nurse with Prairie Mountain Health in Virden, administers the COVID-19 vaccine to Robert Farquhar with Westman Regional Laboratory, during the first day of immunizations at the Brandon COVID-19 vaccination supersite in Brandon, Man., on Monday, January 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Tim Smith - POOL
Top doctor urges Canadians to keep up with COVID measures, even as vaccines roll out

More than 776,606 vaccines have been administered so far

From the left: Midway RCMP Csts. Jonathan Stermscheg and Chris Hansen, Public Servant Leanne Mclaren and Cpl. Phil Peters. Pictured in the front are Mclaren’s dog, Lincoln and Peters’ dog, Angel. Photo courtesy of BC RCMP
B.C. Mounties commended for bringing firewood to elderly woman

Cpl. Phil Peters said he and detachment members acted after the woman’s husband went to hospital

Dr. Jerome Leis and Dr. Lynfa Stroud are pictured at Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto on Thursday, January 21, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
‘It wasn’t called COVID at the time:’ One year since Canada’s first COVID-19 case

The 56-year-old man was admitted to Toronto’s Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

Most Read