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Created and Performed by Nicole Charlton Goodbrand

in Collaboration with Ryan John Arnold and Derek Demassi (2021)

'They say Curiosity Killed the Cat.... Well, Let me tell you about   My Octopus

                                                                                                MY Octopus




The Skin of an Octopus is an 18 minute interdisciplinary performance that follows the surreal story of an octopus, whose curiosity about the human world consumes their sensibility, morality, and identity, as they traverses through the land of fresh air and evergreen trees in someone else's skin.


Beginning their partnership in 2020, Calgary based dancer and choreographer Nicole Charlton Goodbrand and Okanagan based architect, visual artist, writer, and filmmaker Ryan John Arnold have been working in collaboration (via distance correspondence) to further examine the layered complexities of human behaviour and distorted personal realities. Projection designer and digital artist Derek Demassi, joined the project in 2021 adding a dreamy and surreal projection landscape that transforms the performance space into ominous and psychedelic playground.  The unique nature of our collective work has allowed us to utilizes multiple artistic modalities to interpret a singular idea, allowing it to be presented as one cohesive performance piece, or to be dismantled and presented as stand alone exhibits; visual art, literary writing, photography, film, projection, and dance/performance art.

"The Skin of an Octopus is a wild ride punctuated with strangeness and humour!"- Rufi Oswaldo (Artistic Director, Dancers Studio West). Read the complete commentary here :

Commentary on The Skin of an Octopus in Fluid Fest 2021

This work premiered as part of Springboard Performance's Fluid Fest on October, 29th 2021, at the Grand Theatre, Calgary, AB. It has since been presented in ArtsCommons TD's Amplified Series Cabaret on April 30th, 2022 at the Engineered Air Theatre, Calgary AB and as part of Dancers' Studio West's Quick+Dirty Festival for Emerging Artists and Ideas on June 18th, 2022 at the Grand Theatre, Calgary A.B. 


An experimental video performance of this work has been presented in 'To The Awe- Digital' in May-June 2019 & ArtsCommons TD Broadcast Series June-Sept 2022. 

Created and Performed by Nicole Charlton Goodbrand

Voice and Text Written and Performed By Ryan John Arnold

Projections Created and Designed by Derek Demassi

Costume by Müge Dancewear

Outside Eye By Heather Ware & Barbara England

Photos By Elyse Bouvier

This work would not be possible without the support from the Calgary Arts Development , The City of Calgary, The Calgary Foundation for the Arts, the Decidedly Jazz Danceworks Artist in Residency Program, The Grand Theatre Creative Residency, North Calgary Dance Centre and Travis Goodbrand.

The video projection technology in this performance was made possible through the Calgary Foundation’s funding of a unique partnership between Ghost River Theatre and the Alberta Government. These professional- grade projectors, specifically selected to function well within a theatre setting, are being made available not only to this company but also, through the management and support of Ghost River Theatre, to small and mid -sized Calgary cultural institutions at an affordable rental rate. This means that this exciting but expensive new tool for theatrical production will be accessible to innovative Calgary artists, regardless of their budgets.

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