Anything Goes: GWG Dance in 17 Parts explores the rich history of the Edmonton-born Great Western Garment Company through dance and live visual and sound installations.

MZD, together with a talented group of performance artists, is revisiting the history of the GWG and using it as a departure point for an exploration of garments as the ghosts of history and the superheroes of imagination. This performance hopes to touch into the heart of these stories through the re-telling of a tale.

Each performance lasts for 3 hours, but you are free to pop in and out, staying for as long or short a time as you’d like. You will be invited to walk around the space, exploring each of the many elements of the performance up close.

Set to the tune of sewing machines in action, the performance documents the impossibility of going back to the past and becoming “in the making of” a document of now. The body grapples with the permanence of the sewing machine and the performance becomes a hybrid narrative that is part history, part fiction, and part memory.

You’ll get to witness the difficult challenge of someone trying to sew a pair of jeans in 3 hours, which the GWG had down to 7.5 minutes in its later years. You’ll also see the transformative act of live indigo dyeing, which begins as a bright green colour and transitions into the deep blue colour you’ll see in the one ton of blue jeans that will be used throughout the performance.

GWG is an incredible part of Edmonton’s history, speaking to the city’s innovation and perseverance. As artists working through performance we hope to capture a similar spirit and challenge for how Edmonton can embrace a place to come together and make something brand new!

Lin Snelling + Gerry Morita (dance)
Nicolás Arnáez (audio)
Kerem Çetinel (scenography)
Rachel MacHenry (visual installation: indigo dyeing)
Kasie Campbell (visual installation: sewing)
Nancy Sandercock (dramaturgy)
Trent Crosby (technical direction)
Austin Lohouse (technician)
Gabe Wong (graphic design)
Ernest deJesus (photos)

The workers:
Sarah Ormandy
Mat Simpson
Sean Arceta
Ben Gorodetsky
Karen Porkka
Chayla Day
Julie Ferguson

Some things you can expect to see:
– A live indigo dyer dyeing clothing that YOU bring for her. Rachel MacHenry is the only indigo dyer in Edmonton. Bring a small piece of used, washed clothing made from natural fibre (anything up to a t-shirt size) and she’ll dip it for you.
– One ton of denim, generously donated by Value Village North
– Improvisational dance from Gerry Morita and Lin Snelling, set to the tune of sewing machines recorded by Nico Arnáez
– A pair of jeans being sewn live for 3 hours by Kasie Campbell
At one point, the GWG was able to create a pair of jeans in just 7.5 minutes
– A wide array of machines donated/loaned by Central Sewing

This is a durational performance that you won’t want to miss.

Dates: May 25 & 26 at 7:00pm, May 27 at 1:00pm
Address: Sugar Swing Ballroom, 10019 80 Ave, Edmonton
Tickets: $25 General/$20 Members – Purchase tickets online at
Receive $10 off if you show up wearing GWG jeans!

Photos by Studio E Photography

History of G.W.G.

MZD Mainstage
Anything Goes:
G.W.G. Dance in 17 Parts

May 25 & 26 at 7:00pm, May 27 at 1:00pm
Location: Sugar Swing Ballroom, 10019 80 Ave, Edmonton

$25 General/$20 Members

Purchase tickets online at 

Preview images by Ernest Augustus of Studio E Photography: