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My Gay Toronto - Bellini's 8 1/2

Letters to Universe: changing inside and out

Shaunga Tagore is a performer with a purpose. Next week she brings her show Letters to Universe to Artscape Wychwood Barns as part of b current’s rock.paper.sistahz Festival. It’s an ambitious piece that fuses dance, poetry, video, burlesque, and astrology. Expect to be taken on a very personal journey.
“My show incorporates themes of spirituality, queer community, magic, building home, finding out who I am, dealing with trauma and violence that I’ve experienced, and my connection to the universe and how to heal through these traumas,” she told me by phone. “I’m a queer woman of colour telling her story unapologetically.”
Shaunga is comfortable both as a performer and as a writer. “I’m a Gemini, so I get bored very easily. Sometimes I try to express myself with words on paper, but other times I can’t, so I have to dance. One is not more important than the other. I always want to honour the best way to express a certain story.”
Letters to Universe is expanding. Shaunga is presenting a full-length version on June 29th as part of Buddies in Bad Times’ Pride festival. It will feature a larger ensemble, but even more importantly, its themes continue to grow.

“I get angry about racisim, the effects of colonialism, sexism, mysogyny, and rape culture. These things are pervasive, and they intersect. That is why it’s important for us as a community to be doing our own self work. What are our stories, what is our purpose? I want everyone to have the courage to do that. Because if we’re not changing on the inside, how will we be ready for the changes on the outside?”

Letters to Universe plays Wed, May 4 at 8 PM at the Artscape Wychwood Barns, 601 Christie Street. Tickets are $15/$20 and are available at bcurrent.ca
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