Heels on Wheels Goes Tandem: Leanne Eisen

Leanne Eisen Heels on Wheels by Molly Crealock

By Tammy Thorne
Photos by Molly Crealock

Why did you decide to get married on Day of Delight?

Day of Delight is Clay & Paper Theatre's annual celebration of love, courtship and desire. This festival is all about leaving cynicism behind, and celebrating love. What better place could you think of to hold a wedding? I'm not a big fan of traditional weddings. I've been to a million of them, and they're all the same. Boring. Most ceremonies are constrained by outdated traditions and say very little about the people who are involved in them. Day of Delight has theatre, music, installation and participatory projects including Cardbordia (an entire land made of cardboard) and a musical bicycle parade! How cool is that? We want to say "Hey, this thing we've got here is pretty great. Let's celebrate!".

Will you be wearing heels as you ride off on your tandem bike?

I made a solemn vow many years ago to never wear heels again. I have broken that vow on occasion in the name of fashion and have always lived to regret it.

What about your groom-to-be Ben?

Ben can usually be found wearing Keen Austin cycle commuter shoes. Clipless shoes in disguise. Ingenious!

How did you and Ben meet?

We met in high school in Fergus, Ontario, but were both too shy to talk to one another. We somehow met up again through in our early twenties and ended up on a midnight canoe ride together. We capsized and had to swim for an island toward the middle of the lake. Having lost the canoe, we sat up talking all night while we waited to be rescued the next morning. That was our first date. We clicked, fell madly in love, and have been together ever since.

What role does the bicycle play in your lives?

A bicycle is an expression of the synthesis between the self and the community. It's also the best and most useful vehicle ever developed.

How long have you been part of the Clay & Paper Theatre group?

I began as a volunteer three years ago as member of Clay and Paper's "Revolutionary Choir," singing "Bicycle Revolution!" I slowly wormed myself into their collective and have been working there for just over a year.

How Long have you been involved with Take the Tooker?

Ben and I saw the ad for the first Take The Tooker group ride in 2005. We decided to get involved when speaking with Darren Stehr on that ride, and have been working with them ever since. If you think about it, It makes sense to have a East/West bikeway through Toronto. Most car/bike collisions happen on East/West streets, and off of bicycle routes, so it's clear that it's something we need. Why not put it somewhere we want to go, where there aren't streetcar tracks? You think it'll impede car traffic? No problem: the subway is right there. It's a no brainer, really.

How could Toronto's streets be safer for cyclists?

Toronto's streets could be safer for cyclists if there was more concern and respect among all users of public space.

What do you think of this Ann Strong quote? “The bicycle is as good company as most husbands. When it gets old a woman can dispose of it and get a new one without shocking he entire community.” (It was on the first telegram I received from Martin de la Rue who will perform at the Day of Delight!)

Bicycles don't get old like husbands. A quality bicycle should be an heirloom that lasts multiple generations. For example, I still ride my grandmother's omafiets.

Leanne Eisen is a bike loving, photo taking, ukulele playing, omafiets pedalling, visual artist.  leanneeisen.com

Clay & Paper Theatre presents: The 9th annual Day of Delight
A celebration of love, courtship and desire!

Clay & Paper Theatre requests the honour of your presence in Dufferin Grove Park on Sunday, June nineteenth for our most romantic Day of Delight to date! Our ninth annual celebration of love, courtship and desire will culminate in a real wedding that will be celebrated by all our fanciful festival revelers. Bring someone you love to beautiful Dufferin Grove Park for an afternoon of theatre, music, dance, installation and participatory works, including: Cardbordia, our beloved cardboard village, aerial dance, Punch and Judy's puppet kissing booth, stilt dancing, storytelling, anonymous love letters to strangers, a stag n’ doe can-can, country love songs, and a musical bicycle parade – complete with giant puppets – that will deliver you to our very special Day of Delight wedding!

Participating artists include: Lisa Marie DiLiberto, CYCLOPS: Cycling Oriented Bicycle Squad, Sage Tyrtle, The Upside Down Ladies, Circus Alchemy, The Ismailova Theatre of Dance, Clare Samuel, Collective Exchange, Shannon Roszell, The Saucy Tarts, Martin Helmut Reis, Blackcurrant Productions, Kristina Esposito, Richard Underhill, Honey and Blair, and more!

Sunday, June 19th, 2011, 2 - 5 pm
Dufferin Grove Park, 875 Dufferin Street
Pay-What-You-Can / $10 Suggested

Facebook: The 9th Annual Day of Delight

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