by Estelle Rosen
The sixth edition of the Festival TransAmériques (FTA), taking place from May 24 to June 9, 2012 includes plays, dance pieces, exhibits and film screenings.
At today's press conference conducted by Artistic Director Marie-Hélène Falcon along with Artistic Associates Karine Denault and Martin Faucher, they reviewed the 24 plays, including film excerpts. We also heard about the annual free performances, meet-the-artists, and after-show parties.
As someone who has followed FTA for many years, exciting productions from all over the world featuring theatre presentations we'll never have another opportunity to see is a given. One interesting note is this is the first year I've seen more Canadian productions than ever in the program.
Among them CHANTE AVEC MOI by Olivier Choinière, a strange disturbing fable portraying a community spontaneously creating a song that takes on a life of its own. SEEDS is documentary theatre by Annabel Soutar, which incidentally is just back from a well received presentation in Toronto.
The most fun is a performance installation on St-Denis. 20 feet above the sidewalks, white chairs attached to the walls of buildings. 10 senior citizens sit in these chairs, knitting, eating, folding laundry, floating above everyday concerns. Described as old age becomes urban poetry.
Also for the first time theatre from Iraq IRAKESE GEESTEN exposing the daily life of a people ravaged by war.
Again this year dance events are presented alongside theatre including Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker's double bill EN ATTENDANT, a celebration of music from the Middle Ages to the 21st century; CESENA the second part of a diptych brings together songs from the 14th century when a pope ordered the massacre of the town of Cesena, Italy.
Highlights this year include the North American première of ON THE CONCEPT OF THE FACE, REGARDING THE SON OF GOD. If everything is derived from the mundane, how can theatre help us confront what is greater than we are. In its own devastating fashion, this play explores the question of the meaning of life.
Montreal audiences will be pleased to know Pol Pelletier is back. She has been an integral part of the arts world in Montreal for many years. At FTA, she'll be presenting LA PÉRÉGRIN CHÉRUBINIQUE a piece that reveals the slow agony of a woman on a pilgrimage.
Venues include Usine C, Théâtre Prospero, Théâtre La Chapelle, Place des Arts and Théâtre d'Aujourd'hui.
After a hectic day of theatre, films, symposiums, meet-the-artist discussions,
unwind at after-show parties at FTA headquarters Agora Hydro-Québec du Coeur des Sciences de l'UQAM, 175 President Kennedy (across the street from Metro Place des Arts).