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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

News: Festival TransAmeriques 2011 Press Conference

(l-r) Karine Denault, Marie-Hélène Falcon, Martin Faucher
(photo: David King)

More Eclectic Than Ever
31 shows, including five world premieres
by David King

The fifth Festival Transamériques (FTA) of theatre, dance, and performance kicked off yesterday with a press conference conducted by Artistic Director Marie-Hélène Falcon alongside artistic associates Karine Denault and Martin Faucher.

At the busy press conference, the eclectic nature of this year's presentations was perhaps most evident as productions branch out from theatre and dance into new exploratory installation work and multi-media technology. That technology was made available to most of us journos at the conference via a DVD of promotional excerpts from the FTA's productions, broadcast in segments by Falcon and her entourage as the trio reviewed each of the festival's 31 shows, including five world premieres, four free performances around the city and the festival's always exciting "meet-the-artist" discussions and symposiums.

Inspiring as always, FTA celebrates the very best in international theatre and dance...

Highlights of this year's festival will more than ever depend on your current tastes in performance art. While dance events range from the eleven member Rio de Janeiro ensemble of Lia Rodrigues in POROROCA to a an experiment with dance and clown forms in ROAD TRIP by from Toronto's Susie Burpee and Linnea Swan, expect to see some returning favourites on FTA's theatre agenda including Marie Brassard (MOI QUI ME PARLE À MOI-MÊME DANS LE FUTUR), Daniel Danis (MILLES ANONYMES), Dave St-Pierre alongside Briitte Poupart (WHAT'S NEXT) and Philippe Ducros (LA PORTE DU NON-RETOUR). 

Packed house for the presser
(photo: David King)
Inspiring as always, FTA celebrates the very best in international theatre and dance, with an opportunity to attend productions by some of the theatre visionaries artists have always aspired to be in their profession. Theatre director Richard Maxwell will be in town this year at Centaur Theatre for his production NEUTRAL HERO, while  Vancouver gems Boca del Lupo (only seen so far at Ottawa's Magnetic North) present a new work entitled PHOTOG.

Other highlights this year include GARDENIA, a cabaret of aging drag queens as they hang up their wigs one last time, and Japan's YUME NO SHIRO, a hyper-realistic installation piece about eight youngsters in a miniscule apartment somewhere in Tokyo. Things will also strike a political note in Martin Genest's OCTOBRE 70, an adaptation of Falardeau's film OCTOBRE that explores what happened in the house where four FLQ militants held Pierre Laporte hostage.

This year's free performances include Vienna's BODIES IN URBAN SPACES, a swarm of performers being brought over to Montreal to scatter across the cities with their incredibly flash-mob style body sculptures, in the places you'd least suspect.  Along with films at the Cinémathéque Québécoise and parties at the FTA's Agora hub pub, FTA will host a Symposium specifically devoted to fostering new work with artistic directors and presenters, along with an exciting "meet-the-artist" series that includes guests like  Marie Brassard, Daniel Danis, Philippe Ducros, and Dave St-Pierre.

The Festival Transamériques takes place May 26 to June 11, with many productions surtitled in both French and English. Tickets are officially on-sale now for FTA. Visit  their site for more information and programming.

See their promo video and two show vids here.

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