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Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Blog: Crystle Reid on ArtHere!, February 8, 2012

Hayley Lewis and Isaac Bell of All The Fixin's Theatre
(photo credit: Kes Tagney)

February 8, 2012
The People
by Crystle Reid

The deadline for people to submit performance pieces to ArtHere! is like Christmas Day for me.  I even check my email right after midnight, just to see if there are any stragglers.  And this year my “presents,” for ArtHere! look really good.  We never force a theme on the event beyond the space itself.  One usually emerges as everyone separately submits.  This time around it’s shaping up to be a favorite of mine: carnival. 
Starting with Anne Sophie Grenier’s, “Vaudville’s biggest and brightest Hall of Freaks,” a sideshow that will feature a bodiless head and headless body comedy duo, bird women and a glass shattering opera singer, among others.   Anne Sophie has been a personal favorite of mine since she presented a live Frida Kahlo painting at the last ArtHotel!  Her piece was really interesting and well prepared. Artists who are on time for all our deadlines have a special place in my heart.   It’s really rewarding to see artists returning because they had a positive experience at past events.

Of course it’s also exciting to have new artists coming.  I go to see a lot of theatre and I track down people that I think would be a good match for us.  This year at the Fringe Festival for example I saw over twenty shows.  I approached a handful of companies and suggested they consider ArtHere! One of these companies was JingJu Canada who presented Crossroads.  I was particularly interested in them because nobody else does what they do in Montreal.  ArtHere! is all about lots of variety,  getting a taste of what the theatre scene in Montreal has to offer.   JingJu will be presenting a very special part of that scene with a “Chinese Opera Water Sleeves dance with music.”  

(Photo: Julian Stamboulieh)
Another new application came my way from All the Fixin's Theatre, a new company specializing in puppetry.  Their piece is, “based on the short story by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings, tells the unlikely tale of a shipwrecked angel who appears in the backyard of South American fisherman, Pelayo.  Told in the style of a turn-of-the-century sideshow, the Toy Theatre show uses small hand-made and illustrated puppets to chronicle the angel's magical and not so magical predicament.” I love puppets, so yeah I’m excited.  Every time I go through all the applications for ArtHere! I’m struck by just how diverse and remarkable the English theatre scene in Montreal really is. 

In other process related news we took photos for the ArtHostel! poster this weekend.  I’m going to let our final shot speak for itself. (Group, above left)

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