The TransAmériques Festival and the OFFTA vibrate again in Montreal

This is Reincarnation, by Nigerian choreographer Qudus Onikeku, who opened the FTA ball on Wednesday night. Presented until Saturday, this show full of energy on the passion for life features 10 performers and a musical duo.

This work uses different styles – afrobeat, dancehall, hip-hop, capoeira or even funky house – to evoke the cycle of life, during which birth, death, the return to life follow one another… A rebirth that is also that of Africa.

When I talk about reincarnation, I’m talking about the fact that we could embody all the past amnesias, knowledge and power that have been suffocated by colonizationexplains Qudus Onikeku, who was trained at the National School of Circus Arts in France.

Make way for Africa

Reincarnation stages the vitality of youth – more than 60% of the population of Nigeria is under 25 – with dancers and dancers whose bodies carry a memory, according to the choreographer born in 1984.

What fascinates me in this new youth that takes its destiny into its own hands and begins to create is the relationship with time that their bodies havesays the one who had never seen one of his creations before presented in Montreal.

Even if they are not aware of things that happened before them, the body, in a rather magical way, reclaims all the things of the past.

For Qudus Onikeku, African youth have great freedom to create, in particular thanks to the immense playground that smart phones and social networks constitute.

Young people are very inventive, because you have to be innovative to survive in Africa. »

A quote from Qudus Onikeku, choreographer

Another African choreographer to have responded to the invitation of the FTA this year: the Ivorian Nadia Beugré, who focuses on the representation of masculinity in the rare manfrom June 29 to 1.

From June 3 to 5, the room Traces – Speech to African Nations will bring together the Senegalese intellectual Felwine Sarr and the Burkinabe theater man Étienne Minoungou.

Also from Burkina Faso, Odile Sankara and Aristide Tarnagda are offering a theatrical reading of the novel until Saturday. The most secret memory of menwhich won the Goncourt 2021 prize for its author Mohamed Mbougar Sarr.

Raising awareness of ecology

The perils threatening the planet have inspired several works presented at the FTA. Until Sunday, a giant aquarium is installed on the Quiet esplanade of the Quartier des spectacles. Imagined by the American Lars Jan, this free performance of five hours, entitled Holoscenestakes place underwater.

I got interested in water to think about our future, he says. Because we can think of climate change in terms of flooding, drought, rising sea levels, deluges of rain that can destroy crops.

The Festival TransAmériques got under way last night in Montreal. Until June 6, festival-goers can attend theater and dance performances.

As for the Brazilian artist Gabriela Carneiro da Cunha, she offers, with her performance Altamira 2042a sound dive into the ecosystem of an Amazonian river damaged by the construction of a dam.

A play on the feeling of helplessness in the face of the system

Creators from Quebec are also part of the FTA program this year. We find in particular the Montreal choreographer Catherine Gaudet and her show The pretty thingsthe director Alix Dufresne associated with the playwright Étienne Lepage for Civilization malaiseas well as choreographer Mélanie Demers and dancer Angélique Wilkie in Public confession and The virus and the preyby Pierre Lefebvre.

This piece, which has as its starting point a letter written to a person of power, is premiered on Friday evening at the FTA, and this until Tuesday before taking the road to Quebec. Quebecer Benoît Vermeulen is directing it.

When I discovered this piece, I was really shocked, because it is a very lucid, intelligent, sensitive and witty statement on our distress in the face of a political and economic system that we have created, but in front of which we feel helpless, explains Benoît Vermeulen. No matter what move we make, it won’t change much.

It’s not just a rant or an attack, it’s really how I can deal with this system.

Safia Nolin at the OFFTA

Organized in parallel with the FTA, the OFFTA festival runs until June 5. Every day, people will be able to open the door of the telephone box installed on Place de la Paix, in the entertainment district, and pick up the handset to discover the participatory project Cabin / Track.

Other works awaiting the public: Someonecreated from recordings made by a young woman of her grandmother, a resident of a CHSLD who is losing her memory, and The shopwhich offers visual stories about these businesses struggling to adapt to the pandemic and the craze for online shopping.

The OFFTA will end on June 5 on Forest firea series of musical paintings in which Safia Nolin and visual artist Maryse Goudreau will express their passion for cetaceans.

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The TransAmériques Festival and the OFFTA vibrate again in Montreal

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