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THE 6th EDITION FIRMLY ROOTED IN THE CITY

 
Posted on 13 June 2012 by FESTIVAL TRANSAMÉRIQUES
 
 
After 17 days where the voices and movements of artists invited to the Festival TransAmériques blended with the voices and steps of citizens marching through the streets of Montreal, let it be said with all humility that never has an FTA program been so attuned to its immediate community as in this sixth edition.

In touch with what resonates among brilliant artists from around the world, the FTA presented 27 shows (115 performances) of dance, performance and theatre that vibrated to the rhythm of major public debates about issues discussed vigorously both here and abroad. Once again, with more than 62 000 festivalgoers in the performance venues and public spaces of the city (which is an increase of 14 % compared to 2011), the Festival echoed its day and age, reaching out to an ever- expanding audience of bold and curious spectators.

FTA STRIKES A CHORD WITH ITS AUDIENCE

First of all, we are overjoyed to have attracted more than 42 000 spectators to three free events accessible to one and all: x-fois gens chaise in the Latin Quarter, Dance with Me in the mezzanine of the Espace culturel Georges Émile Lapalme at Place des Arts, and the exhibit Le corps en question (s) in the UQAM gallery.

Another point worth mentioning is that the Festival has also felt the repercussions of the crisis shaking Quebec society in recent months, the impact being a 6 % decrease in the number of spectators as compared to 2011. The Festival has managed to weather the storm, however, with an attendance rate of 83 %, and more than 50 % of the performances were sold out. Note that all of the public discussions (artist and audience get-togethers, debates, evenings at the QG) brought in lively crowds, with 2 000 spectators engaging in dialogue with 300 artists from 11 different countries.

This major international showcase for contemporary theatre and dance also attracted a hundred performing arts professionals (festival directors and programmers, producers and presenters, etc.) from 23 countries who came to Montreal expressly for the Festival, and some fifteen journalists from outside Quebec added their presence to the one hundred accredited local journalists. The FTA and its various activities generated close to a thousand individual hotel nights in downtown Montreal.


ECHOES OF A TROUBLED WORLD

The Festival kicked off on May 24 with passersby invited to change their perspective and take a closer look at the elderly, by means of the touching, sensitive performance-installation x-fois gens chaise. Later that evening humanity was on the march with the spectacular Sideways Rain, which won over the opening night audience.
 
In a social and political context where the clamour of revolt monopolized public debate, the Festival TransAmériques offered dynamic works that strongly reflected the turbulent times. For example, the Italian company Motus made quite an impression with two shows (Too Late (antigone) contest #2 and Alexis. Una tragedia greca), where Antigone’s visceral indignation was transposed to the present. Making their first appearance at the Festival, artists from Iraq (Irakese Geesten) and the former Yugoslavia (Maudit soit le traître à sa patrie !) presented versions of recent history not portrayed in conventional news reports.

Iconic figures of the 2012 edition, Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker (En Atendant, Cesena) and Romeo Castellucci (Sur le concept du visage du fils de Dieu) remained true to form with powerful, demanding work imbued with dignity, demonstrating once again their mastery of form and their inventive, sophisticated styles.

At a time when fear of the unknown is commonplace and the desire to conform alluring, it is important to offer Montreal audiences unclassifiable pieces that confound the senses and rattle the habits of spectators. In that regard, Aaléef, Life and Times – Episode 1, (M)IMOSA, Mygale and Nature morte no doubt slaked festivalgoers’ thirst for discovery.

In 2012 the FTA generously supported the creation of work by local artists by co-producing nine shows (one-third of the FTA program). That led to the world premières of Chutes incandescentes, Goodbye, Le corps en question (s), Mygale, Nature morte and Sous la peau, la nuit, while Heart as Arena and Nathan were created in Vancouver and Ottawa respectively a few weeks before the start of the Festival. The presentation of Solitudes solo had to be cancelled, unfortunately, because of injuries suffered by two of the dancers in the piece.


UNTIL NEXT YEAR!

The FTA team has been totally energized by this sixth edition, pleased to have offered spectators exceptional works by some of the most stimulating artists of our times, very much attuned to the social movements and political upheavals of the day. Join us again next year for the 7th edition of the Festival TransAmériques from May 23 to June 8, 2013.

 
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