Shaping Vibrant Futures
20 Dance and Theatre Shows at FTA

The 18th edition of Festival TransAmériques will immerse audiences in a unique sensory and artistic experience. Featuring 20 shows from over a dozen countries, including nine co-productions, eight world premieres, and eight North American premieres, the bold, radiant performances presented at the Festival will enhance our capacity to come together and to invent new families and bright futures for ourselves.

Curated by co-artistic directors Martine Dennewald and Jessie Mill, the Festival transcends the boundaries between art forms. Artists from around the world will explore love and eroticism, the manifold powers of theatre, and the potential inherent in video games and artificial intelligence. Indigenous art, knowledge, and thought will again be showcased at FTA, serving up once more a vibrant celebration of artistic vitality in Quebec and far beyond.

“Whether in making love to flowers or to the cosmos, the impulse towards life is ever present in this year’s shows. Plants talk, a dog sings, a griot defies the machine. Altogether, the artists seem to be telling us that nothing is universal: neither fundamental family ties, nor the truths of History, nor the binarity of old and new, still less that of genders… If this planet we live on is on fire, shouldn’t we rely on different kinds of relationships and learn to use other languages as fast as we can?” — Martine Dennewald and Jessie Mill, co-artistic directors

Weaving Lives
To open the Festival, Lebanese choreographer Ali Chahrour draws on song, music, and dance to extoll the power of maternal love. Told by My Mother is a stunning family portrait that depicts a Lebanon riven by loss. In 2018, Gurshad Shaheman won over FTA audiences with Pourama Pourama. He returns this year with Sur tes traces, a bi-national work co-created with Dany Boudreault in which the two friends engage in a fascinating game of comparative portraiture, shifting between Tehran and Lac-Saint-Jean. Also highly anticipated is the return of Ivorian choreographer Nadia Beugré—she is back at FTA with Prophétique (on est déjà né, which transports us to a hair salon in Abidjan. Six majestic divas expose the reality lived by trans people in this teeming metropolis, with a generous helping of coupé-décalé and voguing.

The Power of Theatre
A leading figure in the current revival of European theatre, Rébecca Chaillon has created a sociopolitical satire with an irresistible punk spirit in Carte noire nommée désir, in which she explodes fantasies and clichés attached to black women’s bodies. Safia Nolin and Philippe Cyr aim to transcend hate by reappropriating insults directed toward the singer-songwriter for use as material in Surveillée et punie, a musical work about freedom of expression and its limits. Through the power of fiction, Portuguese director Tiago Rodrigues, who is also director of the Festival d’Avignon, delivers a remarkable theatrical experience that grapples with searing moral dilemmas. Catarina and The Beauty of Killing Fascists portrays a family that resists the dictatorship by killing fascists. Jérémie Niel directs legendary filmmaker Pierre Perrault’s play Au cœur de la rose, a fable with mythic undertones. Full of longing for elsewhere and desire for freedom, it invites the audience to discover a subtly strange but essential work from Quebec’s theatre repertoire.

Exceptional Choreographers
Long-awaited by Montreal audiences, U.S. choreographer Faye Driscoll presents her latest, OBIE-Award-winning work, Weathering, following its huge success in New York. A multi-sensory living sculpture embodied by ten magnetic performers, this dazzling work poses urgent questions about the impact of climate change on human life. In Rinse, Australia’s Amrita Hepi delivers spirited choreographic interplay, drawing on her research and lived experience of dance and the body as sites of memory and resistance. Winner of the 2022 Grand Prix de la danse de Montréal, Catherine Gaudet brings the world premiere of her latest work, ODE, to FTA. A cast of ten solar dancers perform a pop-pagan procession that takes aim at false pretences.

The World Garden
Yup’ik choreographer Emily Johnson, an activist and leader of the Indigenous artistic communities in Turtle Island, creates true performance-gatherings. The stunning Being Future Being: Inside/Outwards invites the audience to take part in creating a just, Indigenized future. In Nigamon/Tunai, French-Anishinaabe artist Émilie Monnet and her collaborator Waira Nina, an important political and cultural figure from Colombia’s Inga Nation, deliver a poetic manifesto forged by their friendship. As comrades in the struggles against the mining companies that are devastating their lands, they create connections between their respective communities’ knowledge and resistance strategies. Also, in order to hold a space for environmental thinking that embraces Indigenous knowledge, FTA will host its third Decolonial Ecology Day on the theme of the forest with contributions from various artists and thinkers.

The Flowering of Eroticism
Choreographer Sébastien Provencher has chosen the chapel and garden of the Cité-des-Hospitalières as the setting for Floreus, an exquisitely tender ode to eroticism that reconnects with the sacred aspect of nature. The work is inspired by Canadian visual artist Zachari Logan’s gorgeous depictions of flowers. In UNARMOURED, Clara Furey pursues her cycle of repetitive, energetic dance pieces in a work that reclaims eroticism, turning the body into a site of cosmic allegiance, sensual and liberated. On stage, four superb performers are accompanied by electronic music composed by Tomas Furey.

Gearing Up for the Future
Gorgeous Tongue by Lara Kramer draws on lineages, memories, and songs from the past, which serve to usher in a new world. The Oji-Cree and Mennonite choreographer shares her singular language with Nêhiyaw/Métis performer Jeanette Kotowich in a compelling solo piece. At the invitation of the Montreal company PME-ART, multidisciplinary artists Kamissa Ma Koïta and Elena Stoodley call on their Afro-descendant heritages and the ancestral technologies of dance and song to resist the dangers of artificial intelligence in a spirit of joy. In The Cloud, Alexis O’Hara, Atom Cianfarani, and their dog Brutus take the opposite approach by allying themselves with the machine. This queer, science fiction-influenced anti-capitalist performance tackles the environmental catastrophe related to digital storage head on while interrogating our behaviour with a touch of humour.

Theatre or Video Game?
No need to choose between your favourite pastimes—now you can enjoy theatre and video games at the same time! Patrick Blenkarn and Milton Lim from Vancouver invite you to asses.masses, an epic gaming event in which the audience plays a herd of revolutionary donkeys. Combining a variety of styles and video game genres, this unique interactive experience raises questions about both theatre and democracy.

The Multitudinous City: Two Free Outdoor Shows
Monumental and captivating, Multitud by Uruguayan artist Tamara Cubas is FTA 2024’s major free outdoor show, which will be performed downtown at the Place des Festivals in the Quartier des Spectacles. As night falls, this work will set in motion 75 citizens of all ages and backgrounds in an act of tremendous power and emotional impact. In contrast to this multitude of bodies, I am from Reykjavik is a more intimate but equally moving performance created through dialogue with the city. Britain’s Sonia Hughes will visit three different Montreal neighbourhoods to build a small house over seven hours: a living and welcoming sculpture, a ceremony and a demonstration at the same time.

For the full list of shows visit:

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