Festival TransAmériques Picks

actor on stage As You like It. Cliff Cardinal. Photo Dahlia Katz.

For 17 years, the Festival TransAmériques (FTA) has been bringing dance, theatre, and performing arts from around the world to Montreal. A curated selection of 24 pieces is available this year, drawing on the theme of stories that exist beyond words. These are stories that either exist in silence or have been forgotten. One thing is certain, creativity and talent are evident in every production, so don’t be afraid to try something new.

Here are four shows that we think are well worth checking out.

Vástádus eana – The Answer is the Land

The semi-nomadic Sami people Northern Europe share some of their indigenous culture and polyphonic music in the opening event of the FTA. As a people heavily tied to the land, they call for alliances between all living creatures and the land and between nature and community. Check out a rare chance to see a show featuring seven Sami women with a message for everyone. May 24-26. Tickets HERE.

The Shadow Whose Prey the Hunter Becomes

Back to Back Theatre from Australia challenges assumptions around disability. The company is composed of actors with different types of intellectual disabilities from autism to Down’s Syndrome. The barriers and stereotypes that these actors face does not stop them from creating pieces about contemporary issues with wit and insight. The latest production is a town hall meeting in which decisions are being made that hopefully will result in the best interest of collective society. But, of course, that isn’t what happens. Questions over what life will be like for humans in a world dominated by computers that render even neuro-typical human intelligence inferior are at the heart of this production. May 26 – 29. Tickets HERE.

Navy Blue

Belfast choreographer Oona Doherty is influenced by the history of Northern Ireland and she doesn’t shy away from difficult ideas. In this large-scale production, Doherty addresses themes of individuality and the collective with a dozen dancers performing in work coveralls. What begins as a ballet soon transforms into something unexpected, all set to Rachmaninoff’s Concerto No. 2. The piece has been said to evoke existential dread. Intriguing! May 30 – June 1. Tickets HERE.

William Shakespeare’s As You Like It, A Radical Retelling By Cliff Cardinal

Cliff Cardinal, an Oglala Lakota from the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation (Dakota), takes the Bard’s comedic work and puts it through an indigenous lens. Cardinal is known for his black and pointed humour. Viewers have walked away saying they’ll never see Shakespeare in quite the same way. Want to get on that bus? Check the show out June 1 – 3. Tickets HERE.

The FTA takes place from May 24 – June 8. Tickets and program for the entire festival can be found HERE.

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