Photo: Valérian Mazataud The Duty
Mani Souleymanlou and two members of The Young Troupe Quat’sous in rehearsal at the park Baldwin, Montreal. They are interested in this space that makes the living theatre: the eye of the beholder. The troupe aims to bring the performance directly to the meeting to the public.
Originally, the project of Mélanie Binette had to be an act of intimacy unthinkable in the current context : she was holding the hand of the spectators in order to tackle ” the taboo of touch in performance.” With Wanderings, this performer who runs a creative collective in situ, the Middle of Nowhere, had imagined a parade for one person at a time, she was at the Place des Arts. Where his father died of a heart attack in 2002.
However, this work questioning the long-term implications of mourning acquires a particular relevance in these tragic circumstances. “Quickly, I told myself that it was important to launch it at this time. People are bereaved and can’t see their loved ones. “
In the proposal revisited, participants are invited to perform in solo a sound journey in their own neighbourhood. “The market has become so important, because it is like the last bastion of freedom we have left,” notes Melanie Hoe. Instead of following in the footsteps of a guide, it is now up to the viewers to find themselves the rhythm of this performance-based ” contemplation “, by listening to the soundtrack, and instructions.
Photo: Valérian Mazataud The Duty
In the proposal revisited by Mélanie Binette, participants are invited to perform in solo a sound journey in their own neighbourhood. “The market has become so important, because it is like the last bastion of freedom we have left”, she notes.
“The text talks a lot about my relationship with Montreal. He constantly switches from the personal to the public, of my mourning in the history of the fondation de la Place des Arts. “This institution remains a central component of the work, because there was” just no longer have access to these high places of the culture. This is the great absent in the experience COVID-19 d’Wanderings : the PdA is everywhere, but we don’t see it. Like my father, the ghost is omnipresent in my life. In addition, it is the PdA that it has erected the first clinical [screening] open to the sky. For me, this announcement was devastating : another layer of history added to the text. “
For the designer, this experience without an interpreter redefines the relationship with the public. “That is what remains of the relationship is performative ? It is still a performance, because it is the spectator who makes it. Everything depends on him. It is like the thread the thinnest of a link between the creator and its viewer. “
Interested persons may also register to get an appointment with the artist, by phone or by e-mail, and exchange with them on their walk.
Watching a spectator watching
The project of Mani Soleymanlou also places the spectator at the centre of the process. The prolific artist had intended to cancel the presentation of the Prologue to the OFFTA, ” because I don’t attempting to be the theatre on the Web or filmed. Without the report the intangible between the transmitter and the receiver, it does not help me at all. But in the end, we found a way to adapt, to change the point of view “. Shining the light on those who were “a bit put aside in this debate” regarding the art of living in confinement period : the person who receives the work.
“We are talking about artists that no longer have a place where to create, but it speaks little of the spectators, who no longer have room where to go. So, we’ll bring the theatre to the door of the people. “Meetings, respectful of the distance, will take place between a performer and a spectator in an outdoor venue. (In Montreal, but also to Rimouski and Sherbrooke, where two performers are confined.)
At the origin, the creator of Zero, of One, etc, wanted to explore the founding myths that unite all human beings, starting from the Shâhnâmeh (book of kings), an epic poem of iran dating back to the year one thousand. Prologue was intended as a first step of creation, developed with the Young Troupe of the Quat’sous, whose members, from the famous Hearings-general, shall be selected by the committee of artists associated with the theatre.
Because of the pandemic, the book of The kings has been ruled out, tells Soleymanlou. “What unites us, finally, was something else : the encounter between two human beings. And the project has become : what do you want, members of the Young actors, to tell a story to a viewer ? They all ended up writing texts great. “
One of the eight elected, Marc-André Trépanier, has composed a letter to Antonio, aka Antonio Barichievich. A strong man who was a figure of legend in Quebec. “It was my way of making a parallel with the work that we had started on the myths and to bring it closer to me. “
Even in these conditions, creative unique (repeats at a distance in a park…), the recent graduate of college Lionel-Groulx believes that the team Prologue has managed to keep a ” spirit of troop, group work. And this was very motivating “.
These representations of three minutes, which will be filmed and then broadcast during the festival, they capture the essence of the theatre, reduced to its simplest expression : a storyteller, a listener. “And the camera lens is directed on the spectator, not on the interpreter, says Mani Soleymanlou. It is about listening to the text and look at a viewer to watch. It tries to capture the meeting in public, which we all miss now. “
Make the theater vital
What is, precisely, the role of the theatre, an art form currently impractical in the classroom, in the funny time that you have to cross ? Mélanie Binette regrets that, ” in the current debate, people focus often on the technological gadgets “. For the practitioner in situ, the theatricality is a language, which can be embodied in other forms. “I think that this is what to look for at this moment : what remains of this theatricality in digital experiences, how we manage to re-create in spite of everything valuable link between the artist and its viewer. “
Waiting for the return of a security situation and crowded, Mani Soleymanlou does not show very much interested, as to him, trying to reinvent an art which has ” no need to be reinvented, not more than he does constantly “. “I think that, for now, the digital has to offer to the theatre a kind of respite, a means of expression. But there is no substitute for me, nor need to transform this form of art.”
In fact, the creator sees in this forced break ” a good wake up call to the theatre community “. “We come to realize that, first, it is not essential and that there was no social safety net. Then, think about it, not to try to replace the theater, but to find the right words to make it essential when it will leave. The anger and the impotence current may require us to return even stronger. You just have to be patient. This is not a few months that will transform an ancient art… “
Wanderings / Prologue
Mélanie Binette. And with Mani Soleymanlou and the Young Troupe of the Quat’sous (Anaïs Cadorette Bonin, Alexandra Gagné, Lavoie, Chloe Giddings, Celia Laguitton, Jean-Christophe Leblanc, Stephie Mazunya, Peter Meltev, Marc-André Trépanier). Pass $ 0, $ 25 or $ 50 to offta.com/billetteriein the framework of the OFFTA up to 32 (!) may.