Culture & Conversation

Posts by Kallee Lins

Power Mama

Political Mother is, in a word, power. And a commentary on the fear that even unjustified, nonsensical power can bring. A row of electric guitarists and percussionists bombard you with a heavy rock score. On the day I caught the show in Toronto, the sheer force of the sound drove a handful of people (presumably with hearing aids) out of the Bluma Appel Theatre in the first five minutes.

Rising to the Occasion

While I would rarely suggest that Montréal’s pulsing art scene should be taking cues from Toronto, Hogtown’s Nuit Blanche this past Saturday was a great success thanks to people who never get their due credit… the curators. The event went out of its way to demystify the curatorial process by dividing exhibits into various zones, each with its own curator and thematic focus. While the star artworks of the night were found at Museum for the End of the End of the World curated by Janine Marchessault and Michael Prokopow and presented at City Hall, I ventured a bit farther east to spend the night in Zone C.

Do you Hear What I Hear?

At the beginning of my internship at CBC Radio this summer, documentary producer David Gutnick took me for a coffee. He wanted to explain what radio is “really” about before the demands of daily current affairs programming corrupted me. Sitting at a small table at 1000 Grammes in The Village, he explained that radio had only three rules: 1) Get your facts right, 2) Do what your producer says (you’re allowed to argue beforehand, but once you’re assigned a story, you’re stuck), and 3) don’t be boring. That was it. Gutnick’s simple, three-step model to successful radio model.

Never Say Never

Created by France’s Triple Croches, Jamais 2 sans 3 is a gem for circus and music fans alike. Self-described as a “musical burlesque circus,” its three performers never cease to surprise. Their only wish is to play some music for you, but their plans are interrupted by missing instruments, a penchant for juggling and, mostly, each other.

A Room of His Own

Tobias Wegner is not only a brilliant circus performer, but a magician too. Leo, a Complètement Cirque show playing at the Théâtre Outremont, is a tromp l’oeil that submits gravity to Wegner’s will. It takes place in two identical rooms containing only a light bulb and a small suitcase. There is also an identical man in each. The only difference is that the room on the right is tipped over so the floor lies where we would assume the right-hand wall would be. As Wegner – dashing in his bowler hat and tie – runs, leaps, and jives along the walls in his room on the right, the image is reoriented in the box on the left. A reorientation that allows him to scale walls, hang from the ceiling and take a quick water break while hovering five feet in the air. I’m sure there’s a much more concise way to describe this reality renversant, directed by Québec experimental theatre legend Daniel Brière, but it’s best if you just see it yourself.

Dancing with Myself

Le Bancs d’Essai Internationaux brings together dancers and choreographers from around the world to put the newest generation of dance on display. The biannual tour ended its Montreal run Saturday night before heading to Europe. Though the performers came from diverse regions throughout Italy, Canada, France, The Netherlands, and Wales, a common thread ran through the night. Multimedia, once a novel addition to put dance-based pieces in the often provocative territory of interdisciplinary performance, has become the status quo. The question of adding a video backdrop now seems as necessary a consideration as the number of dancers onstage.

Time to Danse

There is still time to get your toes tapping, arms swinging, or body bouncing as part of the first annual Québec Danse festival. Studios all over Montreal and 10 other cities in the province have opened their doors since Monday for free classes in everything from contemporary dance and street jazz, to bharata natyam and Afro-Brazilian.

Strings Attached

Stock markets closing down, world-wide meat contamination, and the absence of life in No. 10 Downing Street set the stage for the end of the world. Penny Plain, blind but with unwavering commitment to the small joys of cultured living, decides to wait out in her armchair.

Electric Versions

Art tends to be associated with an expression of all things human, but the Elektra 12 International Digital Arts Festival aims to demonstrate the artistic capacity…