Culture & Conversation

Blue Angel

Louise Lecavalier is rad. While most 54 year old women spent last Thursday night with Netflix and a bottle of red (not judging – that sounds great to me too), Lecavalier was dancing her guts out to a packed Théâtre Maisonneuve audience of 1,453 who responded in kind with a unanimous standing ovation. It was the final show of this year’s Festival TransAmériques, and it went out with a bang.

Mining for Meaning

Last week as part of the Residual Reading series, Wanda O’Connor introduced two visiting writers to read from their new releases at Drawn and Quarterly. Authors Marguerite Pigeon and Natalee Caple have penned stories with women leads in traditionally male-dominated genres. The first to read was Pigeon, who has written a political thriller set in Central America, while Peterborough-based Caple gave an inspired reading from In Calamity’s Wake, a fictionalization of the life of Calamity Jane.

All of our Backyards

Elvis Presley’s Suspicious Minds is a song about mistrust, dysfunctional relationships, and the need to overcome issues in order to maintain the relationship. Unequivocally, the song recapitulates the vast majority of the world’s mindsets. On the other hand, the Quebec Soccer Federation’s (QSF) recent ban on Sikh children wearing turbans from playing soccer in the league because of a safety hazard is objectively illogical and, frankly, bullshit.

Khaos Reigns

Montréal choreographer Ginette Laurin’s offering to Festival TransAmérique this year is an intricate “microsociety” in which endless dynamics are played out: love triangles, siblings, friends, partners, and enemies. Created in Madrid in 2012 and subsequently presented in Paris, Khaos is billed as “a subtle marriage of movement, sound, lighting and digital technology.”

Everyone Gets To Tell The Truth

While it behooves those of us giving our literary opinions to either pile on the praise or provide authors an out when the work is bad, it would be a disservice both to readers and Can Lit in general to give anything but an honest review of Iain Reid’s most recent offering, The Truth About Luck.

Every suit for himself

Pommerat’s perfectly timely play remains an entertaining and well-honed critique of the humanity that is undermined by the increasingly marketized social relations of our era. In the place of honesty and authenticity in interactions, it says, capitalist self-interest and instrumentalism has triumphed – triumphed, principally, in making cynics of us all.

I’d Like to Thank My…

I have a thing for Hollywood. I’m also a sucker for all things hope-related. You know, meaningful things. This is not so different from the way I enjoy the thrill of escapism, like a meth addict “enjoys” meth or how most everyone seems to enjoy alcohol. The point is: I really like the world of music, film, television, and other abstract arts.

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The Tea Party and the Taliban

I cannot escape it. Everywhere I turn someone is talking about how we should racially profile Muslims, or stop allowing Muslim students into North America, or how Islam teaches hate and violence, or that Arab men are abusive, or that Jesus is so much nicer than Muhammad.

New Old Faces at The Gazette

Happy birthday Gazette! Montreal’s English-language daily celebrates 235 years today. A fine occasion to spread the news: Lucinda Chodan is coming back to Montreal this fall as the paper’s top dog, as well as eastern region VP editorial for the Postmedia Network Inc. A staff writer and editor for 20 years, she moved on to become editor-in-chief at the Victoria Times Colonist, then publisher and editor-in-chief of the Edmonton Journal.

5 Songs: Suoni Per Il Popolo

The Suoni Per Il Popolo festival gets underway this week—that’s June 5th for anyone reading this after today—and once again, organizers have put together an impressive and eclectic roster of underground acts. Creating a list of five songs from such a wide array of artists was no easy task. I had an internal debate on whether or not to prop up bigger artists (Lee Ronaldo of Sonic Youth for example) and if I had a moral duty to include songs I didn’t particularly enjoy so as to not misrepresent the festival.

Gods of War

The cover of this evocative novel is note-perfect: on one side, a panel of colourful flowered textile that would not look out of place in an American living room or a Japanese inn. On the other, a girl walks past an artistically bare tree and a pagoda-roofed building, her lacquered-paper parasol open above her Western schoolgirl’s plaid skirt. These images beautifully demonstrate the greatest strength of The Gods of Heavenly Punishment: the integration in one complex story of diverse points of view — American, Japanese, and others — of a war of unprecedented destruction.

The commitment was remarkable and the perspiration was copious

Do you remember singing Frere Jacques or Row Your Boat at school, when your teacher would make you sing it in rounds? First one group would start singing, then another group would join in the existing voices but sing the song from the beginning. The end result was a satisfying melange of notes and voices all over the place and yet all performing the same function. Levée des Conflits was the contemporary dance version of that.