How Brazilian funk groove in the Montreal party scene

Even more powerful than the language of the songs is the catchy beat that crosses borders.

In the heart of Montreal’s vibrant and diverse nightlife scene, a new rhythm is electrifying the city’s dance floors: the Brazilian funk. The genre that has been synonymous with the lively streets of Rio de Janeiro, is fast becoming the latest sensation in Montreal’s buzzing nightlife. From the shores of the favelas to the lively atmosphere of the city, the infectious beats of this genre have found a new home in this Canadian metropolis showing that Brazil has progressed far beyond samba or bossa nova.

Scottie Tippin is a resident DJ at Le Mal Nécessaire, a bar on St. Laurent. “The resurgence of disco and funk in 2023 in Montreal is massive,” he said. “I have a ton of funk as an influence because it is a genre good for everyone. It’s in no way polarizing for an audience.” 

The artist said that once you start playing anything funky, the requests come in spades. “I’m fully invested in funk following the steps of amazing DJs like Shogo, Walla P, and Akpossoul,” Tippin added that Brazilian samples inspired by Bossa Nova are also part of his inspiration. 

Renowned artists who incorporated funk references into their songs gave space for new artists to enter the music scene. Madonna, for example, joined Brazilian artist Anitta on “Faz Gostoso,” a song that not only invested in the funk beat but also sang sections in Portuguese. Anitta, in turn, not only took advantage of this chance but also worked alongside other artists such as Maluma, J Balvin, Cardi B, Major Lazer, Saweetie and Becky G, among others, in order to promote the genre through other languages, such as English and Spanish. The singer is currently the winner of two VMAs for Best Latin Video and was nominated for a 2023 Grammy as Best New Artist. Funk has room to grow.

In Montreal, Rabaterapia is a strong funk reference. The project started last year with the mission of bringing people together through the power of dance, specifically Brazilian funk and pop music. “Montrealers have shown interest in our classes, predominantly fueled by their intrigue for Brazilian funk,” CEO of Rabaterapia Priscilla Sanchez said. “We believe that this genre has a universal appeal that helps people to transcend borders.” 

According to her, introducing funk to Montreal has allowed Rabaterapia to add another layer to the eclectic art scene, offering Montreal an opportunity to dive into a dance form that is both exciting and deeply rooted in cultural significance. “We feel very proud of introducing a piece of Brazilian culture here. Every beat and move of funk is an expression of our spirit,” Sanchez added. “Our project aims to serve as a cultural bridge introducing them to the dynamism and vibrancy of funk while fostering a sense of community and shared experience.”


K-pop dance workshops help students with self-acceptance

Members of the Concordia K-pop Club gain the confidence to express themselves by dancing to their favourite K-pop choreographies

The crowd is excited, the stage is lit, and K-pop is blasting through the nightclub’s speakers. For first-year Concordia University student Lana Masselon, this memory makes her eyes sparkle with joy as she talks about K-pop events that she has attended around Montreal. 

Dancing to K-pop has given her the confidence to overcome her fear, go up on stage, and dance in front of a large audience. This is thanks to the Concordia K-pop Club, which holds several dance workshops throughout the fall and winter semesters. They invite members and non-members to learn choreographies from the community’s favourite K-pop groups and to be true to themselves through dance.

Masselon attends most of these dance workshops and sometimes even teaches them. She has a modern-jazz dance background but fell in love with K-pop when she learned choreography to the song ‘Kill This Love’ by Blackpink. This inspired her to take a K-pop dance class. 

However, since starting university, she has not had the time to keep up with weekly lessons. She said that the workshops sprinkled throughout the school year provide her the opportunity to get exercise and give her a sense of accomplishment. 

“If I’m active, I’m happy. I know I need to be active, and K-pop helps keep sports in my life,” Masselon said.

She said she has found her identity through being accepted by the K-pop community. It has allowed her to break free of society’s status quo. 

“Before K-pop, I felt like I didn’t have a style. I just followed what everyone else was doing, and I wasn’t really myself,” she said. 

As a taller person, Masselon hid behind clothes she hated, such as jeans, when she wanted to wear clothes like skirts and knee-high socks. One of her favourite K-pop idols, Kim Hongjoong from the group ATEEZ, inspired her to feel more comfortable in her skin. 

“I was uncomfortable and scared about what people would think of me,” Masselon said. “Hongjoong says you can wear anything, as long as you feel confident in it, so I don’t try to hide myself anymore.” 

She believes that dance brings the K-pop community together, allowing people to meet new friends and bond over common interests. 

Other club members feel the beneficial effects that the dance workshops have on their lives too. Concordia K-pop Club President Inas Fawzi strongly feels that the dance workshops have built her confidence more.

“After learning K-pop dances, I started liking my body. It gave me a love for my physical being. Before I was just floating, I wasn’t attached to it. Now I’m like, ‘Wow, I look cool,’” Fawzi said. 

Amanda Beronilla, the club’s vice president of communications, also teaches dance workshops. She says that dancing to K-pop is one of the main ways that she can express herself. 

“Ever since I was small, I have always loved dancing. I wanted to go into ballet, but I was never able to. With K-pop dance, it feels like I’m able to do something that I’ve always wanted to do,” Beronilla said.

The dance workshops are fun and inclusive. Unlike a K-pop dance crew with high standards, these dance workshops are very welcoming. There’s little pressure, and people are encouraged to come and join in, regardless of their dance skills.

Each two-hour dance workshop is held at Concordia University’s Sir George Williams Campus on the Hall Building’s seventh floor. 

You can follow the Concordia K-pop Club on Instagram to learn about upcoming events.

Arts Theatre

The radical importance of gigues in Quebecois culture

Pas Perdus | Documentaires Scéniques presented this year at the Théâtre du Nouveau Monde

The Théâtre du Nouveau Monde presented Pas Perdus from Feb. 24 to a crowded room filled with an excited public. 

The design and direction of the play was helmed by Émile Proulx-Cloutier and written by Anaïs Barbeau-Lavalette, who also acted as a silent narrator. 

The performance was prefaced with a short reading of the Ukrainian play A Dictionary of Emotions in a Time of War to commemorate the anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Theatres across Montreal read excerpts to signify their solidarity with Ukrainians. The crowd was extremely moved. 

The play centers around eight characters, who seem to at first live categorically different lives, but are in fact united by their passion for dance. They are introduced within their life stories, and how dancing gigue orients their existence. 

The Quebecois gigue was inspired by Irish stepdancing upon their immigration to Canada in the late 19th century. It is a lively dance that consists of steps, the last one being more emphasized.

It is danced alone or in front of an audience, usually in a room, each dancer revealing their steps. Most Quebec gigues dances are on a two by four tempo, while some places like Outaouais dance on three by four tempo. Gigue is a staple of Quebecois culture. 

Pas Perdus was conducted in a unique fashion, as characters did not speak, while a voiceover resonated between them, composed of excerpts from a podcast series Barbeau-Lavalette had created, centering the voices of the dancers. 

The actors were merely dialoguing through the movement of their bodies. This silence plays a symbolic role in the demonstration of dance as a language, and of spoken words as only parallel to the meaning of dance. They are introduced within their life stories, and how dancing gigues orients their existence. 

Each character is introduced separately, completing their daily tasks while the voiceover explains their lives. The first character, Réal, is from a rural town and spends his time knotting a pair of snowshoes and explains how dancing is a part of who he is, while others like Odile are presented in the workspace as the voiceover explains their life path, and what brought them to dance. 

This play questions the meaning gigue has in Quebecois culture, the shame that surrounds the dance, and the risk of forgetting it as time passes. 

The play layers on the tone of humour despite difficult times.

Barbeau-Lavalette discusses themes of shame around Quebecois culture, and how it directly produces erasure. One character talks about “collecting steps,” as she meets people within the gigues community, learns their unique steps, and is thus able to carry them with her. This prevents the steps from being erased, even when the person dancing gigue dies. 

Pas Perdus is a demonstration of the adaptation of Quebec culture to modern times, noting the importance of not constraining our history to the past. Although there are fewer people dancing gigue, culture cannot be forgotten. This play is an homage to preserving culture and steering it away from erasure. 


Pressure, academia and competition: why people quit organized sports

Concordia students share their experiences in organized sports

As a four-year-old kid in the UK in 2007, Kim Maurer, a current English Literature student at Concordia, was first drawn to sports when she wanted to follow in her older brother’s footsteps.

She enrolled in a wide array of sports like field hockey and football, but her true loves were dance, swimming and rounders (an English sport that resembles baseball). At 14, however, she would stop all those sports, joining an ever-growing trend of kids leaving organized sports in their teens.

“I was definitely a really happy kid because of how many sports I played. But I think, as you get older, it begins to negatively affect you,” said Maurer, recalling the pressure of competition she felt going into secondary school.

“I was always pushed academically,” she added. “So, if I was good at school, I had to be good at sports, I had to be good at music, I had to be good at every single thing I dipped my toes into.”

Sports that once served Maurer as a distraction from school were soon overpowered by academic pressure.

“When I was doing sports, I was there physically, but not mentally, because I’d be focusing on what I have tomorrow, what kind of exams, what do I have to prepare for. It wasn’t fun anymore,” she said.

Kim Maurer holds sports awards she won when she was younger. Catherine Reynolds/ The Concordian

But Maurer’s not alone. More often than not, it’s the lack of fun in organized sports that makes kids quit.

“The stakes are much higher and people compare you to everyone else,” continued Maurer. “That’s one of the reasons why I quit [dance], it became too toxic.” 

The decision to quit swimming and rounders — one of Maurer’s favourite sports — was even harder.

Charlotte Weissler, a journalism student at Concordia, recounts a similar story. She, too, came from a sports-oriented family and started gymnastics at four years old in France. She recalled having a love/hate relationship with the sport.

“It was a really hard sport, it hurt physically, you fall a lot, and I got injured a lot,” she said, also mentioning the mental challenges that came with putting a lot of effort into the sport. Nonetheless, she felt at home in the gym.

At seven, Weissler began competing.

“I really liked it because I was better when I was young, I was winning all my competitions and I enjoyed it obviously. But it was also stressful, and I hated that,” she said.

Going to high school at 16 changed everything for Weissler, and the pressure to have good grades was an added source of stress.

“I didn’t think I could handle four training sessions a week and do my assignments. It just wasn’t possible,” she said. She was stuck in an all-or-nothing situation and her gym wouldn’t accommodate for fewer than four sessions per week.

However, some friends that Weissler met while doing gymnastics are now completing master’s degrees, all while keeping up with gymnastics. She believes the difference between her and them is passion.

“It was [a hard decision], but also, after 12 years, all the pressure became so strong that at one point I thought I wasn’t passionate enough to want that pressure anymore,” Weissler said.

Both Maurer and Weissler noted that many of their peers quit sports at the same time as them.

But juggling academia and sports is possible. Concordia Stingers’ Alice Philbert, goaltender for the women’s hockey team for six years, shows just that.

She started goaltending at 13 in the RSEQ — after playing defence for five years — and has dedicated her life to playing hockey and studying since then.

“I started my graduate diploma in business administration to continue playing hockey [with the Stingers],” she said. “If it wasn’t for hockey, I wouldn’t have undertaken it.”

Philbert’s coaches at Dawson and Concordia taught her valuable lessons through sports, like putting her team first and that everything is earned.

“When I go to the arena, I know I’m going to have fun,” she said. “It’s not stressful and I know people are there to help me.”

And that’s what sports should be for young people: a stress-free environment where they can have fun and make new friends.


The lightness of paradise and the reality of purgatory embodied by the new Marie Chouinard production

A dance production imitating Bosch’s Garden of Earthly Delights 

Jérôme Bosch’s dance production was created by choreographer Marie Chouinard in honour of the painter’s 500th death anniversary. The performances took place at Usine C, located in the Gay Village, based on the famous oil painting located in El Prado in Madrid. 

The space is made of concrete and the stage can be accessed by climbing steps. When one walks in, it appears vast, as sounds resonate and are heightened from one corner to the other. There’s even a bar on the lower level.

The performance was organized in three acts, representing Bosch’s triptych painting. It started with a display of paradise in the centre, followed by the purgatory from the right panel, and ended with the joining of Adam and Eve from the left panel. 

The final show was entirely full, tickets completely sold out. It was exhilarating to sense the excitement in the room at a representation of a painting admired by so many. 

Before the dancers appeared, a screen in the back showed the painting of the earthly delights, closing up on scenes that would be imitated. 

As the act of paradise started, dancers entered the stage with animalistic movement, the first two resembling insects. The dancers entered one after the other, moving with inhuman contortions.

As they came on and off the stage, two rounded screens on either side of the stage showed the details in the painting that were being imitated in the dance. These imitations were both remarkable and hilarious, as the dancers contorted their bodies to emulate Bosch’s characters. 

Though the dancers were nearly naked, save a small string over their lower stomach, there was nothing that could be sexually perceived, as their movements were so deformed from anything remotely human. 

The superfluous movements captured spectators’ attention and at times produced bouts of laughter in the crowd. 

The second act made everyone regret the first. As purgatory descended upon us, we were submerged in darkness. Light fell slowly on one dancer, who was standing on two buckets yelling into a mic in her hands as she contorted her body at disturbing angles. 

Screeches echoed across the room; maddening noises — sounds that traumatize the mind — building craze within the audience. 

Even when the sentiment of true purgatory was sensed in the audience, the dancer did not stop her shrieks. This served to push the comfort levels of the audience, and show a very real instance of hell, as horrid sounds were uttered into the mic, everyone was regretting paradise. 

Witnessing her distortions and hearing her cries produced a sentiment of insanity within me, that I could not brush away for hours after the performance. 

Subsequently, dancers entered the scene creating a catastrophe within their purgatorial movements. As one dancer was shown repeatedly sliding off stairs never reaching the top, another was running around widely shoving their head into a dumpster. They were all moving randomly, acts of utter strangeness, creating an immense racket. 

The final triad was from the Garden of Eden. Two eyes were displayed on either screen, showing Adam waking, and staying in a trance as he gazed at Eve. 

The actors’ movements were so slow in this episode that it seemed impossible. Dancers who previously seemed utterly distraught were now united in synchronized movements, representing either Adam or Eve, in duos. They metamorphosed into a paradise form far from reality, cutting off from the previous hell.  

When the performance ended, the dancers were showered with claps from the audience. People stood up and applauded for over five minutes, which is quite a while in the realm of appraisal. Emulations of paradise and purgatory were created with such precision that they could be felt by the audience. This impeccable work left spectators stunned at the beauty of it.


Art event roundup: spring edition

By Ashley Fish-Robertson & Véronique Morin 

Here are nine noteworthy events that are worth keeping on your radar!

With the end of another school year approaching and the onset of warmer weather, more people will be flocking to the city’s cultural venues. As The Concordian wraps up their last print issue of the school year, our arts editor and assistant arts editor share nine events to kick off springtime.   

Photo by Catherine Reynolds

Infographic by Simon Pouliot


Art Event Roundup: March

By Ashley Fish-Robertson & Veronique Morin

Spend some time this month treating yourself to a variety of exhibitions, performances, and more  

There’s perhaps no better way to usher in spring than with some visits to Montreal’s cultural venues. This month offers events that will especially appeal to the Concordia community. 


  • FASA’s Black Cinema Club will be presenting movie screenings for four weeks as part of their Black History Semester programming. The first screening will be of Ganja and Hess, and will take place on March 16 at 6 p.m. Location: 1515 Saint-Catherine St W, EV 1.615.


  • The MAI will be presenting Nayla Dabaji’s latest exhibition titled documentaire en dérive from March 16 until April 16. Dabaji’s work centres on themes of migration, temporality, and more. Location: 3680 Jeanne-Mance St., suite 103.  


  • A gallery tour and discussion of Manidoowegin with artist Maria Hupfield will take place from March 17 to 19 as part of Concordia’s Conversations in Contemporary Art. Location: 5455 De Gaspé Ave. in room 110. 


  • Nicolas Party’s latest exhibition Mauve Twilight is on display at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts until Oct. 16. This exhibition highlights Party’s signature whimsical style, offering over 100 works painted in saturated colours. Tickets can be purchased through the MMFA’s website


  • Agora will be presenting NIGHTLIGHT, a virtual dance show by George Stamos from March 11 to 20. Tickets can be purchased through the venue’s website


  • Concordia’s Wellness Ambassadors and the Department of Creative Art Therapies will be virtually presenting The “art” of self-care series. Students will be afforded the opportunity to hop on Zoom and create art in a welcoming virtual environment. This event takes place every Tuesday from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. until April 12. The link for this series can be found on Concordia’s webpage


  • RAGE – ORESTEIA REVISITED, written by Aeschylus, is a collage performance with an ensemble of Concordia students that will explore rage and revenge. This event will take place from March 16 to 19 at the D.B. Clarke Theatre. Location: 1455 De Maisonneuve Blvd. W.


Visuals courtesy James Fay


Dance remixes: hit or miss?

Are remixes falling out of touch with the music industry’s standards?

One cold evening I get into my car and find that my aux cord isn’t working (Canadian weather amiright?). So I turned on the radio, and the first song that starts playing is Tracy Chapman’s “Fast Car,” only it was a dance remix by Jonas Blue and Dakota. 

My first thought was, “Oh wow, that’s so cool to have taken a beloved song and interpreted it as your own.” Then, my thoughts turned sour after hearing the progression of the verse into the chorus. The flute-like synth preset felt washed down and the singing was cold and emotionless.      

While dance remixes give the songs a “new look” (in terms of polishing the rough edges of decades past), is it really a good thing that we’re resorting to just taking existing songs from different genres and turning them into dance remixes that shine the original version in a shallow light? It feels as though we’re prepping them for cosmetic surgery (like a facelift) when the dance remix will age poorly while the original will age like fine wine. It’s bad enough that the music industry is already oversaturated with artists trying to write original songs.

On the other hand, remixes are a great way for producers and DJs alike to express themselves and show off their talent by adding their own style to an already released song. This is what music is supposed to be about anyways, devoid of judgment for other genres and styles of interpretation.    

There are good dance remixes and those that… well, let’s just say they’re in need of more emotion and feel. Dua Lipa and Elton John’s recent “Cold Heart” remix by PNAU, for example, was great. Why? Because the composition of the remix was well thought out considering it is a medley of four Elton John songs  (“Rocket Man,” “Sacrifice,” “Kiss The Bride,” and “Where’s The Shoorah?”). Eric Prydz’s cover of “Call On Me” is also a classic, originally derived from the Steve Winwood song “Valerie.” 

So when is a remix a good thing?  It depends on a couple of factors. Every song is subject to be rewritten, but effort plays a big role in making a good remix. To musicians, it’s obvious when a song has not taken time to develop and was just released as a means of putting out content.    


Graphic by Madeline Schmidt


Art event roundup: February

By Véronique Morin and Ashley Fish-Robertson

Shake off those winter blues with some exciting new art events this month

With midterm season looming in the (very) near future, you might be tempted to make the most of any last-minute free time you have before hitting the books. Here are some noteworthy events that will give you a hearty dose of inspiration needed to ace your assignments. 

In-person exhibitions

  • House of Skin: Artists Sabrina Ratté and Roger Tellier-Craig present an exhibition inspired by David Cronenberg’s films at La Cinémathèque québécoise. Located at  335 De Maisonneuve Blvd. E until March 20.
  • Jouer avec le temps: Photography exhibit featuring circus artists presented at TOHU. Located at 2345 Jarry St. E until March 13. 
  • An Exhibition by Marven Clerveau: Visions Hip-Hop QC: Exhibition of works by painter Marven Clerveau which gives an overview of Quebec’s main hip hop figures at the Phi Centre. Located at 315 Saint-Paul St. W until March 26.
  • Lashing Skies : Audio experience presenting five original stories related to events in New York City on 9/11. Located at the Phi Centre from Feb. 17 to May 15.
  • The Disintegration Loops: Living Sound presents this immersive installation featuring works from composer William Basinski. Located at the Phi Centre from Feb. 17 to May 15.
  • JJ Levine – Queer Photographs : Artist JJ Levine presents his photography work at the McCord Museum this month. The museum will also host an online opening of the show on Feb. 16. Located at 690 Sherbrooke St. W from Feb. 18 to Sept. 18.


  • NFB Film Festival: Several special events are underway courtesy of the National Film Board of Canada to celebrate Black History Month, including screenings and Q&A sessions. This year’s theme is centred around Black Health and Wellness. 
  • Silver Screen Sundays: Cinéma du Musée and The Film Society will return with their biweekly screenings of classic films. They will be showing the cult classic Casablanca on Feb. 20.


  • 18 P_R_A_C_T_I_C_E_S: Artist and performer Andrew Turner presents a 60-minute show that offers a hearty dose of humour, moments of absurdity, and a sharp tone. Presented at La Chappelle Scènes Contemporaines, located at 3700 St-Dominique St. from Feb. 16 to 19.
  • Marie-Pascale Bélanger + Jordan Brown: This double program features the work of Bélanger, inspired by tales she was told as a child, and Brown’s choreography, structured around wool and knitting. Presented by Tangente Danse at Edifice Wilder – Espace danse, located at 1435 De Bleury St. from Feb. 19 to 22.


Visual courtesy Galerie Robertson Arès


Art Event Roundup: February

By Véronique Morin and Ashley Fish-Robertson

Make the most of this dreary month by treating yourself to some well-deserved art outings. Feeling a bit lazy? No problem, we’ve also got some virtual events to feed your creative soul!

In-person exhibitions:

  • House of Skin: Artists Sabrina Ratté and Roger Tellier-Craig present an exhibition inspired by David Cronenberg’s films at La Cinémathèque québécoise. Located at  335 De Maisonneuve Blvd. E until March 20.
  • The Sum of Our Shared Selves: Concordia’s FOFA gallery presents its annual undergraduate student exhibition which showcases the work of 27 total artists. Located at 1515 Ste-Catherine St. W. EV 1-715 until Feb. 25.
  • Techno//Mysticism: Exhibition featuring works that explore reflections on new technologies, and is art gallery Eastern Bloc’s first show in their new space. Located at 53 Louvain St. W. until Feb. 26. 
  • Jouer avec le temps: Photography exhibit featuring circus artists presented at TOHU. Located at 2345 Jarry St. E. until March 13. 
  • les liens: Exhibition organized by dance artist Thierry Huard on the theme of power in relationships. The event, presented at the MAI (Montréal Arts Interculturels), is part of the Queer Performance Camp. Located at 3680 Jeanne-Mance St. until Feb. 26.
  • Just Semantics: Group exhibition featuring work that highlights everyday objects that have been stripped of their banality. Located at 1490 Sherbrooke W. until Feb. 11.
  • An Exhibition by Marven Clerveau: Visions Hip-Hop QC: Exhibition of works by painter Marven Clerveau which gives an overview of Quebec’s main hip hop figures at Phi Centre. Located at 315 Saint-Paul Street W. from Feb. 11 to March 26.


  • NFB Film Festival: Several special events are underway courtesy of the National Film Board of Canada to celebrate Black History Month, including screenings and Q&A sessions. This year’s theme is centered around Black Health and Wellness. 
  • Massimadi: The renowned Afroqueer arts and film festival returns for its 14th edition. Free online events will take place from Feb. 11 to March 11. 


  • 18 P_R_A_C_T_I_C_E_S: Artist and performer Andrew Turner presents a 60-minute show that offers a hearty dose of humour, moments of absurdity, and a sharp tone. Presented at La Chapelle Scènes Contemporaines, located at 3700 Saint-Dominique St. from Feb. 16 to 19.


Visual courtesy of Netflix (press)



What Will Come: a chaos inspired by boxes

Sébastien Provencher and Julia B. Laperrière’s new dance duo explores categorization and chaos

Sébastien Provencher and Julia B. Laperrière met over 10 years ago when they studied dance together at UQAM. While the artists both have their own projects, they have created together sporadically since their university days. They have been working on What Will Come since 2016. At the beginning of the creation process, one of the first objects that inspired them was a cardboard box that they found in a studio where they were rehearsing. The duo developed movement propositions related to explorations they did with the box which led to the start of the dance piece. The project evolved until it became its 2021 version, a dance duo examining the themes of categorization and chaos.

The performance begins with Provencher and Laperrière moving on a stage full of black and white objects. Boxes of different shapes and sizes are meticulously placed  around them. The floor and the back wall are white. The identity of the performers is unclear. They seem to be searching around the space, discovering the objects and each other with active gazes.

Laperrière explained that her inspiration for What Will Come came as she was reading a biology philosophy book that explained the development of categorization in the human brain. Her research evolved into reflections with Provencher on modern society’s obsession with categorizing everything. While the artists’ take on this theme is related to gender identity, they believe it can be linked to many different spheres.

“It is probably a survival mechanism to understand the world around us. So, we were interested in questioning the overcategorization of the things that surround us and how sometimes it can prevent us from being open-minded. But we are not judging it either, those categories can also be necessary to our personal emancipation,” said Provencher.

The choreographers explained that they often draw inspiration from the objects that they discover in spaces where they create. “Sébastien and I, we often work with materials, with objects, it is something that stimulates us a lot,” explained Laperrière. For this piece, the boxes that they use influenced the way they move during the performance. “My physicality became the physicality of the box,” explained Laperrière, who added that they looked at how “these objects contaminated [them].”

As the performance goes on, the organization of the setup on stage dissolves gradually. Touches of pink start appearing amongst the boxes and the lighting becomes more colourful. Laperrière explained that a second concept they worked with was entropy. This is a thermodynamic term that examines the notion of disorder and measures the disorganization of a system.

For the duo, this concept created an opposition with the overcategorization they were exploring. They saw the idea of chaos and loss of control in these principles. Provencher explained that they asked themselves “What happens when chaos emerges from this order that was created? Is there a second order that can be created? Is there something that can emerge afterwards?”

This chaos emerges on-stage as the movement changes, becoming more energetic, with the objects being thrown around, displaced, rearranged. For Laperrière and Provencher, this chaos came to life through accidents that occurred on stage. “In What Will Come, the notions of chaos, of disorder, and of accident are important. Therefore, it is important that if an accident happens it is a real accident. We react [to] the moment on stage and that brings the energetic increase, the accumulation,” said Laperrière.

Since these accidents are not planned, unpredictability is an important part of the dance piece. The performers operate with what they call “open compositional structures.” They know the tasks they must accomplish, but the way that they will complete them remains open to improvisation. “We are always looking for strategies to keep the work alive for us and for the audience,” said Laperrière.

The collaborators are also actively involved in the show with the interpreters. Composer Bráulio Bandeira is on stage with them. Bandeira reacts in real time to their movements, so the music is coordinated with the action and participates in its evolution. A similar principle is used for light design. Nicola Dubois adapts the duration of the different light ambiances to the action happening on stage.

This energetic piece is left open to interpretation for the audience to derive their own meaning from it. The choreographers developed occasionally absurd propositions to cultivate an ambiguity around their actions and the place where they happen. The work invites the audience into an unknown universe full of colours and geometric shapes. The dancers progress in this visually striking space towards a new organization of the objects and bodies on stage. For Provencher and Laperrière, the dance piece examines the idea of control. “We try to control our environment, but in fact we never know when our environment will take over,” said Laperrière.

What Will Come is presented at Tangente until Dec. 5. Tickets are available on their website.

Photo courtesy Denis Martin


Trajectories analyzes diversity through archetypes

Élian Mata’s new show will be available to experience until Nov. 27

Élian Mata presents his new show Trajectories at the Montréal, arts interculturels (MAI) theatre from Nov. 24 to 27. Mata’s piece involves eight interpreters, each performing choreography inspired by an archetype that represents human defaults.

Trajectories explores diversity through the lens of mythologies and archetypes. Six characters are interpreted by eight performers. They each stand on their own small stage while the audience is spread out in the theatre space, a technique Mata used to recreate the feeling of an exhibition. For him, this organization of space is a comment on the place given to marginalized groups in modern society. “The initial idea was a proposition inspired by museums, inviting the audience to come and watch living art works that are still relegated to the idea of the museum. We accept them when they are at a distance and in the context of an exhibition since it secures us, but we are not ready to integrate them in society,” he said.

Mata’s creative process for Trajectories started with the conception of dresses and garments related to each of the themes he wanted to examine. The piece was then created with those costumes in mind. Mata recalled being passionate about clothing ever since he was young. He explained that as a teenager, he would draw dresses, and later dreamed of entering fashion school.

The artist started creating his own dance pieces in 2015, with his first show titled Forêt. This work reflected on nudity and diversity. For Mata, Trajectories is the continuity of this piece. In fact, Forêt  ended with the performers putting on clothes after they had been naked for the whole performance. With Trajectories, Mata continues his reflections on human nature, but this time performers are dressed, with each piece of clothing having a specific meaning.

Each of the six personas has a specific composition combining movement patterns and sometimes sounds or words developed in collaboration between Mata and the performers. Therefore, all the choreographies are unique and independent from each other. Mata explained that the process of creating this piece started with visual inspirations he had in mind. “I start with images and these images come alive,” he said.

The piece includes two duets respectively symbolizing the archetypes of Anima and Animus, each adapted in a dance duet. Anima, performed by Anne-Flore de Rochambeau and Gabrielle Surprenant-Lacasse, examines the idea of a masculine side that can be found in women. Jontae McCrory and Jérémie Brassard interpret Animus, the feminine part found in men. The terms Anima and Animus were developed by Psychiatrist Carl Jung. For Mata, the idea of categorizing male and female character traits is absurd, and these duets confront this. “They are two and they symbolize one person. They confront each other, they fight, but they also accept each other and live together,” he explained. For Anima, the two interpreters perform together in a dress made for two.

Narcissus is another character, performed by Stevens Simeon. Mata believes narcissism is very much present in our current culture, inspiring him to reference the tale of Narcissus in this solo piece. The large gold reflexive cube placed on Simeon’s stage symbolizes the Greek figure’s drowning as he stared transfixed at his reflection in the water.

The choreographer also included the figure of Androgyny, who he describes as a ghostly presence, one that is ignored by all. Interpreted by Thomas Wilkinson Fullerton, this character occupies the performance space without having his own stage to stand on for most of the presentation. With this dance piece, Mata comments on the marginalization of people like Androgyny in our society.

In the centre of a black box stands Mohawk performer Barbara Kaneratonni Diabo. The artist performs solo dance based on the greeting Skennen’kó:wa, which translates to “do you carry the great peace?” in Mohawk. In English, it translates to “how are you,” though this doesn’t carry its spiritual or historical significance. “For me, it was evident that, through all the themes I touched on, I had to talk about the problematic relationship humans have with nature and the current ecological problems. So, I had to work with an Indigenous artist, because I have always been fascinated by the link they maintain with nature,” said Mata. This dance performance comments on the current relationship humans share with nature. “If we considered the Earth at the same level as us, we would nurture a different relationship to it,” he said.

The sixth choreography is inspired by Magna Mater, or the Great Mother, an archetype that relates to fertility in Greek mythology. Jacqueline van de Geer embodies this persona. Mata wanted to question the roles related to pregnancy and motherhood that have historically and continue to be imposed on women, and the burden it generates for them. “The dress she wears is a reference to the weight of this historic iconography. She suffocates because of all these roles,” explained Mata.

Each of the performances have their own soundscape and lighting. Through a variety of visual organizations and movement propositions, Mata encourages visitors to reflect on diversity. “I invite the audience to take a path to meet with the other. This ‘other’ is a manifestation of the human psyche, and some character traits or personalities that still today are perceived in the wrong way.” In the MAI’s entrance, audience members can read a preamble to the show written by Mata in which he explains the richness he observes in human differences. “Pluralism generates a healthy evolution of cultures because a society is not petrified in time, it evolves by feeding itself with exchanges and the creativity of people who have known how to think differently,” wrote Mata.

Trajectories is presented at the MAI at 3680 Jeanne-Mance St. Tickets are available through their website


Photo courtesy of Vanessa Fortin and David Wong



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