Sam & Angèle: a comforting performance

The performers invite their audience to explore the harshness of daily life and the softness of boredom

In a cozy atmosphere, on a stage filled with fabric objects, Samantha Hinds and Angélique Willkie perform the comforting Sam & Angèle. Initiated by choreographer Sovann Rochon-Prom Tep, the 50-minute creation confronts the ideas of work overload and self-care.

Warm light bulbs illuminate La Chapelle’s theatre. They enlighten Mestari’s fabric creations. These include a large pair of glasses composed of multiple patterns, a large microphone, and a phone. From the start, the performers’ complicity is palpable. The show marries text, the singing, and movement. The performers’ voices are the only sound filling the space. They sing together, creating harmonies. Hinds starts dancing, and Willkie observes her in a benevolent way. Roles are then switched. 

The duo establishes their dynamic through eye contact and smiles. They share the stage but also the energy of the space. As the performance evolves, different themes emerge. 

“Work overload is one of the themes of the show. It didn’t emerge because we wanted to do a show that talked about work overload, but because in the discussions we had as a team,” explained Rochon-Prom Tep.

This idea came about through songs written by the team. During the performance, Hinds and Willkie repeat “On travaille trop,” contrasting the monotony of the word repetition with their luminous voice tone and energy. They later sing an ode to boredom, inviting the audience to reflect on self-care. The caring energy between the performers culminates at the end when Willkie gradually fades the lights down to complement Hinds’ relaxation on stage. 

The creator explained that he hopes seeing the performers taking care of themselves will inspire audience members to dive into introspection in their own lives when it comes to self-care. The welcoming atmosphere created by the organization of colourful props and lights on stage enhances this calming journey for visitors.

The creation process first started with Rochon-Prom Tep’s interest in creating a project based on an encounter between artists. The choreographer organized meetings with Hinds and Willkie so they could start creating together. A singing session sparked the inspiration for the project. “I was really touched by this vocal improvisation and I thought there was something to do with that,” said Rochon-Prom Tep. From their discussions and improvisation sessions, the performers built a creative connection that led to the creation of Sam & Angèle

Laïla Mestari also collaborated on the project as the creator of the colourful stage set. Rochon-Prom Tep explained that when he first encountered her work, he was inspired by “the complexity of idea juxtapositions, of shapes, of images, of mediums.” Their collaboration led to the development of a unique visual identity for the show.

Rochon-Prom Tep described their creation process as an inspiring collective project. “We crafted together with words, voices, bodies, and materials to get to know each other. The creation built off this, through the time we spent together, the discussions that emerged. It created a collective imagination where our different identities and our different interests, our different lifestyles came together in certain places even though they are completely different in a lot of ways,” he said.

Hinds, Willkie, Rochon-Prom Tep and Mestari created the impression of a reset, a kind of self-care to get ready for new beginnings. “The show features a lot of softness and attention, a show that touches the poetry of the collective and individual creative worlds of the different team members,” said Rochon-Prom Tep.

La Chapelle Scènes Contemporaines is located at 3700 Saint-Dominique St. They present Sam & Angèle until March 11. Tickets for the showare available on their website.


Visuals courtesy David Wong and Vanessa Fortin

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