Marie-Hélène Falcon disclosed details of the upcoming Festival TransAmériques (FTA) in Montréal on Monday last week. As a tribute to her longstanding directorship, which will end at the conclusion of this year’s eighth edition, she has envisioned a festival more avant-garde than any of her previous endeavours. “This edition remains faithful to the festival’s essence of innovation and creativity, but it’s much more diverse and I think it’ll be groundbreaking,” said Falcon.
At the press launch Falcon previewed seven theatre and dance shows in the festival, scheduled to take place between May 22 and June 7, 2014, highlighting three North American premieres and two world premieres. Among the seven “not to be missed” shows is D’après une histoire vraie, the first of French choreographer Christian Rizzo’s work to be presented in Montréal. It personifies the virility of man and uses tribal rhythms of the Mediterranean to underscore the masculinity of the dancers.
For thirty years, Falcon has raised the profile of cultural life in Montréal and promoted local artists. She does not lose sight of this commitment with her final festival, recruiting three Québec “masters” of contemporary dance. Benoît Lachambre, recipient of the 2013 Montréal Dance Prize, explores the territories of the human body in Snakeskins. Daniel Léveillé, recipient of the Quebec arts award, CALQ, for best choreography of 2012-13, submits dancers to the rigours of the solo in his work Solitudes solo. Finally, veteran Paul-André Fortier, recipient of the Governor General’s Performing Arts Award in 2012, presents the world premiere of Misfit Blues, a comedic and theatrical approach to the contemporary couple – he’ll perform it with Robin Poitras.
“The artists that we will be showcasing this year are pioneers in their fields,” said Falcon. “The way they interpret their ideas and mould them into art is something special and I can’t wait to share it with the public.”
This eighth edition of the FTA will likely be a nostalgic one for Falcon. She has said the festival has brought significant value to her life and hopes it will have the same effect on her successor. “For years, the festival has been at the heart of my life. It allowed me to travel and meet fabulous, unforgettable people. It introduced me to different artistic worlds. I think I got to do the best job there is.” Falcon concluded on an anticipatory note stating, “This year’s festival is not one to miss.”
Shortly after the press launch, Falcon’s successor was announced — Martin Faucher has been appointed as co-director general and artistic director of the FTA. An artistic consultant with the festival since 2006, Faucher has been an actor, director, teacher and administrator of note in the performing arts milieu. As president of Daniel Léveillé Danse since 1994, he supervised the development of the company and raised its profile and, in the process, boosted the careers of several young choreographers. As president of the Conseil québécois du théâtre from 2005 to 2009, he organized the Quebec professional theatre conference in 2007. The Gratien Gélinas Foundation, the Centre des auteurs dramatiques and the Théâtre Bouches Décousues have also benefited from his hard work and commitment. A sought-after pedagogue, Faucher regularly teaches at the National Theatre School of Canada. From À quelle heure on meurt? in 1988 to Yukonstyle (presented at Théâtre d’Aujourd’hui last spring) and the recent Villa Dolorosa at Théâtre Espace Go, he has directed some thirty stage productions over the years and is the recipient of several awards.
On Monday, March 24 the complete program for the eighth edition of the FTA, consisting of some thirty presentations, will be revealed.