Welcome to the Plaza! Nini Bélanger invites the audience on a stroll through the human maze and reveals a hidden treasure – the most cosmopolitan shopping centre in Montreal.
TREASURES OF THE PLAZA (NO DISCOUNT SALES AVAILABLE)
A calm but impetuous force, the director Nini Bélanger traces fragments of life that give her theatre the power to turn reality inside out. In Plaza she ventures far from the stage. Accompanied by several dozen aficionados, she takes the audience on an exceptional stroll through the human maze and reveals a hidden treasure – the most cosmopolitan shopping centre in Montreal.
Fascinated by the microcosm of Côte-des-Neiges Plaza, a rallying point for many in the neighbourhood (a multiethnic mix of some sixty different nationalities), Nini Bélanger examines the site with a fine-tooth comb. She seeks, in the ups and downs of daily life, the codes of a theatre of the invisible, scrutinizing the clues of an often silent humanity. Just where is this “us” that brings us together? She is seeking rapprochement, resolution, and pointedly questions the limits of possible encounters. In shopping malls infiltrated by art, Nini Bélanger treats spectators as contemplative, thinking citizens. Welcome to Plaza!
PRODUCED BY PROJET MÛ
DIRECTED BY NINI BÉLANGER
DRAMATURG MÉLANIE DUMONT
ASSISTANT DRAMATURG MANON CLAVEAU
PERFORMED BY FARIBA BONAKDAR + PABLO DICONCA + JEAN FAYOLLE JR + TATIANA ZINGA BOTAO + NON-PROFESSIONAL ACTORS
SET DESIGN KARINE GALARNEAU
SOUND DESIGN L’EAU DU BAIN
COPRODUCTION FESTIVAL TRANSAMÉRIQUES
PRESENTED IN ASSOCIATION WITH PLAZA CÔTE-DES-NEIGES
WRITTEN BY JESSIE MILL
TRANSLATED BY NEIL KROETSCH
PREMIERED AT FESTIVAL TRANSAMÉRIQUES, MONTREAL, ON MAY 29, 2015
NINI BÉLANGER | PROJET MÛ (Montreal)
In the Buzz and Babble of the World
With Projet MÛ, which she founded after graduating from the National Theatre School in 2005, Nini Bélanger inaugurates courageous creative cycles that dare to explore in greater depth and at greater length, far from the imperatives of standard productions. The movements she creates have everything to do with the spectator, who is invited at times into a living room, at other times confronted in the theatre with larger-than-life reality. Searching for micro-details, her hyper-realistic language attests to remarkably acute perception and compassion for the living. She aims to bring forth inspiration, to add thoughtfulness to the act of theatre so as to gain access to raw, unvarnished reality.
With her Cycle Endormi(e), Bélanger presented a triptych inspired by the Yasunari Kawabata novel The House of the Sleeping Beauties, which was performed in a private home and later at Théâtre La Chapelle (2009). As for the Cycle de la perte, it explored the fragile subject matter of the death of a child and human resilience. That diptych included the docu-fiction Beauté, chaleur et mort (2011), performed by Nini Bélanger and her spouse, a piece that walked the fine line between intimacy and immodesty. It also included Vipérine (2012), a play for young audiences written by Pascal Brullemans that presented a brilliant fictional version of the same theme. With the new Cycle urbain that led to Plaza, Nini Bélanger is infiltrating the Côte-des-Neiges neighbourhood by means of community outreach projects. In January 2015 she moved her headquarters to a boutique in the Plaza where artists offer workshops and