March 22, 2022
With the joy and determination of a diver taking a deep plunge, the 16th edition of Festival TransAmériques explores where our world is headed. It marks the return of a full line-up of international programming following a two-year wait. This spring, artists from eighteen countries will take part alongside dance and theatre creators from Canada.
Under the leadership of FTA’s new joint artistic directors, this year’s programme has been developed through encounters, new alliances, and heartfelt invitations. It contains the seeds of a project that will grow over the next few years, shaped by the energy of the artists and the impact of your presence as audience—factors without which a festival cannot thrive.
There are many currents flowing through the 2022 edition. On the new Esplanade Tranquille, an aquatic theatre from the United States displays cyclical floods that gracefully disrupt daily life. In an art gallery, artists from Nunavut revolve around a small-scale glacier with images and words from a forgotten history rippling over its surface. On the banks of the St. Lawrence, a troupe from the Gaspé Peninsula recounts 150 years of parliamentary discussion about belugas. On another stage, a river in the Amazon rainforest gives voice to its many lives and their stories. And since the theme of water runs through a number of shows, we decided to dedicate an entire day to the subject.
Language is a second common thread that emerged. Sometimes insufficient for expressing the inexpressible, sometimes prevailing, languages are everywhere in the Festival, fighting against oblivion, ignorance, contempt. Words bring history back to life, they take a stand for an individual, a nation, a shared future. Almost all of our shows are presented in two or more languages, and we have devoted a day to Indigenous creation and languages.
You will see we’re not the only ones swept up on a wave of optimism, as demonstrated by the dancers roaming the city to save an Italian polka from extinction. The stage doesn’t necessarily have to hold up a mirror to society—it can also bring into being what does not yet exist, express what is unsaid, sublimate what gnaws at our insides, or provide a new perspective on the strength and vulnerability, the beauty and diversity of our bodies.
It takes a village to make a festival. To our partners, our donors, our colleagues and our invaluable volunteers: all of you are essential to this event at the heart of a city that’s wide open to the world. To all of the Festival’s stakeholders, teams, artists, and technicians: thank you!
In the end, it is you, the people attending our shows, who matter most. The works in this Festival were conceived in the expectation of encountering and connecting with you. Of entertaining and unsettling you. The time has come once again to form a community sharing ephemeral moments: a rush of excitement, a gnashing of teeth, a loud peal of laughter. Let’s embrace together that thrilling moment when you realize, “Tonight, I was part of something.”