Make Banana Cry
Provocative and unconventional creators Andrew Tay and Stephen Thompson are at the helm of Make Banana Cry, a subversive runway featuring a parade of body politics prepared to trouble the Western gaze. Recklessly flirting with cultural clichés inside an immersive fake “exhibition” by visual artist Dominique Petrin, they critique and protest against stereotypes of “Asian-ness”.
In an attempt to shake off the weight of representation and fetishization, the two partners in crime open the doors to a destabilizing space meant to challenge assumptions. Make Banana Cry acts as a choreographic machine where performers confront the tension between their cultural identities and stereotypes. An irreverent happening which contemplates the problematics of “universal” western popular culture while drawing on the intersectional artistic backgrounds of each of the invited artists.
Produced by Andrew Tay + Stephen Thompson
Performed by Francesca Chudnoff + Hanako Hoshimi-Caines + Cynthia Koppe + Sehyoung Lee + Andrew Tay + Stephen Thompson
Guests Justin de Luna + Winnie Ho
Visual Installation Dominique Pétrin
Lighting Design Karine Gauthier
Production Romane de Montgrand
Tour Technician Öykü Önder
Original Collaborators Ellen Furey + Claudia Fancello + Jean Jauvin (conception lumières originale) + Hanako Hoshimi-Caines + Dana Michel + Coman Poon + Simon Portigal
Produced with the support of the Festival TransAmériques as part of Respirations du FTA + Conseil des arts du Canada + montréal, arts interculturels – MAI + Centre de Création O Vertigo-CCOV
Creative Residency Centre de Création O Vertigo-CCOV
Presented in association with UQAM – Coeur des sciences
Premiered at montréal, arts interculturels – MAI, on April 6, 2017
Thanks to Véronique Hudon + Galerie de l’UQAM + Aaron Wright (Fierce Festival) + Dance4 UK + Miriam Ginestier + Michael Toppings + Sticky Rice Magazine
Written by Myriam Perraton-Lambert
Translated by Luba Markovskaia
About the artists
Andrew Tay (Toronto)
A hybrid creator, the inaugural guest curator at the Centre de création O Vertigo and, as of recently, the artistic director of the Toronto Dance Theatre, Andrew Tay cofounded Wants&Needs Danse with Sasha Kleinplatz. Together, they curate the indispensable festive and creative happenings Short&Sweet and Piss in the Pool, which they produce and disseminate outside the usual circuits.
These playful and ethical events serve as incubators of artistic creation; in these spaces, bridges are built between different approaches, generations, cultures, and communities. Tay’s performance Fame Prayer / EATING (2016) received the Buddies in Bad Times Vanguard Award for Risk and Innovation.
Stephen Thompson (Nice)
Visible at the FTA for many years, internationally recognized Stephen Thompson is a remarkable and provocative interdisciplinary artist. His collaborations and performative works are intersections of cultural politics, queerness and a vaste body of knowledge.
Situated outside of conventional modes of production, authorship and content Thompsons collaborations include Trajal Harrell (Antigone Sr. FTA, 2014, winner of a Bessie Award), Antonija Livingston, Jennifer Lacey and Dominique Pétrin (Culture, Administration and Trembling, FTA, 2014), Public Recordings (whatwearesaying, FTA 2013), Benoît Lachambre et Su-Feh Lee (Body Scan, FTA, 2009).
In 2016, Thompson received a Victor Martin Lynch-Staunton award from the Canada Council for the Arts for his collaboration with French visual artist Xavier Veilhan. He is also the 2016 World Bronze “compulsory figure skating” medalist. He currently works as a guest at Schauspielhaus Zurich with Trajal Harell.
“We need more of these kinds of performances as we aim to move away from stereotypes to create art that embodies the complexity of defining and claiming identity in a multicultural contemporary western society. (…) With Make Banana Cry, Tay, Thompson and their team tread carefully and put together an entertaining yet thought-provoking evening.”
Helen Simard, The Dance Current, 2019-04-19