In Them Voices, past and future generations gather and manifest themselves in Lara Kramer’s body, mind and dreams. In Windigo, Phantom Stills & Vibrations (FTA, 2018) and in This Time Will Be Different (FTA, 2019), the choreographer of mixed Oji-Cree and settler heritage confronted an incessant and eternal present. In keeping with her journey to the heart of her lineage, Kramer anchors herself and becomes an open conduit through time and space; her multidisciplinary practice embodies primordial voices of past and future.
Based on last year’s show in the garden of the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, the new indoor version of this solo performance explores the relationship between the artist’s body and her memory, calling upon notions of performance, social critique and cultural resistance. With Them Voices, Lara Kramer excavates a world where stories come together to assess the consequences of our actions on future generations.
Produced by Lara Kramer Danse
Conceived, created, set and performed by Lara Kramer
Sound Design Lara Kramer + Simon Riverin
Outside Eye Peter James + Ivanie Aubin-Malo
Anishinaabe Knowledge Keeper Ida Baptiste
Elder Emerson Ninigishki’ing
Documentation Ivanie Aubin-Malo + James Oscar
Lighting Design Hugo Dalphond
Technical Director Joannie Vignola
Stage Manager Marie-Pier Jaques
Co-produced by Festival TransAmériques + Centre de Création O Vertigo – CCOV
With the support of Conseil des arts du Canada + Conseil des arts et des lettres du Quebec
Creative residencies Centre de Création O Vertigo – CCOV + Place des Arts + Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal + Théâtre Aux Écuries + Dancemakers (Toronto)
Presented in association with Espace Libre
Premiered at Festival TransAmériques, Montreal, on May 27, 2021
Written by Elsa Pépin + James Oscar
Interview Julie Burelle
Translated by Luba Markovskaia
Lara Kramer (Montreal) Lara Kramer Dance
Lara Kramer is a choreographer and multidisciplinary artist of mixed Oji-Cree and Mennonite heritage. Her work, which is grounded in intergenerational relations and knowledge and the impacts of the Indian Residential Schools of Canada, has been presented all across Canada, in Martinique, New Zealand, the UK and Australia.
Following Fragments (2009), informed by her mother’s experience at the Residential Schools, and Native Girl Syndrome (2013), which explored deceleration as a form of resistance, she created a two-pronged project for the 2018 edition of FTA: in the performance Windigo and the installation Phantom Stills & Vibrations, she examined the effects of boarding schools on three generations of her family, who were forcibly sent away to these institutions.
For the 2019 edition of FTA, in collaboration with Émilie Monnet, she created This Time Will Be Different, an installation-performance denouncing the report issued by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. The piece sought to shed light on the report’s perpetuation of the status quo, which was again invoked to the detriment of Indigenous Peoples. Based on interviews conducted with several members of the First Nations, the performance brought together different generations and served as a catalyst for reclaiming a history previously confined to a written narrative dominated by non-Indigenous voices. By extending her research to multigenerational experiences, Kramer broadens her quest with Them Voices, allowing herself to dream of a future and to fuel new rhythms, new modes of mobility. The solo piece summons a multitude of voices in a collective memory, and past, present and future herstories/histories, connecting to elders of all generations.
In Search of the “Coming Community”: A Conversation Between Curators Ivanie Aubin-Mal and James Oscar
Their frank unedited discussion discusses Lara Kramer’s present project Them Voices, in the minute details of its dramaturgy, contexts, and more general atmospheres that relate to the present post pandemic moment of “concern’ with social equity.
« Un solo poétique cohérent dans sa lenteur et ses séquences dépouillées »
Guylaine Massoutre, Spirale, 2021-05-31
« Them Voices fait converger en un seul corps et un seul lieu des siècles de mémoire collective et individuelle. »
Mégane Desrosiers, JEU, 2021-05-28