On Stage: Phénomena Festival Round-up

The Phénomena festival offers a week’s worth of weird and wonderful events, shows and performances, plus an appearance by special guest Genesis Breyer P-Orridge.

Les Filles Électriques’ Phénomènes Inexpliqués.
Photo by Lucie Bazzo.

Phénomena is a new multidisciplinary arts and cultural festival that’s taking over vast tracts of the city’s galleries, theatres and stages over the next week. Rising from the ashes of the discontinued Voix d’Amériques fest (and using their framework, resources and former staff), artistic director D. Kimm has organized a week’s worth of bizarre and compelling entertainment.

Much of the festival’s programming is organized into three categories or series — Magnetic Fields, Turbulences and Conductive Bodies — but there are numerous free and off-site activities planned in addition, the Collective Pourquoi Jamais’ Erika Weisz Disparue, a nightly performance looking at the German illusionist who disappeared in 1933. Oct. 19 – 26, Sala Rossa parking lot (4848 St-Laurent), 7:30 p.m., free, cancelled in case of rain

Also worth checking out is Kobol’s presentation of VooDoo, a poetic voodoo doll marionette show for grown-ups. Through Oct. 21, Usine C (1345 Lalonde), 8 p.m., $20-26

The Free Opera Ensemble

The festival’s Turbulence series includes a suite of free afternoon programming at Divan Orange, including shows by Jef Barbara and the Free Opera Ensemble, as well as other multidisciplinary theatre acts. Oct 19 – 26, 5 p.m., Divan Orange (4234 St-Laurent), free

The Conductive Bodies series is a cluster of latish nightly shows at Casa, all free, where you can catch dance and performance pieces by Jacques Poulin-Denis, Jonathan Parent and Chad Dembski, among others. Each show is followed by Night Shift, an open-mic session hosted by Pascal-Angelo Fioramore, with special guests each evening. Casa del Popolo (4873 St-Laurent), 10 p.m., free

Maryse Poulin
Finally, the Magnetic Fields series — no relation to the band — goes down nightly at Sala. Phénomena has lined up a series of stunning performances, including Les Filles Électriques’ exploration of the paranormal and unexplained (Oct. 22), the playful queer cabaret of 2boys.tv’s “Generation” (Oct. 21), a performance by German Dadaist provocateur Felix Kubin (Oct. 24) and Maryse Poulain’s new show “Panorama,” co-presented by Tangente, with musical accompaniment by Alexandre St-Onge (Oct. 23).

And, of course, the hottest ticket for the festival is Genesis Breyer P-Orridge, in a rare performance with Thee Majesty. The show combines poetry, hypnotic and spellbinding music with droning guitars, tablas and digital soundscapes for a truly unique and immersive experience (check in tomorrow for an interview with the “avant-garde anti-icon” himself). Oct. 20, Sala Rossa (4848 St-Laurent), 9 p.m., $20

Phénomena Festival runs Oct. 19-26.

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