7Starr and Lucy M. May in Anima/Darkroom. Photos by Guillaume Bastien and Michael Slobodian

Plays, musicals, lit performances and circus acts to come

We checked out a preview of Théâtre la Chapelle’s 2019-’20 programming.

On Thursday, Théâtre la Chapelle unveiled its 2019–2020 line-up, 23 projects of which the majority are premieres.

Their summer programming begins in the spirit of festival season, through a collaboration with Montréal complètement cirque. The result, L’Autre cirque, will highlight interdisciplinary circus artists whose work exists at the periphery of more mainstream circus arts.

In late August, Innu writer Natasha Kanapé-Fontaine adapts her poetry collection Bleuets et Abricots for the stage with Tshishikushkueu, one of several more literary performative works la Chapelle has planned. Also among them is Les Dimanches, a lyrical prose piece written and performed by the theatre director Martin Faucher as part of the Festival International de la Littérature, as well as Si Je Reste by spoken word artist Queen Ka.

Come fall, Lucy M. May (a contemporary dancer formerly of the Compagnie Marie Chouinard) and the softly charismatic Krump dancer 7Starr will perform Anima/Darkroom. The show is at the intersection of contemporary dance and Krump, whose relative newness as a style – Krump’s having originated in early 2000s Los Angeles as opposed to modern dance’s mid-20th century origins – and whose implicitly social nature 7Starr is palpably and contagiously enthused about.

The winter sees Sean Nicholas Savage and Sophie Cadieux, along with Ballet Opéra Pantomime (BOP), presenting their first musical, Please Thrill Me. Having seen BOP’s Nero and the Fall of Lehman Brothers last year, in which the story of the infamous Roman emperor was very elegantly juxtaposed with that of the financial crisis, it will be interesting to see how this production company continues to play with narrative musical forms. Ending the winter season is the much more abrasive but still musical Mac(Death) in which Shakespeare is either enlivened or rendered totally incomprehensible by metal dudes with guitars, amps and requisite face paint.

Spring, fittingly, is home to more surreal and ephemeral works. If you’ve seen lighting designer Paul Chamber’s work before, you’ll be aware of his preternatural ability to transform space. The brief preview of Phases Chromatiques, his work with David Alexandre Chabot which is to be presented from late March to early April of next year, induced a literal collective whoa from the assembled crowd as both Chabot and Chamber’s bodies left strange indelible marks on a sheet of fabric using seemingly only light.

The spring season will close with Marie Kefirova, whose dreamy deadpan presence is a thing to behold as he dances in Measuring distance, in which she literally measures distance using cartographic tools, then plays with those measurements as a way of examining herself in relation to her space. ■

See Full details of the line-up at la Chapelle (3700 St-Dominique) here, $18.50-–$33.50