Festival Phénomena Montreal

Festival Phénomena to stage bold, inclusive and diverse shows from Oct. 3 to 21

The interdisciplinary Montreal festival brings together local and international dancers, actors, musicians and surrealists for an exciting series of events this fall.

The Montreal interdisciplinary performance event known as Festival Phénomena returns to a number of venues in the Plateau to present a rich variety of shows from Oct. 3 to 21. Here are a few highlights from the 2023 festival program.

French artist Olivier de Sagazan will follow up his memorable 2016 Phénomena performance Transfiguration with La Messe de l’Âne, happening at Usine C (1345 Lalonde, Oct. 5 & 6, 7 p.m., $35.64/$32.19 seniors/$27.59 students). Earning positive reviews at Venice Biennale, the show reportedly covers the bases from whimsical to sublime to disturbing, with its cast of offbeat carnivalesque characters blending “illusionism, hallucination and nightmare.”

With their award-winning show L.U.C.A. (Last Universal Common Ancestor), Belgian artists Hervé Guerrisi and Grégory Carnoli presented a witty takes on notions of heritage and integration via the commonly asked question “Where are you from?” The show will be presented at la Chapelle (3700 St-Dominique, nightly Oct. 10–13, 7:30 p.m., $17–$32).

Phénomena HQ la Sala Rossa (4848 St-Laurent, Oct. 15, 9 p.m., $20) will be the site of a showcase of artists on the Indonesian indie label YesNoWave, which has released 80 albums for free online. Performers including Bali experimental punk duo Gabber Modus Operandi, Sumatran singer/songwriter Rani Jambak and Javanese musician J. “Mo’ong” Santoso Pribadi.

Also at la Sala Rossa (4848 St-Laurent, Oct. 14, 8 p.m., $20), Phénomena’s annual, mythical variety show Cabaret Dada has been taken over by the Théâtre du Futur.

Phénomena founder D. Kimm hosts the second edition of Cabaret Féministe pas gentil du tout. Of the first edition, Kimm says she planned “a laid-back evening full of laughter, a few hours to talk freely without worrying about being nice or having to educate others. I wanted to bring strong, impertinent voices to life… I wanted to present artists I admire; women that are inspiring, courageous and free.” This will also be happening at la Sala Rossa (4848 St-Laurent, Oct. 16, 8 p.m., $25).

And among the many enticing dance events in this year’s Phénomena program is Natai-kukushu, Phenomena’s collaboration with Montreal vets in the department of interdisciplinary dance and performance, Studio 303 (372 Ste-Catherine W., Oct. 7, 12–5 p.m.), where Natasha Kanapé-Fontaine will perform for five hours on a Saturday afternoon.

Festival Phénomena to stage bold, inclusive and diverse shows from Oct. 3 to 21

For more on the 2023 edition of Festival Phénomena, please visit their website.

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