Coming Up at Montreal’s Festival TransAmérique: Kidd Pivot Frankfurt RM’s New Show

Culturebot contributor Avia Moore is busily covering the plethora of delights at the fifth edition of Festival TransAmériques in Montreal, Quebec. Here’s what’s coming up in the near future, with particular emphasis on Moore’s top picks: Kidd Pivot’s The You Show and Ballets C de la B’s Gardenia. But that’s just the tip of the ice berg: be sure to check the festival website for the full digest.

Kidd Pivot Frankfurt RM, The You Show (June 9-11). Vancouver, B.C.-based choreographer Crystal Pite is one of the most buzzed about choreographers in North America these days, with a busy touring schedule that will shortly bring her to Jacob’s Pillow to present Dark Matters, the Pygmalion-esque puppet and dance extravaganza that debuted in 2009 and was at Montclair University just this last October, where our own Andy Horwitz was a bit ambivalent about it. I missed Dark Matters, but caught Lost Action, its predecessor, a few years back at On the Boards in Seattle, and recently my Seattle-based intern profiled the company at my old editorial outlet, The SunBreak. Pite’s choreography stands out in large part because it’s deconstructive of ballet, meticulous and technique-based, which makes it distinct from much of the modern dance produced in New York and elsewhere. Based on the description, it sounds like in The You Show, Pite seeks to collapse the theatrical and dance into a single piece, as opposed to the diptych effect of Dark Matters. The work centers on the break-up of a couple, whose story is recounted in voice-over narration even as it’s performed onstage.

Les Ballets C de la B, Gardenia (June 1-4). I caught Ballets C de la B’s out of context – for pina at the Joyce last year and I have to say, it’s hard not to love Alain Platel’s gentle wit and charm. Without sacrificing technical accomplishment, Platel manages to tell stories through movement that contextualize the performances, achieving a moving and deeply felt connection between audience and performer. In Gardenia, he explicitly evokes the performative self through the story of an eponymous drag cabaret’s closing, which leads a quotidian group of drab folk to perform their joyous cabaret acts one last time.

New York City Players, Neutral Hero (June 4-6). For most Culturebot readers, Richard Maxwell probably needs no introduction. In Neutral Hero, the current master of anti-acting presents the life of a small Midwest town’s denizens as the endless repeat of classic hero myths.

Miguel Guttierez and the Powerful People, Last Meadow (June 9-11). Another well-known and well-loved New York artist, Miguel Guttierez, brings the seemingly endlessly commented upon Last Meadow to our neighbors to the North, which explores issues of American fatherhood through the lens of the short life and brief filmography of James Dean.

MAU, Tempest: Without a Body (June 10-11). A dance piece from an Auckland-based company, Tempest: Without a Body is an exploration of the post-9/11 assault on personal identity and liberty from Samoan choreographer Lemi Ponifasio, performed by his company of Pacific Islanders.

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