For their first edition at the head of the artistic direction of the Festival TransAmériques, Jessie Mill and Martine Dennewald particularly wanted to highlight productions from Africa. The 16th version of this event taking place in Montreal from May 25 to June 9, 2022 will host shows from 18 countries. Here are seven to watch.

FTA’s opening show, Re: Incarnation is a work by Nigerian choreographer Qudus Onikeku. “He is an important figure in dance, notes Jessie Mill in a telephone interview. He influenced the whole new generation of dancers in Nigeria, but also in Africa and Europe. By exploring Yoruba mythology with two musicians and ten dancers, this proposal conveys the energy, youth and flamboyance of Lagos, the largest city on the continent.

► From May 25 to 28 at the Jean-Duceppe Theater

Another African work, Traces is the culmination of the meeting of two great figures from the French-speaking part of the continent: the Senegalese economist and philosopher Felwine Sarr and the Burkinabe theater man Étienne Minoungou who founded the Les Récréatrales festival in Ouagadougou. Alone on stage with a kora player, the latter addresses African youth. “The text is beautiful and clever,” says Jessie Mill. He brings hope. It calls for trusting your own imagination. He puts aside the miserable discourse of Africa. We are not victimized. »

► From June 3 to 5 at the Maison Théâtre

After Times Square in New York and Trafalgar Square in London, the show-event Holoscenes is presented outside Place des arts. With its 13-foot-high aquarium that can hold 13,000 liters of water, this free service created by American Lars Jan promises to amaze. “It’s a very big piece for us,” says the co-artistic director of the FTA. We’ve been working for 4 years to get him to come. It is monumental as a project. In this vast jar, actor-swimmers go about their daily activities which are disrupted by the rapid rise in water. This aquatic performance reveals the beauty and poetry hidden in human adaptation.

► From May 25 to 29 at the Esplanade Tranquille

This creation by European Adeline Rosenstein plunges us into the heart of resistance movements. This documentary theater explores three specific aspects, namely the role of Belgian communist partisans during the German occupation, the commitment of the French leftist resistance during the Algerian war, as well as the struggles for decolonization in the Congo which tragically culminated with the assassination of Patrice Lumumba, a prominent figure in the independence of this country. “It’s for those hungry for history, those interested in militant movements,” says Jessie Mill. We are not in the epic or a historical recovery. They use video and archives, as well as a dozen young actors to reconstruct a thought of resistance. »

► From June 7 to 9 at the Jean-Duceppe Theater

The pretty things of Catherine Gaudet as well as The virus and the prey of Benoît Vermeulen and Pierre Lefebvre are two firsts from Quebec. The first is a dance show where five performers express themselves through mechanical movements. The second is a citizen speaking out against power, against the machine. “It is the individual who becomes aware of his vulnerability and his powerlessness,” explains the co-artistic director. Alexis Martin, Eve Pressault, Tania Kontoyanni and Etienne Lou are the actors who carry this voice.

► Les jolies choses is presented from May 28 to June 1 at the Espace Danse of the Wilder Building, while Le virus et la proie is performed from May 27 to 31 at the Espace Libre.

The Greek Euripides Euskaridis puts his imagination on stage with a dreamlike world in Elenit. In a post-apocalyptic future, we find twins multiplying, a tyrannosaurus in high heels, a DJ in a watchtower. No need for a drawing to understand that we are far from reality. “We enter into a dream, mentions Jessie Mill. It is a unique experience between dance and theater that draws on vaudeville, the absurd, the circus, black laughter, with nightmarish elements. »

► From June 1 to 4 at the Jean-Duceppe Theater