PuSh International Performing Arts Festival & The Dance Centre
La Goddam Voie Lactée

When & Where February 4 – 6 2022, 8pm| Scotiabank Dance Centre, Davie Street

Director Melanie Demers Choreography Melanie Demers in collaboration with the performers
Music Frannie Holder Lighting Design Claire Seyller Costumes and Props Elan Ewing Sound Design Benoit Bouchard

Performers: Stacey Desilier, Chi Long, Lea NobletZiranaldi, Frannie Holder, MisheelGanbold

Reviewer Nancie Ottem

Melanie Demers established her company, Mayday in 2007. Her sense of social issues fuels her desire to use her talent and Company to act as a forum to enhance awareness in the public sphere. This philosophy is essential to the understanding of her work. Ms. Demers has been quoted as loving speed, ground, contact, sensuality, violence and a thirst for renewing a phase of movement. To reinvent how a phrase of movement can be danced. Out of these words La Goddam Voie Lactée was born.

There is anger, confusion, separateness, isolation on display in La Goddam Voie Lactée. It is not an enjoyable piece to watch. It stretches the boundary of comfort. Disturbing, unsettling, more testing the status quo than pushing the envelope of movement. It is theatre meant to shock and that is a crucial point for an artist with a sense of social conscience, a central theme in Ms. Demer’s life view and work.

La Goddam Voie Lactée teases the viewer to interpret the meaning of the piece. Is it a rebuke of the status quo, is it a rebuke of women’s standing in the world in 2022, it is a rebuke of the violence and divisiveness in society? Is the fog that regularly swallows up the stage and audience throughout the 70 minute piece supposed to represent confusion or frustration that is felt in society today?

La Goddam Voie Lactée asks the viewer to question their own views, to stretch the imagination towards other ideas. The piece ends with one performer slowly advancing towards the audience as the fog overtakes the stage and the audience. The performer is wearing a kabuki-esque mask. The basic premise of kabuki theatre is to entertain but there is an underlying element which is to teach, particularly in having moral instruction. Was this an intentional message? The fog eventually overtook the room leaving the audience and performers estranged from each other and left in isolation. A fitting end to the 70 minute journey that is La Goddam Voie Lactée.

© 2022 Nancie Ottem