Issue: 2016-11-16, PHOTO: John Berryman
Musicians at Onde de Choc 2015. From left to right: Adrian Burrill, Andrea McColeman, Paul Bergman, Brigitte Desjardins and Ryan McNally
A dancer, instead of moving her body on stage, will show images in a video. A singer, instead of performing at the piano as she usually does, will leave the instrument behind. A painter, instead of using the brush, will make magic with an overhead projector.
Geneviève Doyon’s face lights up as she describes the many ways performers at this year’s Onde de Choc show will stretch themselves beyond their usual artistic realms.
Doyon is the artistic director of the third annual Onde de Choc (which means Shock Wave). It’s a show of music, dance, theatre, visual art and improvisation presented in a moody milieu of projected images and colours, backed by a live soundtrack from a house band.
The event is produced by the Association franco-yukonnaise (AFY). It has replaced the Gala de la francophonie, which included artistic performances and an awards ceremony for Yukon’s francophone community.
Doyon says the aim of Onde de Choc is to present an exclusively artistic show that gives performers of all disciplines a chance to grow.
“There’s a lot of performing opportunities within the French community, but it’s not necessarily places where artists can try new things and take that risk. Onde de Choc – that’s exactly what it’s for. It’s for artists to not just perform but also create and feel that they have the space to do something completely new.”
This year’s theme translates to “tradition revisited.” It’s a concept Doyon and the show’s musical director, Olivier de Colombel, hope will inspire performers to take new angles on something familiar.
“The tradition can be anything,” she says. “It could be a genre of music, it could be a social archetype they want to deconstruct, it could be a medium, it could even be just a gesture.”
Or, she says, it can be departing from your traditional way of performing.
For example, Monique Romeiko, one of 10 artists in the show, is a dancer. But she won’t be dancing in the show.
“She has been experimenting with video so she’s going to be submitting one, which is a completely new way for her to approach her medium – through a dance video.”
Sylvie Painchaud is another example. She normally sings at her piano.
“She is leaving that stability and security and getting up and performing without it.”
And Virginie Hamel, known for her striking acrylic and watercolour paintings, will use an overhead projector to create the show’s backdrop. But it won’t be the solitary work a painter is used to.
“She’s going to be onstage with us creating the projection design almost as a performer,” says Doyon. “So that will be completely different for her.”
Doyon is looking forward to the results. “I’m excited about the diversity. Everything that people have approached me with I was like ‘Wow, really? Ok!’
“I’m excited to see people get out of their comfort zone and how that will translate on stage.”
Onde de Choc takes place Friday, November 18 at the Yukon Arts Centre. Tickets are available through YukonTickets.com.
“Even if you expect to be surprised, you’ll still be surprised!”