Icebreaker

Brise-glace

Photo: Jeremy Mimnagh
Since the two designers, Evalyn Parry and Laakkuluk Williamson Bathory, invest in their art as much skill as belief, the journey in their company is a delight.

Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, we did these days to the honor of the third visit to Free Space. The company queer Toronto this Kiinalik : These Sharp Tools, a creation of Evalyn Parry and Laakkuluk Williamson Bathory. It is aboard a ship hull strengthened against ice, during an expedition of the environmental education in the Arctic, to Iqaluit, Nunavut to Kangerlussuaq in Greenland, that the two artists are known, and then, in spite of of course dissimilar, recognized.

The show is a play and a concert, sometimes a performance, but more importantly, a conversation, the story of an exchange, the exchange of a building between two women, one in the North and the other South, who were able to go beyond appearances, identify and even celebrate the differences, to finally see them a certain kinship. Queer, living in Toronto, at the head of the Buddies since 2015, Evalyn Parry is a theatre artist and a singer-songwriter. Inuit, living in Iqaluit, Laakkuluk Williamson Bathory is a performer, actress, storyteller and writer. While the first is expressed through the folk music and the spoken word, the second work, among other things, to transmit and to revisit the mythology inuit.

Since the two designers are investing in their art as much skill as belief, the journey in their company is a delight. Speaking immediately and unambiguously to the public, they provide the basis for a representation that will rotate constantly and naturally between education and poetry, history and music, the duty of memory and the possibility of a reconciliation. Expressing both the beauty and immense of the cryosphere and the magnitude of the threat that hangs over it, the two women give to see the open wounds of colonialism and uprooting, but also those of the industrialization and climate change, highlighting our paradoxes, our contradictions, our absurdities, some of the lies and half-truths which are fundamental to our societies.

The centerpiece of the evening is without a doubt theuaajeerneq, a dance powerful and visceral, a practice that already existed in pre-christian times and that Laakkuluk Williamson Bathory is allowed to evolve. The face transformed into a mask worrying, the cheeks swollen, the artist is transformed under our eyes into a creature larger than life, a being who is both a clown, beast and deity. When she ventured into the stands, it spans the seats, she screams his anger and amusement, his rage and his desire, the whole world, without exception, with bated breath.

Kiinalik : These Sharp Tools

Text and interpretation : Evalyn Parry and Laakkuluk Williamson Bathory. Directed by : Erin Brubacher. A production of the Buddies in Bad Times Theatre. To Free Space until 16 march. In both inuktitut and English, with French surtitles.

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