Confession Publique is an autobiographical solo that has never seen the light of day. Luckily, Angélique Willkie has rekindled interest in this artistic object previously consigned to obscurity. Confession Publique has now taken on the guise of an offering to her. This intimate dive into self-interrogation is now a two-person operation. From now on, Angélique is its muse, and it is her mysteries that form and structure what the work confides in us, a work where introspection has no choice but to come face-to-face with its inevitable opponent, confession.
In this work, we take on the themes of privacy and secrecy, delving into the marshy depths of the psyche in a revolt against the vulgar self-exposure that bombards us every day. We examine the nobility and elegance to be found in the ways we acknowledge our shortcomings, our flaws, and our manufacturing defects. We try to see confession as a poetic gesture, a necessity, a small concession to our vanity.
The protagonist concentrates on the margins as she takes a deep dive into herself and ourselves. The connection is intimate, intimidating. The performance becomes the setting for questions asked a thousand times over: our relationship to the world, how the environment holds our destinies in its hands, and the power others have to dictate and dominate our life-choices.
Amidst grand declarations and petty confessions, doubts and half-truths, the shadowy zones of the psyche confront reality and take on verbal form in words spectacular or trivial, meaningless or visionary. We immerse ourselves in a duel between intimacy and publicity. It’s through this crack that we observe our shortcomings, nurse our scars, and contemplate our faults. Because it’s in our flaws, our fractures, and our fissures that we are at our most authentic. And dance is the best way to glue all these pieces back together.
The show features the ghostly yet earthy musical presence of Frannie Holder and her electroacoustic soundscape. Their voices tinged with just a tad of nostalgia, Frannie and Angélique form a celestial combination that strangely conveys a biting message, imbued with the spirit of a nursery rhyme but breathing like a hymn.
November 29th, 2021 at La Chapelle Scènes Contemporaines (Montréal, Canada)
This creation is the subject of a doctoral research-creation at the Département d’Études et pratiques des arts de l’UQAM.
Ideation, direction and Choreography: Mélanie Demers | Performers: Angélique Willkie with Anne-Marie Jourdenais’ participation | Dramaturgy: Angélique Willkie | Rehearsal director: Anne-Marie Jourdenais | Music: Frannie Holder | Scenography: Odile Gamache | Lighting design: Claire Seyller | Costumes : Elen Ewing | Technical director: Hannah Kirby | Production director: Mélanie Primeau | Special thanks: Éléonore Loiselle
Dive into the intimacy of the studio, close to the artists, where ideas are born and die.
This episode takes a look at the creative process of Mélanie Demers with Angélique Willkie.
La Chapelle Scènes Contemporaines (Montréal, Canada)
Agora de la danse (Montréal, Canada)
Centro per la Scena Contemporanea/Operaestate Festival (Bassano del Grappa, Italie)
The project is supported by the Canada Council for the Arts, the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec and the Conseil des arts de Montréal.