La Goddam Voie Lactée
“There’s only one universe. The same one for everybody. And coming out on top is never a question of strength, much less of merit. Just of organization and chance. Nothing separates me from the shit all around me.”
We move forward through the darkness. We do our best to free ourselves from the clutches of nothingness, the void, the block of marble which would overwhelm us if we didn’t escape from it. In some sense, we become someone. Not just anyone. Just like a pack, we put the wisest one of us out in front. When she flags, another comes forward to face the headwinds. We do it together. We’re charting a course through the snow, through the mud, through the shit. We’re not goddesses, not for the life of us, but all the same we walk with our feet planted firmly on the Milky Way. We were splashed by this mythological puddle of milk. We inherited this gangrene. No longer is it just the Mississippi that is Goddam but the whole damn galaxy.
La Goddam Voie Lactée’s reaction to the harshness and asperity of the world is to offer up a pagan mass. A celebration in the form of a challenge.
Drawing inspiration from the constant mourning that marks our current age, Mélanie Demers dives into a reflection on the theme of incompleteness. La Goddam Voie Lactée builds itself up piecemeal, a series of small dance works forming an incoherent, discordant whole lacking any admitted or discernible meaning, except that of being supported by a society in miniature. A team. A community.
Five exceptional artists come together on stage for this high-level summit meeting: the magnetic presences of dancers Stacey Désilier, Brianna Lombardo, Chi Long, and Léa Noblet Di Ziranaldi, and the musical force of nature that is Frannie Holder. Each one is camped out at their own lookout post; sometimes they jump into the arena and grab hold of gestures, words, music, to drape around themselves like a costume. They sketch out their universe, drawing and erasing it. Without explanation. Without justification. For the pure pleasure of creating a world and destroying it. In their wisdom, they turn the pages of scores written just for them. And in their rebellion, they turn their backs or turn around.
An aesthetic little Big Bang, La Goddam Voie Lactée is an exercise in self-imagination, a means of finding our bearings in this imperfect and infinite world which is our common belonging and inheritance.
So, we’ve come to terms with soldiering on through this disgusting mess, in spite of everything. For not finishing means not perishing. We’re charting a course through the snow, through the mud, through the shit. With the wind in our face. We’re doing it together. And losing hope together is the first step towards beginning to hope again.
June 3, 2021 at the Festival TransAmériques (Montreal, Canada)
Ideation and direction: Mélanie Demers | Texts and Choreography: Mélanie Demers in collaboration with the performers | Performers: Stacey Désilier, Frannie Holder, Brianna Lombardo, Chi Long, Léa Noblet Di Ziranaldi | Understudy: Misheel Ganbold | Rehearsal director: Anne-Marie Jourdenais | Dramaturgy: Angélique Willkie | Music: Frannie Holder | Lighting design: Claire Seyller | Costumes and props: Elen Ewing | Technical director and management: Hannah Kirby | Sound: Benoit Bouchard | Production director: Mélanie Primeau | Special thanks: Alexandre Pilon-Guay
Festival TransAmériques (Montreal, Canada)
Agora de la danse (Montreal, Canada)
Centre chorégraphique national de Tours (Tours, France)
Centro per la Scena Contemporanea (Bassano del Grappa, Italie)
The Dance Centre (Vancouver, Canada)
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.