© Maya Yoncali

Deciphers is a physical performance by Naishi Wang and Jean Abreu that brings together elements of Chinese folk dance, Brazilian dance styles, spoken word, breath, and ink on paper. Both artists share a concern for the corporeal connections between immigration and translation as a linguistic phenomenon centering the immigrant experience. As co-performers and choreographers, Wang and Abreu make the stage their blank canvas, using raw, improvisational movements to highlight the body as the base of communication and meaning.


Choreography and performed: Naishi Wang + Jean Abreu
Sound Design: Ross Flight
Lighting Design: Lucie Bazzo
Dramaturg: Guy Cools
Outside eyes: Ginelle Chagnon
Access Consultant: Zed Lightheart
Technical Director: Emerson Kafarowski
Management: Jean Abreu Dance + Dance Umbrella of Ontario


Partners in Canada: MAI (Montréal, arts interculturels) + National Arts Centre + Harbourfront Centre + Citadel +Company + PuSh Festival + The CanDance Network + Canadian High Commission UK
Partners in UK: Fabric + Towner Gallery + Brighton Dome + Eastbourne Council + Take The Space + Arts Council England

Deciphers is supported by the National Arts Centre (NAC) visiting dance artist programme + The Candance Network small-scale creation fund + Canada Council for the Arts + Performing Arts Technical Residency programme at Harbourfront Center Toronto + PuSh walk special podcast

je ne vais pas inonder la mer

Je ne vais pas inonder la mer is a danced elegy that explores the role our relationship with mothers and our heritage play in the construction of femininity. This solo piece by Mexican choreographer and performer Sonia Bustos, draws from her personal history and search for identity, tinged with the pain of grieving her mother and grandmother. At the crossroads of questions on feminine condition, lineage, and memory, the artist explores the phenomena of reminiscence through theatrical dance, awakening all five senses. Food, music, and an evocation of social norms, beliefs and rituals inspire and inform this visceral creation.


Interpreter: Sonia Bustos:

Musicians: Eloisa Reséndiz, Valeria De Marre, Charles Cantin et Aurélien Tomasi 

Dramaturgy: Ilya Krouglikov

Rehearsals: Neil Sochasky

Olfactory Consultant: Dana El Masri 

Composer: Maxime Ethier et Aurélien Tomasi

Lighting Design and Technical Director: Catherine Fée-Pigeon

Sound Design: Aurélien Tomasi


L’Inconsistance is a dance duet by Nasim Lootij and Kiasa Nazeran from the Vâtchik Danse collective that delves into the inner workings of the human mind. The work explores how humanity prefers to submit to empty rhetoric and content itself with passive solidarity towards countries affected by serious political conflicts. It presents an image of loopholes that, once opened in our minds, prevent us from recovering our integrity and consistency. Incorporating paper, a material as soft as our intellectual amorphism, L’Inconsistance is inspired by German Expressionism as an aesthetic revealing the nightmare that Lootij and Nazeran experienced in their native Iran.


© Dahlia Katz

Waawaate Fobister, a proud Anishnaabe from Grassy Narrows First Nation, is an actor, dancer, playwright, choreographer, instructor, and producer. In their work Omaagomaan, the multiple Dora-award-winning artist uses sound, movement, dance, and storytelling to embody Omaagomaan, a non-binary, two-spirit being who, in Anishinaabe cosmology and knowledge, represents the earth as well as the poisonous toxins humans have pushed into it. Omaagomaan themselves incorporates both beauty (onishishin = beautiful) and ugliness (maanaadizi = ugly). Fobister connects this collision of the beautiful and the ugly to the resilience of the Anishinaabe people, as they stitch back together fractured landscapes poisoned by mercury.


© Jonathan Goulet

Designed for seven dancing bodies, Plasticity/Desires deals with notions of individual and mutual desires. Set against an enveloping soundscape, an imposing mass of raw clay and a dark pool of water forms the landscape that these people shape and excavate, like the elements of human nature: instinct, resilience, adaptability, contemplation, creativity, imagination. The discharge of energy, sustained investment and relentlessness reveals a sensuality and abandonment in the performers. The archaeology of their desires manifests itself in an accumulation of gestures that articulate the memories, traces and sensations they carry within them. In this space, the presence of water serves as a portal to the fantasies and delusions of the individuals on stage, allowing them to slip into a space where our collective perceptions are altered.

Content warning: high volume


An Other Animals production

Choreography and Set Design: Alexandre Morin
Music and Sound Design: Jonathan Goulet
Performers: Myriam Arseneault, Philippe Dépelteau, Sara Hanley, Chéline Lacroix, Mathieu Leroux, Justin De Luna and Charlie Prince
Lighting design: Karine Gauthier
Dramaturg: Mathieu Leroux
Costume Design: Jonathan Saucier with research by Angela Rassenti.
Set Design Assistance: Jonathan Saucier
Clay Consultant: Pascale Girardin
Production Manager: Florence Cardinal-Tang (supported by Parbleux)
Technical Director: Sophie Robert
Production Assistance: Philippe Dépelteau and Wolfe Girardin

Residency partners: Fonderie Darling, Circuit-Est, Théâtre Gilles-Vigneault, La Danse sur les routes du Québec, Maison de la culture Rosemont and Maison de la culture Maisonneuve.

Project supported by the Canada Council for the Arts, Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec, Conseil des arts de Montréal.


© Roxanne Ross

Dancer and visual artist Mona El Husseini is interested in how stories are transmitted, shared, and told through the body across generations. Where do we meet and where do we part? How do we collaboratively give voice to our shared past? Creatrix, a dance duet between El Husseini and her mother, Hala Farahat, interweaves improvisation, gestural interpretation, abstracting the Egyptian Baladi dance, and storytelling. While Mona is an artist, her mother Hala is a medical doctor, science teacher, and a mother of three who is not trained in dance. Where their opposing worlds meet, they search together for the common denominator across art and science, motherhood and girlhood, past and present.

A series of visual art titled Family Portraits by Mona El Husseini will be displayed for viewing in the MAI café-bar before and after each performance. The exhibition will be accompanied by a zine, which will be available for purchase.

→ Creatrix After Party
December 2nd, 8:30pm
To celebrate the culmination of over three years of artistic elaboration and most importantly, a world premiere at the MAI, Mona and Hala extend a warm invitation to spectators, friends, and family to join them in a celebration in the MAI café-bar following the last performance on December 2nd. Featuring all of the songs that Hala wanted to include in the show but were ultimately reserved for rehearsal warm-ups. Come dance to Hala’s favourite songs, mixed by the talented Lara Barazi.

press review

City News Montreal
Bible Urbaine
CBC Let’s Go







Performers: Mona El Husseini, Hala Farahat
Choreography: Mona El Husseini
Light Design: Nien-Tzu Weng
Technical Director : Darah Miah
Music: Wael Kodeih + Love & Revenge
Dramaturgical Consultant: Fatma Sarah El Kashef
Costume Consultant: Sophie El-Assaad
Outside Eye: Corinne Skaff

artist biographies

Mona El Husseini is a dancer and visual artist, based between Montreal and Cairo. She completed her dance education at the Cairo Contemporary Dance Center (CCDC) in Egypt and studied International Business and Contemporary Dance at Concordia University.

Mona choreographs and performs her own artistic projects, she collaborates with other artists as a choreographer and performer, and she also teaches contemporary dance, barre, and pilates. Her pieces have been performed in Egypt, Germany, Italy, and Canada.

At the time of writing, Mona is working on Creatrix, a dance duet with her mother, and on Family Portraits, a visual art series and a graphic memoir set to premiere at the MAI (Montréal, Arts Interculturels) in 2023. She is also developing Monday or Tuesday, a dance solo, and Rabbet Manzel // House Goddess, a visual art series – both of which were presented at upRising Up festival in Puglia, Italy, in 2022. In 2018, Mona had a performing role in When Arabs Danced, a TIFF- and FIFA-featured documentary film by Jawad Rhalib, and in 2022, she was the lead actress in Gigi and in Mango, two short films by director Randa Ali. That same year she choreographed Mama, a theatre piece by Nathalie Doummar, which was presented at Théâtre Duceppe and at Festival Juste Pour Rire in Montreal.

In her artistic process, Mona goes beyond dance and traces the thread that connects the different art forms she practices including martial arts, visual arts, and writing. She is interested in how stories are transmitted, shared, and told through the body across generations. She finds the dance in the encounter between the intimate and the collective, the traditional and the contemporary, and in the space where the inner and outer meet.

Hala Farahat is a Biology teacher based in Montreal, Canada. After giving up her medical career to raise her children, she has held diversified teaching and administrative positions in International schools in the U.A.E, Egypt, Ontario, Quebec, and most recently in New York. She completed her Bachelor’s degree in Education at the University of Ottawa and her Master’s degree in Educational Technology at Concordia University. Among many things, she is a passionate advocate for the implementation of technology to promote pedagogical strategies and enhance students’ engagement through creating flipped classrooms and project-based learning. Besides that, she is an avid practitioner of conjoining the worlds of Art and Science, both in her classrooms and out.

flesh and sound

© Damian Siqueiros

Vías’ Flesh and Sound challenges how live art engages the audience. This two-part performance begins with an interactive installation in the gallery conceived by Siam Obregón, aimed at fostering a sense of attentiveness and contemplation in the viewer before transitioning into the performance in the theatre. This installation provides a unique opportunity for spectators to delve into the sounds that will later envelop them in the performance, offering a space for exploration, discovery, and reflection.

Following the installation, the theatre performance by Paco Ziel and Bernardo Alvarado Rojas features a rotating cast, ensuring a different perspective each night. Utilizing a 360-degree sound design, the performers elicit movement through reactions, disruptions, and amplifications. The choreography and sonic composition are intricately intertwined, drawing inspiration from creatures rooted in Mexican pre-Hispanic cosmology, bridging the past with the present. By integrating the study of pre-Hispanic instruments with contemporary technology and incorporating kinetic and acoustic vibrations from the human body, this performance invites the audience to break away from Western conventions of sound analysis, perception, and emotional resonance, posing a fundamental question: “How do you listen?”

The Flesh and Sound installation in the MAI gallery will be open to the public from 12pm to 6pm, from Wednesday November 8th to Saturday November 11th, 2023.

Rotating performers :

Nov 8th → Paco Ziel + Bernardo Alvarado Rojas
Nov 9th → Rachelle Bourget + Bernardo Alvarado Rojas
Nov 10th → Isabel Cruz + Rachelle Bourget
Nov 11th → Isabel Cruz + Paco Ziel


Co-creators: Siam Obregón, Bernardo Alvarado Rojas, Paco Ziel.

Performers: Rachelle Bourget, Isabel Cruz , Bernardo Alvarado Rojas, Paco Ziel

Artistic advisor: Ami Shulman

External eye: Diana León

Visual direction, art installation design and set design: Siam Obregón

Sound Design: Eric Saucke-Lacelle

Technical Director: Benoit Lariviere

Lighting Designer: Benoit Larivière

Costume Design: Camille Thibault-Bédard

Official photo: Damian Siqueiros

Partners: MAI (Montréal, arts interculturels), Àgora de la Danse, Danse à la Carte, Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, Canada Council for the Arts, Conseil des Arts et des Lettres du Québec, Conseil des Arts de Montréal, Vidéographe, Maison de la Culture Notre-Dame-de-Grâce, École Supérieure de Ballet du Québec, Consulado General de México en Montreal, Espacio México.

Creative team biographies

Paco Ziel, Co-Creator and Performer
Born in Mexico City, Paco began his career in classical dance at the École Supérieure de Ballet du Québec.  Alongside his studies, Paco developed an interest in deep body awareness, leading him to discover different ways of training such as the Rubberband method, Gaga, Yoga , Feldenkrais and meditation. Since 2015, he has been a dancer with RUBBERBAND, under the direction of Victor Quijada, and has toured with the company in Canada, the United States, Mexico, Germany and Poland. In 2014, he founded the multidisciplinary laboratory Quantum Collective, presented twice by Tangente in Montreal. Paco has worked with other Montreal artists and companies such as PPS Danse, Anne Plamondon Productions, Martin Messier, Je suis Julio and independent choreographers. He has been a guest teacher at Springboard Danse Montréal, Domaine Forget, Transformation, l’École de Danse de Québec, l’École Supérieure de Ballet du Québec and Danse à la Carte. He is a self-taught filmmaker, photographer and electronic music composer who focuses primarily on the human body, movement and natural landscapes. Since 2019 Paco has been co-director of Vías alongside Diana León, for which he participated in the creation of the works Sur ce chemin, tu es sûr de te perdre, Sabor de mi corazón and Flesh and Sound.

Bernardo Alvarado, Co-Creator and Performer
Bernardo Alvarado Rojas is a music producer, composer and sound designer interested in finding ways to provoke vitality, self awareness and an enhanced perception of our relationship to our planet Earth and its habitants via his artwork. He makes use of a blend of ancestral and modern acoustic instruments, sound recording, and electronic instrumentation to create music and sound that attempts to explore the depths of our humanity.

Bernardo was born and raised in Mexico City. At age 19 he started his formal training as a producer, classical composer, pianist and guitarist at Concordia University. After graduating with honors in 2015, he started producing and collaborating with other artists to create electronic, traditional and classical music as KALMO. He also started offering professional music composition, sound design and sound post-production services to music supervisors, video editors, film directors, video production companies and dance choreographers with his label VibroSounds.

Siam Obregón, Visual direction, art installation design and set design
Siam Obregón is a Mexican independent filmmaker, visual artist, and curator based in Tiohtià:ke/Montreal. She graduated with honors from Concordia University, earning her BFA degree with a specialization in Film Production.

With a diverse artistic background in dance, theater, and photography, she is driven to experiment with various mediums. Her focus centers on observation, intimacy, and themes of cultural identity. Her latest works have been featured in multiple festivals, including HotDocs, Festival International du Film sur l’Art (FIFA), REGARD, and the Rhode Island Film Fest.

Isabel Cruz, Performer
Isabel Cruz graduated from l’École Supérieure de Ballet du Québec in 2022. She is now working with Margie Gillis as part of the Legacy Project. Her creative background has evolved through the years, including dance and music performance. Isabel is also interested and enjoys playing with music, choreography, design, painting, and photography, all of which she does for her own pleasure but as well as to serve her community. Isabel aims to reach a profound knowledge of dance’s breathtaking language in order to convey her feelings, ideas, and emotions through the practice, and consequently reach a level of communion both with herself and as a consequence with
the audience.

Rachelle Bourget, Performer
Based in Montreal, Rachelle Bourget is a contemporary dance artist from Winnipeg, Manitoba. A graduate of The School of Contemporary Dancers, she has worked with numerous choreographers, including Daina Ashbee, ENTITEY/jason martin, VIVUS – James Viveiros, Danse K par K, Winnipeg’s Contemporary Dancers, @tendance/C.Medina, Pablo Bronstein, and in works by Ming Hon and Riley Sims.

She was a founding member of Nova Dance Collective, a Winnipeg-based contemporary dance collective, between 2011 and 2016. She later focused on developing her artistic practice through the creation of solo works, mainly AFTER THE CAUSE, which was presented in Winnipeg at the Rachel Browne Theatre (2019), and in Montreal at Tangente Danse (2021) and Festival OFFTA (2022).

graveyards and gardens

© David Cooper

Graveyards and Gardens – a collaborative performance installation created and performed by composer Caroline Shaw and choreographer Vanessa Goodman – displays the beauty of how the body remembers, while interrogating the intimacy between our surroundings and the body. This immersive theatrical work examines memory as a process of reconstruction rather than as an exact recall of fixed events. By embracing the various elaborations, distortions, and omissions of embodied memory, the artists create generative performance systems; a “living album” that continues to fold and unfold into itself.

The October 27th performance will be followed by a talkback with the artists hosted by Andrea Peña.

Trigger warning: mild strobing


Co-creators/Interpreters/Set Design: Vanessa Goodman / Caroline Shaw
Costume Design: Vanessa Goodman
Artistic Producer: Hilary Maxwell
Sound Design: Kate De Lorme/Eric Chad
Technical Director and Lighting Designer: James Proudfoot
Video: David Cooper
Tour Agent: Brent Belsher


Vanessa Goodman respectfully acknowledges that she lives, works and creates on the ancestral and unceded territories of the Coast Salish peoples, including the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), Stó:lō, Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) Nations. She holds a BFA from Simon Fraser University and is the artistic director of Action at a Distance Dance Society. Vanessa is attracted to art that has a weight and meaning beyond the purely aesthetic and uses her choreography as an opportunity to explore the human condition. Her choreographic practice is driven by weaving generative movement and audio into performative environments. Her work creates a sense of intimacy between our surroundings and the body. She has received several awards and honours, including The Iris Garland Emerging Choreographer Award (2013); The Yulanda M. Faris Scholarship (2017/18); The Chrystal Dance Prize (2019); The Schultz Endowment from Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity (2019); and the “Space to Fail” program (2019/20) in New Zealand, Australia and Vancouver. Her work has toured Canada, The United States, Europe and South America. Recent collaborations include works with Loscil, Graveyards and Gardens with Caroline Shaw and BLOT with Simona Deaconsecu.

Caroline Shaw is a musician who moves among roles, genres, and mediums, trying to imagine a world of sound that has never been heard before but has always existed. She works often in collaboration with others, as producer, composer, violinist, and vocalist. Caroline is the recipient of the 2013 Pulitzer Prize in Music, several Grammy awards, an honorary doctorate from Yale, and a Thomas J. Watson Fellowship. This year’s projects include the score to “Fleishman is in Trouble” (FX/Hulu), vocal work with Rosalía (MOTOMAMI), the score to Josephine Decker’s “The Sky Is Everywhere” (A24/Apple), music for the National Theatre’s production of “The Crucible” (dir. Lyndsey Turner), Justin Peck’s “Partita” with NY City Ballet, a new stage work “LIFE” (Gandini Juggling/Merce Cunningham Trust), the premiere of “Microfictions Vol. 3” for NY Philharmonic and Roomful of Teeth, a live orchestral score for Wu Tsang’s silent film “Moby Dick” co-composed with Andrew Yee, two albums on Nonesuch (“Evergreen” and “The Blue Hour”), the score for Helen Simoneau’s dance work “Delicate Power”, tours of Graveyards & Gardens (co-created immersive theatrical work with Vanessa Goodman), and tours with So Percussion featuring songs from “Let The Soil Play Its Simple Part” (Nonesuch), amid occasional chamber music appearances as violist (Chamber Music Society of Minnesota, La Jolla Music Society). Caroline has written over 100 works in the last decade, for Anne Sofie von Otter, Davóne Tines, Yo Yo Ma, Renée Fleming, Dawn Upshaw, LA Phil, Philharmonia Baroque, Seattle Symphony, Cincinnati Symphony, Aizuri Quartet, The Crossing, Dover Quartet, Calidore Quartet, Brooklyn Rider, Miro Quartet, I Giardini, Ars Nova Copenhagen, Ariadne Greif, Brooklyn Youth Chorus, Britt Festival, and the Vail Dance Festival. She has contributed production to albums by Rosalía, Woodkid, and Nas. Her work as vocalist or composer has appeared in several films, tv series, and podcasts including The Humans, Bombshell, Yellowjackets, Maid, Dark, Beyonce’s Homecoming, Tár, Dolly Parton’s America, and More Perfect. Her favorite color is yellow, and her favorite smell is rosemary.

À perte de vue - intégrale

© Angelo Barsetti

Welcoming the broken
Welcoming the unbroken
Of what, in the meantime, will live on
Of what, when glimpsed, fades away
Is it living to welcome
Is it the other who arrives, already
François Cheng [ Translated from French ]*

À perte de vue is a diptych of duets featuring Marie-Hélène Bellavance and performers Isabelle Poirier and Georges-Nicolas Tremblay, set to music by Montreal-based composer Robert Normandeau. The first duet evokes the sustenance of what is lost as an entity with an existence of its own. Accompanied by dancer George-Nicolas Tremblay, who abstractly personifies the concept of brokenness, a woman gradually discovers herself through dance and asserts her freedom. In the flow of tamed movement, her partner embodies the external force that propels her towards a change of reality.

The second duet featuring Marie-Hélène and Isabelle, exposes the confrontation between what is lost forever and the acceptance of a new reality. Body to body, soul to soul, the two dancers face each other, double over, lean on one another and imitate each other in the elaboration and execution of movements and dance. Lucie Grégoire stages a mirror dynamic between two women, one a reflection of the other, perhaps her double, soul mates with rediscovered inner strength. A vibrantly human encounter that transcends alterity through dance, an intense reflection on resilience, singularity and transformation.


Choreography, in collaboration with the interpreters: Lucie Grégoire
Interpreters : Marie-Hélène Bellavance, Isabelle Poirier, Georges-Nicolas Tremblay
Music : Robert Normandeau
Lighting : Pierre Lavoie
Dramaturg: Paulo Castro-Lopes
Costumes Design : Marilène Bastien
Rehearsals : Dodik Gédouin
Technical Director : Judith Allen
Communications : Laurie Perron

A Lucie Grégoire Danse and Corpuscule Danse production

*François Cheng, Le livre du vide médian, Albin Michel, Paris, 2005

switch (meditations on crying) + poetics to activate the technology of the body + nurse tree

© Baco Lepage-Acosta

Drawing from strip tease, lap dance, meditation and intuitive martial arts – Switch (meditations on crying) wrestles with socialized notions of sexiness and the buddhist concept of the hungry ghost. The hungry ghost in eastern philosophy represents the insatiable hunger alive in people that leads to addiction, self harm or harm to others. Switch (meditations on crying) is a dance solo that embodies the fluid and creaturely aspects of personhood, calling upon sensation to disrupt objectification.

Poetics to Activate the Technology of the Body is a dance video series inspired by guided meditations and the “how to” approach of a work-out video. The goal orientation of these dance videos is a monument to catching one’s breath, calming the nervous system, and a digital spa where participants are guided back into self and into sensation- through sound and dance.

Nurse Tree is an installation of body workers and the aesthetics and practices of care – that seeks to move beyond critique of the medical industrial complex to a place where alternative economies of care exist. Wrestling with the need for another vision for future while acknowledging the harms of utopic thinking. It is a proposition for another way of living, dying and caring for eachother along the way.

Free childcare will be offered during the performance on May 6th 2023. Register here.


Be Heintzman Hope — Artistic direction, choreography, performance Switch (meditations on crying), sound weaver | Lucy B., Kaiden Diaz, Bam Truong — Performance Nurse Tree | Baco Lepage-Acosta — Conception video Poetics to Active the Technology of the Body | Nien Tzu Weng — Lighting fairy | Alice Lepage-Acosta — Costumes | Sasha Lang, Tomas Furey — Sound guides | Carmen Colas — Support to sound weaver | Néné Myriam-Konaté, Clara Furey, Baco Lepage-Acosta, Nada Khashaba, Dhalia Li, Maxine Segalowitz, K.G. Guttman, Carol Prieur — Dramaturgy | Malek Robanna — Astrological consult | Kinga Michalska, Baco Lepage-Acosta — Promotional images, video

Partners and supports for creation — CCOV, Studio 303

The creation of this work was made possible thanks to the financial support of: Conseil des arts du Canada, Conseil des arts de Montréal.

Co-presented with MAI (Montréal, arts interculturels) and  Danse-Cité.
A coproduction Be Heintzman Hope, MAI (Montréal, arts interculturels), Parbleux & Danse-Cité