Body and Soul 5

Bilingual. As we all know, Les Filles électriques likes a girl who goes too far. You know the kind we mean — over the top, takes up a lot of room. For some time now, our Artistic Director has been wondering about a few things. Like, why does it get so complicated when a woman puts her body on stage? Why is a female always judged on her physical aspects/assets — especially when she dares to perform? She’s too fat or too skinny. She moves too much or not enough. She’s too sexy — or she isn’t. For five years, the Body and Soul show has brought in girls with enormous physicality, girls who take charge, girls who are “hot”. This year is extra special.

In Part One, two Montrealers. Giselle Numba One, the hot number from Hot Springs we’ve been burning to invite back. Expression pedals, glockenspiel, flute, melodica, rhythm box, kalimba… you name it, she plays it! Hers is a new kind of esoteric hip-hop. And Donzelle, the impertinent rapper with the naughty mouth, who will keep us grooving with her Janet-Jacksonesque dancers. Bonus: she’s half-Portuguese and may slip in a little Luso.

In Part Two, it’s American singer/musician Baby Dee and her band. A gender-blending, harp-playing former circus artist, she’s all out there. Born in Cleveland, Baby Dee learned piano as a child, and by 19 had acquired her first harp, supporting herself in fairs and freak shows disguised as a bear, on a tricycle or with her music. A huge physical presence, she sings folk ballads Brecht would approve, swinging from romance to burlesque. She has worked with Antony (& the Johnsons) and Marc Almond, and tours internationally, but her one visit to Montreal was slightly clandestine. Don’t miss this one.