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The 2010 FVA: Different voices. You’ll be touched.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Winter drags on and by February, it’s a real drag. Which is precisely why the Festival Voix d’Amériques (FVA) continues to brave that most frigid of months to offer Montreal audiences some much needed cozying. No moving the Festival dates to June for us!

We’re always amazed at the FVA’s capacity to come back year after year as fresh and original as ever. Still under the direction of the tireless D. Kimm, the 9th FVA runs February 5 to 12 with a program that confirms its commitment to performance, interdisciplinarity and deviance. And in 2010, we’re making room for girls with quite a mouth on them.

American poet Ursula Rucker first performed at the FVA in 2004 and she knocked our socks off. This year, it’s a treat to be able to welcome her as our Guest of Honour. Rucker comes out of inner-city spoken word and hip-hop, a genuine truth-teller and word-carver who understands the emotional power of voice. The FVA is an extraordinary opportunity to see her live in the intimacy of the Sala Rossa.

Sky de Sela (sister of our dear departed Lhasa) is a circus artist now based in France. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry. A new series, Dans la forêt, explores inner animals and rustlings in the brush with two distinct shows that follow some stunningly undomesticated girls. The very necessary Body and Soul meanwhile features some fierce hot mamas.

Other shows you won’t want to miss include FVA stalwart Fred Fortin at the Sala Rossa—a fine gift to Montreal. Our French-language soapbox Combat contre la langue de bois has a new social twist this year: we’ve booked citizen activists alongside the usual slate of well known media personalities. The concept has had its share of imitators since we invented it six years ago—we love a good imitation!—but if you want the real thing, you’ll have to come to where it all began, at the Sala Rossa. And of course, our delicious DADA Cabaret is back with the mad, the bad and the sexy. (Bring a dress!)

The FVA gives pride of place to emerging artists—it’s what we’re known for. The magic begins at the Happy Hour series “Band + Poetry” Happy Hours as musicians join poets to sink their teeth into a text. It continues with the Night Shift, our crowd-pleasing late-night cabaret with the Open Mic for brave new voices and the occasional audience member. Hosted by the very impertinent Alexis O’Hara.

The FVA still operates out of the Sala Rossa and the Casa del Popolo. All Casa shows are free of charge. Tickets for the 8:30 pm headliner shows at the Sala Rossa are still extremely reasonable at $12 to $22. Like we said—accessible. We just can’t help it!

Unique too. You have to admit, from Ursula Rucker and Plastik Patrik to Fred Fortin and Sister Champagne, there’s a world of difference. A world we embrace, with respect.