Stop or even?, wondered this year Nadine Marchand, at the head of the Montreal completely circus festival since its beginnings. Why not the two of them ? She will remain producer of the flagship creation The Three Giants, but will step down from directing the event, which ended on Sunday. She believes that the festival has reached cruising speed and growth.
Posted at 8:00 a.m.
Nadine Marchand gives a positive assessment of the first 13 editions of the Montreal completely circus festival (MCC). In charge from the beginning, she helped the baby see the light of day, take its first steps and grow into a vigorous teenager.
“I felt that the festival had come of age, so I can focus on producing the three giantsshe explains in an exclusive interview with The Press. This show is part of the tourist revival of Montreal. There is enormous potential there, supported by Tourisme Montréal, for it to become even greater. »
The Three Giants attracted thousands of spectators during the festival, on three different sites occupied by local troupes: Cirque Éloize, Les 7 Doigts de la main and Machine de cirque. A huge technical and artistic challenge taken up brilliantly.
“The structure as such is an achievement of Quebec genius, based on an idea by Michel Laprise, which required a lot of work. The circus artists only took possession of it three days before the premiere. We want to go further with this project. MCC was already present at Place Émilie-Gamelin, but Place Ville Marie also imposed itself, since it is located in the heart of downtown. It was a joy to see the spectators at the rendezvous and smiling. »
The festival presented many creations this year, including the opening show After the night which has been reviewed and improved during performances. It is not impossible, moreover, that this staging by Benoit Landry will be performed at TOHU.
Montreal, capital of circus arts
Encouraged by Liberal Minister Raymond Bachand at the start, Montreal completely circus had a grand launch in 2010. The event then had to navigate to the rhythm of subsidies and bad weather, such as the pandemic. Nadine Marchand believes that the last edition allowed the festival to find its colors.
“It was important at the start to send a signal that Montreal is the international capital of circus arts. This year, we made it more completely circus than ever, with a diversified indoor program,” she says.
The circus is more than acrobatics. It’s linked to theatre, dance, cabaret, humor and music. The important thing was to create an annual meeting where it’s here that it happens.
Nadine Marchand, director of Montreal completely circus
The return of international companies was therefore an issue from July 7 to 17. Although an Italian troupe had to give up the trip at the last minute due to COVID-19, three Scandinavian shows and one French were offered to the public. In addition, the International Contemporary Circus Market (MICC) attracted buyers from 18 countries this summer.
“After presenting timber in Montreal, Cirque Alphonse toured this show for three years all over the place. What is great is that the festival has prompted the formation of companies. Free outdoor shows are important too. From the first year, we had the completely circus Minutes, then we moved to Place Émilie-Gamelin, Place Pasteur and elsewhere in town. Always with original creations, it is our signature. »
The circus family
Directing a festival in its early years, slaloming between major events such as jazz or comedy, was a challenge, if not madness, but Nadine Marchand is above all a team player. It has created partnerships, alliances, joint broadcasts, such as with Just for Laughs, and first and foremost with TOHU, still directed by Stéphane Lavoie, which includes a hall and several outdoor tents.
“What motivates me personally are the work team meetings that I have been able to do in 13 years. With the artists and the public too. Circus people are very creative artists and very often ready to improvise. We also brought to Montreal companies and shows that were unheard of. A festival is always about starting over, but it’s very rewarding. »
Still a young art, the circus must constantly think about the development of the public. “It’s still a discipline to be introduced to a lot of people. Funding, sponsorships and sales are not won in advance, but the potential is still there, especially on TV and on the web,” says Ms.me Merchant.
And Montreal remains a circus for several more weeks, she concludes. The festival is over, but programming continues on weekends with Destination TOHU until September 4. Very popular during the festival, the energetic show barka is on display with 17 other proposals for young and old.