Photo: Marie-France Coallier The Duty The two Franco-Ontarians Jean Marc Dalpé and Fernand Rainville are for a new creation, “The Queens'”, The Unicorn.
Their collaborations are spaced but memorable. After the successful Trick or Treat (1999) and August, a dinner in the countryside (2006), Jean Marc Dalpé and Fernand Rainville are for a new creation The Unicorn. In addition to a penchant for a theatre ” concrete “, the playwright and the director share a cultural background. The native of Ottawa and Sudbury, have a nice living for decades in Montreal (the metropolis of all French America “, as defined Dalpé), it is not necessary to dig away to reveal their identity as franco-ontarians. Especially when the news puts this community at the forefront. The two artists have not made prayer to discuss these recurring struggles with identity.
Jean Marc Dalpé have seen a great vitality, ” even if it is not that of a majority culture “, in the Franco-Canadians, refutes the” ignorance ” of Denise Bombardier. An ignorance that is receding : in front of the wave of sympathy that followed, as here, the funding cuts in the government Ford, the author makes amends to all his ” friends quebec nationalists, that I chicanés for years for their insensitivity, their lack of support “.
Fernand Rainville has a theory on this wind of solidarity : a fear increased losing its own culture. “I think Quebec feel even more threatened. And since the dream of the country may not be there any more… Sometimes, it is necessary to be afraid of losing something to realize what it a. It’s a little of what is happening in my family in Ontario : all of a sudden, because of the crisis, there is a franco-ontarian flag on their page Facebook… “
The communities francos have been exploited in Quebec, and by the two sides, regrets Dalpé. “For the nationalist movement, it was absolutely essential that we be dead. “With respect to federal politicians, they used the francos to prove the viability of Canada. “But this is not the federal government, which has saved the francophones outside Quebec. This is us. These are our battles. “
And to the author, the new struggle of Ontarois demonstrates the veracity of the adage : “that which does not kill us makes us stronger. “The fighting at the end of the 1960s have helped to create networks of solidarity with other French-Canadians. Each new struggle has strengthened. Going to manifest in Hawkesbury during this latest crisis, Dalpé was touched to see that all the leaders were vingtenaires. “The torch has been passed. “
“But what is it that you are defending exactly ? asks for his part, Fernand Rainville. This is the question that I ask myself. Is this a language ? Is this just folklore or it is a consumer art ? In daily life, how to live this culture ? For me, the language is a part of a whole. “
The queens of the North
It is just a question of attachment to the roots in The Queens’. The piece brings into play a conflict between two sisters around their legacy : the hotel erected by their father. The one who remained in the country (Dominique Quesnel) is struggling to maintain this heritage that the older woman (Marie-Thérèse Fortin), a pianist with a party to pursue an international career, intends to sell to promoters. Does it get rid of its folklore to have a future ? And our identity is built through our origins, to the family or to the wire of meetings held in a moreover, free of the past ?
Camped in cold, the story — which he has written the essential during a stay in… Provence — marks the homecoming of the author of the Dog with the Northern ontario. For Fernand Rainville, it is this ” appeal of the North “, between the promises of enrichment and harsh reality, which is the axis the more interesting the piece. With its potential for mining, this region is off-centre, predominantly French-speaking, a dream for certain characters. A North that could also be the Abitibi.
What I love the theatre, this is not to name things, or to propose answers. I love to immerse ourselves in our own contradictions. As a society as on a personal level.
— Jean Marc Dalpé
These two sisters, the director compares to the queens territory burst, where “a dimension more poetic” in the story. After the recent political crisis, he realized that you could see the hotel The Queens’ as a metaphor of the situation of francophones outside Quebec. “This legacy, you abandon it or you ? “
“Yes, it is a symbol, but it should not be freezing too, comes the author. I hope that the spectators will be able to do different readings of this issue. What I love the theatre, this is not to name things, or to propose answers. I love to immerse ourselves in our own contradictions. As a society as on a personal level. “
This fight also brings up the division, very current, between the encompassing and the citizens who are anchored in a nation. At the beginning of the writing, Dalpé was party to the representative of the latter. “But the laws of drama dictate to have two opponents of equal arms in order to create a dramatic build-up. Now, I understand both. I manage myself, the best that I can, that internal conflict. I have turned back [to my roots], by a desire to open myself to the world. But I return to constantly in my memories, my language, to not lose who I am. For me to anchor somewhere. And from time to time, when I’ve had enough, I listen to Netflix like everyone else. “(laughs)
According to the playwright, the artists from a minority hold a small advantage : “We know that culture is something fluid, that will perish and necessarily change. “Unlike the large majority cultures, monuments, forts of their long history, do not move and cultivate the illusion of sustainability.
This awareness of the precariousness brings a freedom and an “attitude existentialist,” says Dalpé. This is why he can no longer hear talk of assimilation rate. “It was nice to prove to myself that my people will disappear in 150 years — when I was young, we used to say 30 years — the important thing for me, it is today. The people with whom I make art and those who can hear me. My voice is now. “
Text by Jean Marc Dalpé, directed by Fernand Rainville, with Dominique Quesnel, Alice Pascual, Marie-Thérèse Fortin, David Boutin and Hamidou Kimsey, from 15 January to 23 February, at The Unicorn.
Alan Carter has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Nizh Post, Alan Carter worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella.