Monday, March 11, 2013

The Question, March 11, 2013

nothing is impossible when you are imaginative, bold, wild and clever
by Estelle Rosen

Belzébrute defines itself as a theatre band that enjoys creating great shows on small budgets. Through its creations, the band explores theatre objects, puppetry, masks, image poetry and shadow play with carefree and contagious enthusiasm. It is with this carefree spirit that Belzébrute created, «Shavirez, Gypsy of the Sea» which is still critically acclaimed since its creation. A colourful, wild, generous and imaginative show! In addition to several prizes and honourable mentions, Belzébrute has gained a certain level of notoriety with this show. Since 2009, Shavirez has been included in the magnificent catalogue, Productions Josée Allard (young audiences) and an English version has just seen the light of day. For the past five years, Belzébrute has performed its creation more than 130 times! The year 2011 saw the birth of the band’s new creation: Manga! a daring show, true to the group’s previous success. From the outset, this show dazzles with its ingenuity and has people talking. The show is proud to be part of Tournées Paule Maher.

CHARPO: What was your original concept for Belzébrute and what are your future plans? 

BELZÉBRUTE:  At the start of the Belzébrute adventure, in 2005, we didn't know exactly what we wanted to do. I think we didn't want to know, actually. We don't really like conforming to a clear artistic vision, as most grantors ask us to do. We have trouble with the idea of "bureaucratic" art that fits neatly in little boxes.

As artists, we wanted to demand the right to do what we wanted and how we wanted. We wanted to stop doing things that made us uncomfortable and that forced us into narrow spaces. In other words, without really knowing it, we were looking for some kind of independence. We started with short pieces that were often humorous and highly focused on the visual.

Ideas that come from a group are often richer and more complex than those born in a single head.

Our first show—Cri au logis—was a collection of these short pieces. This was a show were we asserted our right to create in our own way. We put it all together as a group. Belzébrute creates collectively, as it always has. That's our strength.

Ideas that come from a group are often richer and more complex than those born in a single head.

The show had an impact, and we were compelled to keep working and better organize our thoughts and objectives. And we became a Theatre Band! We were not a "company". We were more like a troupe, like in the days of Molière. We were like a rock band. We became writer/designer/performer. We wanted to dazzle without taking ourselves too seriously. Large-scale performance on a budget.

We admitted our taste for genre theatre and popular culture, which we plundered lightheartedly. Pirates, cartoons, Jules Verne, Samurais, spaghetti westerns, you name it. Belzébrute creates shows that are peppered with pop culture references. Above all, we dared write shows filled with fantasy. Our vision is: nothing is impossible when you are imaginative, bold, wild and clever.

We're currently working on a new show that will be premiered at the Montreal Fringe in June! This time it's not a revenge story. We can't tell you too much, but it's the grandiose biography of one of pop culture's big stars. It'll be part biopic, part Bugs Bunny cartoon. We are working hard with the star in question so we can tell the story as well as we can.

And we've got a scoop for you! In September, Belzébrute is going to be presenting Shavirez at the Festival Mondial des Théâtres de Marionnettes in Charleville-Mézière... in France! Belzébrute is going to shake France up!

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