Artists’ Biographies / SPARK Cabaret

Alexis_Ohara_Spark_Cabaret_web

The interdisciplinary practice of Alexis O’Hara exploits allegories of the human voice via electronic improvisation, video and installation. Her eclectic performances and concerts have been presented in various contexts, from spoken word to live art, new music symposiums to “women & technology” events in Slovenia, Austria, Mexico, Germany, Spain, UK, Ireland, Finland, France, Belgium, Holland and across Canada and the US. In November, Alexis launches her second CD, “Ellipsis”. www.dyslex6.com

Nathalie Claude has worked as an actress, dancer, choreographer, director and writer for more than 20 years. Her creations as an active member of the Momentum collective include: Les Filles de Séléné (1999-2001), a physical theatre for 8 women presented in a convent; La Fête des Morts (2002-2004), a theatrical event taking place in a cemetery featuring 11 actors created in collaboration with Céline Bonnier (in nomination for Best Director and Best Play at the Gala des Masques), and Limbes/Limbo (2004), a co-creation with Lin Snelling inspired by Nancy Houston’s tribute to Samuel Beckett. Recently, Nathalie presented her pieces for three automatons and one actress in the flesh (2008-2010) The Salon Automaton in Montreal, touring in Quebec and in Toronto. Furthermore, she created five solo performances that had a great success in Montreal, Toronto, New York, Florence (Italy), Berlin (Germany) and Lublijana (Slovenia). Nathalie is an artistic coach at the Cirque du Soleil, and also an MC that is very in demand for all kinds of events and festivals. In the fall 2009, she has been invited by the Montreal’s Fine Arts Museum to co-direct the scenography of the largest retrospective of the English painter John William Waterhouse. www.nathalieclaude.com

Jordan Arseneault (aka Peaches Lepage) is a translator, invocateur, and performer in the Montreal queer community. Also a go-to homosexual white male for use in non-profit community meetings, his previous work with Radical Queer Semaine and Up Yours has spawned a House of Bogue, of which he is Mother. www.thedutymyth.blogspot.com

Upon graduating from the Contemporary Dance Department at Concordia University, Sasha Kleinplatz was honored with the James Saya Award for Excellence. Sasha has completed choreographic residencies at the Fondation Jean-Pierre Perrault, Studio 303, Montreal Danse, and the O Vertigo centre for creation. In 2009 Sasha received the award for Most Innovative Local Choreography at the St. Ambroise Montreal Fringe Festival. She had her work produced in numerous venues including Tangente, École Nationale de Théâtre, Studio 303, Théâtre D’Aujourd’hui, and Studio Mange mes Pieds. Sasha and her company Wants&Needs danse (co-founded with Andrew Tay) produce the popular Montreal dance events Piss in the Pool, Short&Sweet, and Involved. www.wantsandneeds.ca

Award-winning choreographer and Artistic Director of hum, Susanna Hood is a compelling and virtuosic performer in dance and music based in Toronto. For over a decade, she has been synthesizing voice and movement into a dynamic practice through which she creates intimate, raw and sensual performance work. www.humdansoundart.ca

Dario Milard is known for his unusual and intriguing movements that bridges different dance styles. What distinguishes his art is his continual search to push the boundaries of preconceived movements and his original way to surprise or disturb the viewer. Mainly a self-taught dancer for the past 7 years, Dario decided to learn contemporary dance at Cegep Montmorency in 2007. His greatest achievement to date is his participation as a dancer in the top 20 of So You Think You Can Dance Canada.

Skidmore has been called a trans-media trans-disciplinary performer, a stand-up word artist, and the hottest guy in bow tie. From page to stage, Skidmore established a salient voice as a Montreal-based art and culture critic throughout the 90s, experimenting with conventions of comedy, and narrative storytelling after dark. Since ending her longterm relationship with the media in 2003, this reluctant exhibitionist devotes herself completely to writing, performing, and aural fixations. Performances have included appearances at: Toronto’s Power Plant; Voix des Amériques spoken word festival; Kiss My Cabaret, The Ottawa International Writer’s Festival; the Ubud Writers Festival in Bali ; and Playwrights Workshop’s Montreal artist-walk series. Skidmore released her first full-length audio work, A Shrinking Violent, in Montreal in 2007. This bi-hemispheric artist resides and works in Quebec and Bali. www.skidsofrenic.com

As a puppeteer and a shadow and object theatre specialist, Marcelle Hudon has been working on stage, for cinema and television. She wrote and directed Le Requin blanc se multiplie (nominated for the show of the year, contemporary music Opus Award in 2002), Interludes (automaton puppet orchestra), Les Portraits de la Renarde, and Poursuite. These pieces have been seen in many international festivals.

Together, Lawson and Pollard, under the moniker of 2boys.tv and sometimes even as their alter-egos Gigi L’Amour and Pipi Douleur, create and tour multimedia performance pieces that often incorporate video projections, soundscapes, found and original music scores, transgendered apparitions, outrageous (sometimes sculptural) costume, props, vocal/textual works, and the art of lip-sync. Based in Montréal, CANADA, the duo has also produced several video art pieces (including Occupée [2004], Something Old… [2003], Teddy Bear’s Picnic [2002]) Their videos, installations and trans-disciplinary performance works have been presented in clubs, galleries, theatres and cabarets across Canada (Montreal, Halifax, Toronto, Winnipeg, Regina, Calgary, Vancouver) as well as in New York City, Milan, Madrid, Barcelona and Buenos Aires. www.2boys.tv

Born into a traditional Quebec Family, Andreane Leclerc ran away and joined the circus at the age of 9. The National Circus School took her in for a while, but she eventually went on her own way, from festivals to modern and traveling circuses, German cabarets, and conceptual performances. A slight tendency toward existentialism guides this snake-woman through her Master’s Degree in Dramatic Art at UQÀM. www.andreaneleclerc.blogspot.com

Peter James has been active as a physical actor and multidisciplinary creator for the past 25 years. His research on movement, voice and text have led him to perform on stage in a variety of disciplines such as dance, theatre, multimedia, circus, performance, and cabarets. These multiple opportunities have led him to perform with Catherine Tardif, Andrew Harwood, Brouhaha Danse, and Alain Francoeur. He has also collaborates with Guy Alloucherie (Cie HVDZ France), Céline Bonnier, Nathalie Claude, Jean-Frédéric Messier (Momentum), Élizabeth Ancion (Gurgum, Belgique), Cirque Éloize, Mélissa Von Vépy (Moglice Von Verx, France), and Modern Times Theatre (Toronto) to name a few. Peter James has created so far 3 solos and 1 cabaret entitled Psykotyk Project, which he orchestrates with 7 other accomplices. Peter also works on TV and movie projects, and teaches acting/presence throughout the city of Montreal. He is the École Nationale de Cirque’s artistic advisor and directed the 2008 final-year student show, which was presented at La Tohu with a great public and media success.

Clara Furey is a complete artist, inspired and inspiring. Her creative eclectic background is already quite diversified. A graduate dancer from LADMMI, Clara has danced for choreographers David presseault, Pierre Lecours and Georges Stamos, and since 2009 in Dans les charbons by Loui Moffette at the Quat’Sous theatre with Francis Ducharme. Clara is also a pianist. Trained at the Conservatoire Municipal de Paris, she is a writer, composer, and performer. She gives piano and voice performances and composes stage music. Recently, in January 2010, she composed a musical score for Dévorer le ciel by Danièle Desnoyer. Clara Furey does not want to chose between dance and music, neither between composition and performance. Why should she make exclusive choices when she can juggle it all, merging her various talents as a creator and performer? Right now, Clara is preparing a show for the month of October, a carte blanche concert at the Quat’Sous theatre. She is also working with Benoît Lachambre on the co-creation of a new solo she will perform.