Deepali, in collaboration with Infinithéâtre, presents the uplifting Satrangi; Seven stories of light, at Bain St. Michel from tonight, Nov. 28 to Dec. 9, just in time for the winter holidays. From the enchanting island of L'Isle-aux-Coudres to a village nestled deep in the Himalayas of Nepal. From a public bus in India to the war-zone of Bosnia. From the slums of Lima to the revolution in Egypt. From the glamour of Paris to the quiet life of a sage. Satrangi is a glimpse into what makes us human.
DeepaLi Lindblom, an enigmatic dancer and actor, has once again conceived a multidisciplinary production, this time telling seven true short stories from around the world. Part humorous, part touching but always riveting, Deepali brings these stirring tales alive.
Satrangi, meaning rainbow in Hindi, rejoices in the spirit of winter festivities celebrated by thousands of multi-ethnic Montréalers. All involving light, they start in November with Diwali (India), Santa Lucia in early December (Scandinavia), Los Posados (Mexico), Le Réveillon (France), Hanukkah, Christmas and Kwanzaa (Africa). Wanting to share the stories of the people that greatly inspired her, Deepali has come full circle with Satrangi, "I was, after all, born on Diwali-day and my name means ray of light."
Deepali elaborates on her motivation to do Satrangi, "I've always been interested in creating performances around subjects that matter greatly. While living in India, Sweden and Montreal, I met people who told me inspiring tales from their lives. I feel the compelling need to share them with the world. These are accounts of injustice and struggle, but also of faith, joy, laughter, courage, hope and love. These are stories that sustain humanity, touch us and hopefully make a difference."
One story is that of Maryline and Lawrence Halford. Maryline says, "When Deepali told me that she would like to use our story for Satrangi, I was hesitant at first. It was a very painful chapter in our lives, but we also realised that it changed our lives for the best and if it can inspire anyone else, then it is worth telling."
Deepali is accompanied by Karine Benchetrit, Catrine Demers, Anne Roudaut and Olivia Shaw for the dazzling dances, which have Indian roots but flirt with dance styles from the various stories' countries. Multicultural inclusion is important for Deepali. She explains, "Being born and raised in India, a hot pot of cultures, has influenced a significant part of my understanding of the world and it reflects in my creative process. Here in Montréal, a city with a powerful soul that comes from being culturally diverse, I want to explore making the most of my dance and theatre traditions in a contemporary Canadian context."
Exotic music sets the backdrop, adding to the dances and heightening the senses. Short films and a slideshow contributed by the original storytellers accentuate the narration. The set design is by up and coming Claire Renaud and Charlotte Hoffman. They appreciated their challenging and creative task at hand, "Deepali wanted three things- intimacy, colours and light. We are very pleased with the final result that involved many hours of designing, discarding and redesigning. When the audience descends into the pool, they will be immersed in an enchanting world." Alycia O'Keefe adds to this with an inventive lighting design that will transport the audience to the mood of the moment.
In addition to the show, there will be a photo exhibition in the theatre lobby. Put together by Samah Sadak, a newly immigrated Egyptian journalist, these postcard size pictures are human portraits from around the world, contributed by photographers from Montréal and elsewhere. Photo submissions are still being accepted.
Satrangi; Seven stories of light
Nov. 28-Dec. 9
At Bain St. Michel, 5300, rue St-Dominique
Tuesday to Saturday 8pm, Sunday 2pm
Tickets: $20, $17 for groups of 4 or more (taxes included)
December 2 at 2pm is pay-what-you-can to encourage word of mouth
Tickets: (514) 987-1774 ext. 104 or online with PayPal. (cash only at the door)
For more information about DeepaLi Lindblom, click HERE.