CINARS – International Exchange for the Performing Arts
One of the most important events of performing arts on a global scale is the CINARS Biennale that takes place every other year in Montreal, Canada. It gathers innovative performing arts professionals to become, during a whole week, a cultural hub between Europe, Asia, the South Pacific and the Americas. With a couple of months left before the 17th edition we interviewed Alain Paré about CINARS and the situation for the performing arts in today’s global and digital era.
What is the most important change in how the Biennale is functioning since the start in 1984?
In one word: globalization. The web and rapidly evolving technologies have made us aware of how connected we are on a global scale – communities, issues and responsibilities are shared across borders.
In order to insure the sustainability of the performing arts today, we must realize that some things that seem unrelated and foreign to each other are actually interdependent. CINARS is always seeking out new trends to facilitate exchanges in this context.
For professionals who come to CINARS, what are the benefits?
The broad variety of performances and all the social events allow presenters and agents to do meaningful networking. Artistic companies can display their shows and present their new projects while presenters have a chance to experience live performances in all disciplines and negotiate with other presenters to develop block-booking opportunities.
Also, our innovative conferences are experiences in collective intelligence, where delegates come together to exchange and find creative solutions to real touring or production problems.
What do you think are the most important issues in the performing arts community at the moment?
Part of the reason why funding in the performing arts is still critical today is that it seems harder and harder to attract spectators to venues when home entertainment technologies are supporting other forms of cultural productions gaining in popularity: videogames, on-line cinema and television, etc. People are not willing to go out to venues as much, in part because they are not finding the type of experience they are willing to pay for. Innovative solutions must be developed in the performing arts to tap into audiences’ new expectations in regards to live performances and to discover how dance, theatre, music and circus can be part of their everyday lives.
What role does contemporary circus play in the performing arts field today?
Contemporary circus has actually been a wonderful response to some of the challenges I mentioned. It contributes significantly to renewing the experience of live performance by integrating different elements of all disciplines of the performing arts through inventive means. The unique fusion it has to offer also appeals to a wide range of audiences while still maintaining artistic integrity. In finding new ways of blending theatrics, impressive technical skills, storytelling and technology, contemporary circus is redefining what a performance can be and proposing new forms of shared group experiences.
Do you have any specific recommendations from this year’s program?
There are so many high-quality performances! Compagnia Baccalà, the irresistible clowning duo will be presenting their very touching PSS PSS while Rapid Eye’s The Moon Illusion pushes the limits of the art of juggling to challenge our perception of reality. There’s also the sublime aesthetic of Recirquel Company Budapest’s Night Circus and multidisciplinary artist Dulcinea Langfelder’s new theatrical dreamscape, Pillow Talk, An Essay on Dreaming. Last but not least, a not-to-be-missed performance will be young and talented Machine de Cirque’s fun and inventive new production that make them a driving force in contemporary circus.