The concept is simple: 12 questions sent to Montreal-based female artists. They answer, you read, you find out some random but facinating things about them, and you get a sneak peak into their upcoming projects. Sounds pretty good, eh? Follow the links within the post to learn more about…

Deena Aziz

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1.       What is your song of the moment?

It’s a tie: Stonehenge by Ylvis, or the Burka Avenger theme, The Lady in Black by Haroon & Adil Omar. Guaranteed to cure any ailment or heartache.

2.       What is your favorite place to grab coffee in Montreal?

If it’s just a quick fix, then Au Kouign-Amann on Mont-Royal. (As much for the croissant as the coffee.) If it’s more leisurely, then   Caffé Italia … in the back with panettone and a friend or a paper. During World Cup, it’s Da Night.  I know – it’s a zoo, but that’s part of the fun.

3.       What is the first image that comes to mind when you think of the Harper                   government?

I had a really bad flu once, and one of the symptoms was this ever-present and unrelenting taste of bile at the back of my throat. Like being perpetually on the edge of throwing up.

4.       Which artists, dead or alive, would you wait in line to meet?

I don’t know about standing in line, but Anish Kapoor. Though I hate that sort of speculation; I worry that the person might not live up to their work. anish-kapoor1

5.       What is your number one travel or escape destination?

In that alternate universe where I’m flush and carefree … it might be Paris. But barring that, wherever I can break bread with my loved ones.

6.       What has been your favorite performance over the past 10 years anywhere             in the world?

“Favourite” is tricky, because comparison is futile and I hate having to choose. That said … Pamela Sinha’s CRASH is a gorgeous piece of theatre on every level. There’s a 10-minute pas de deux in Crystal Pite’s DARK MATTERS that took my breath away. Akram Khan’s DESH is a banquet of stunning visual and physical storytelling. Best of Both Worlds – Diane Paulus’ R&B musical adaptation of The Winter’s Tale – made me cry. Twice. I caught a student matinee of Tim Supple’s multi-ethnic, multicultural, Indian-cast production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, where the entirely teenage audience were so caught up in the characters and story they didn’t notice when the actors slipped into other languages. (I’m sure as soon as I send this I will think of more.)

7.       What first turned you onto theatre?

I was about seven, and I was left unattended watching TV. Somehow, instead of Sesame Street, I ended up with a BBC production of ANTIGONE. The nightmares eventually stopped, but it left a pretty indelible imprint.

8.       If a friend is visiting Montreal, where is the first place you take them?

A stroll to the Jean Talon market. (Ideally during street sale, for some first-rate people watching and second-rate underwear.) Provision a picnic, and then up the mountain.

9.       What is your upcoming project?

I’m working with one of the directing student at the National Theatre School (Jon Lachlan Stewart) on an evening of one-act Beckett plays.

10.   What excites/scares/inspires you most about the project?

For starters, I’ve never worked on Beckett before, so that’s a treat and long overdue. Challenging; the movement is so specifically dictated, it can feel constraining until you submit. And I’m not one of those drank-the-kool-aid devotees, so I tend to ask a lot of questions. I’m also intrigued by the design: a sort of retreating vista of bleak purgatories. And I get to hang out with the fabulous and talented Danette Mackay and Georgina Beaty.

11.   Where and when will your piece be staged?

Mainline at the end of April.

12.   What image or piece of music comes to mind when you think of the piece?

Hurt by 2 cellos. Bittersweet (not devastating like the Johnny Cash), and it has a quality of breath and pulse that makes me think of the piece I’m in. I was also lucky enough to catch an installation by Chiharu Shiota recently. Her work often involves weaving these intricate webs of yarn around objects and spaces. In Trace of Memory, the installation actually involved a whole house. The experience was haunting and magical; a sense of peering back through time.     Stay tuned for next week’s post: ABOUT…Emma Tibaldo ——————————————————————————————————————–