Bonimenteurs took us by surprise.
The two year old collective brings a breath of fresh air to both local performance arts and the electronic music scene. The Bonimenteurs crew brings assembles storytellers, actors, creatives, and nightlife inventors. They create meeting points between music and performance art, deeply-rooted event concepts and video-mapping. The result is an enchanting clubbing proposition, an interesting challenge for VJs and DJs and a modern revival of theatre codes.
Expect anything at a Bonimenteurs event: costumes, intrigue, actors, magicians, card-reading, acrobats and all sorts of night performance creatures. Their next enactment takes place this Saturday March 14th, in a setting which has seen the show go on non-stop since the 1930s: Le Cabaret Lion d’Or. They’ve prepared an experience around a theme whose only mention tickles the senses: 1001 Nights. Presented in the name of diversity and inclusion, this ingenious take on Middle-Eastern storytelling is a welcome feat within local nightlife.
Act 1: The concept
Bonimenteurs springs from a common love for many worlds, and a desire to create alchemy among them. Many event concepts boast telling a story throughout the night, but this collective takes it to a new levels. Each evening unravels in a three-act scenario. Bonimenteurs develops a storyboard with distinct moods, accompanied by music and visuals. The DJs and VJs performing for each act are challenged to use their tools to interpret the tale. In between sets, expect performances and chronological video backdrops.
Act 2: The event
This Saturday, the Cabaret’s art-deco backdrop welcomes the timelessness of 1001 Nights. A tale flourishing through a million tastes and smells, 1001 Nights come to us from the Islamic Golden Age. The assembly of folk stories has taken millions of readers on journeys over centuries. Anything’s a canvas for Bonimenteurs, and the venue’s traditional curtains, railings and theatre set up will be no exception.
Among the several surprises punctuating the night, a live warm-up bursting with oud, theatre interludes, dance performances, and mapping. Those present will follow in the footsteps of an alchemist obsessed by the desert’s secrets, on a quest to unearth truth from myth. The three acts will see her wandering through the vivid Souk corridors; straying through the desert; and finally come face to face with a mirage. What truths will she uncover on the way?
Act 3: The casting
The evening’s cast and crew lives up to the concept. All acting will be carried out by l’Ecole Nationale du Théâtre du Canada. Local VJ TOPAZ will be taking care of visuals all night long, with swirling imagery inspired by 1001 Nights. On the decks, a fine selection of DJs from Montreal’s eclectic collectives. From With Dimensions, Othman and Jo-L are set to open the evening with a fine slow techno and downtempo selection. Bonimenteurs’s own JARES, an artist eager to expand horizons, will take the reins as the drama deepens. Lastly, our very own storyteller Mike Haddad will close the curtain on a peak of groove and musical surprises.
This is the type of event we recommend witnessing from the beginning. All of these characters have worked passionately to tell a story, and all we need to do now is feel it.
Break a leg.
Cover photo: Mathilda Rubio