As an official media partner of the 12th annual St-Ambroise Montreal Fringe Festival, Montreal Theatre Hub brings the #FringeBuzz in 2021 with an all-new interview series with artists from this year’s edition of the fest! In this Snapshot, we feature ADALIA PEMBERTON-SMITH – performer and choreographer of ‘CHOP’, a new digital show presented by Get Down On It from June 1-20 on the FringeTV platform.
MONTREAL THEATRE HUB: What is ‘CHOP’ about?
ADALIA: It’s about addiction, loss of innocence and deep regret. It is a story of mental illness and isolation.
MTH: What can audiences expect from the experience of seeing it?
ADALIA: Mixed emotions. Absolutely stunning shots mixed with dark subject matter that may create some confusion but hopefully catharsis as well.
MTH: What was the idea and inspiration behind the piece?
ADALIA: I was inspired by the storytelling style, 3rd person omnipotent that switches into first person from time to time. David Foster Wallace was a big inspiration and Kurt Vonnegut for the writing. I enjoyed finding a character within the role of narrator, bringing a lot of movement and breath into the piece and holding on to this all powerful feminine omnipotent entity that seemed to rumble underneath the surface.
MTH: Why did you choose the Fringe as the place to premiere this work?
ADALIA: We have been in BC since COVID shut down the universities and the art scene. It felt like a great opportunity to stay connected with the art world in Montreal and share pieces of our home town through film, the rolling hills, the mountains in the distance. A large part of who I am is due to this landscape.
MTH: What has it been like trying to create a show during a pandemic?
ADALIA: We have really been diving head first into the world of cinema and I think it’s really paying off. It’s way more accessible nowadays then it used to be and it outs the power in our hands as performers. We don’t have to wait for a big break; we just tell the stories we feel need to be told and get to combine our love for visual art, music and dance into all our projects. We’ve even done some videos with our young daughters and it feels incredible sharing our love of art with them. COVID has been an overall good wake-up call for us. We spent our CERB money buying a small chunk of land in Brownsburg-Chatham and are designing and building a homestead and artist residency out there. I got to continue studying dance with a large emphasis on film dance and being in relative isolation pushed us to start making many pieces as a duo like back when we first met, making music in the moonlight.
MTH: What’s kept you driven to keep creating during this past year?
ADALIA: The need more than ever for global change and a coming together while governments around the world scoff at the importance of art and suggest artists find new professions. Personal explorations, getting to know my inner world, the absolutely fantastic teachers in the Concordia contemporary dance program and at the Moving Voice Institute. My peers who keep on moving and inspiring awe. My children.
MTH: How does this show/story speak to our present times?
ADALIA: I think we all crave community, compassion and beauty. Our societies are built for max profit not healthy connections. I don’t want to give too much away but our story is based on incidents that happen many times each year. It is a story of man trying to separate himself from an unruly and overwhelming ego.
RAPID FIRE ROUND
What have you missed most about the Fringe?
The laughter, the parties, the bringing together of like-minded people from all across the country.
Favourite Fringe show you’ve ever seen?
So many good ones! Dance Side of the Moon, Little Orange Man, James and Jamesy, Multiple Organism.
#Fringebuzz: which show(s) on the 2021 lineup are you most stoked to check out?
I would love to see: Matt Enos and the River Men, La gauloise bleue, Temps Avenir and Ailleurs les doutes d’un migrant.
Adalia Pemberton-Smith is a Canadian performer and choreographer residing in Montreal. She completed training in theatre at Dawson College and is continuing to study movement, choreography and voice with the Moving Voice Institute and Concordia University.
Adalia is passionate about creating lasting change for people and the planet as a whole, utilizing permaculture principles of earth care, people care and fair share in her work as a creator and a collaborator.
She is an exceptional theatre improviser who plays and teaches at Theatre Sainte Catherine regularly as well as performing and assisting in the direction of plays. She has worked as a fight director, choreographer and costume designer in those productions as well as performing in them as an actor and vocalist.
Her current curiosities drive her to explore the relationship between seeking pleasure and manipulation as well as the driving forces behind exponential, personal growth.
CHOP presented by Get Down On It runs from June 1-20 on FringeTV. Tickets ($2.50-$6.00) can be purchased online at www.montrealfringe.ca
Read here all of the interviews in the Fringe Artist Snapshots series: