“Aalaapi”: on the same wavelength

«Aalaapi»: sur la même longueur d’onde

Photo: Anne-Marie Barbeau
On stage, inside and around a house on which are projected images of northern landscapes, Hannah Tooktoo interacts moderately with the audio documentary.

Aalaapi, which means ” to be silent to hear something beautiful “, it is first and foremost a radio documentary and collaborative québec-inuit directed by Marie-Laurence Rancourt and produced by Magneto, an organization that helps since 2016 the recognition of a ” cinema for the ears “. From this artful blend of voices and noises, of words and silences, ideas and confessions, Laurence Dauphinais has devised a theatre show, singular, an object of beauty and slowness presented these days in the salle Jean-Claude Germain of the Center of the Theatre today.

For eight months, five young women from Nunavik — Audrey Alasuak, Samantha Leclerc, Louisa Naluiyuk, Mélodie Duplessis and Akinisie Novalinga — have agreed to be without constraints, without rules and without tags. In fact, one feels that they speak of what they wish to speak well. It is just if they are questioned. Therefore, there is no question, as is too often the case when one is interested in the aboriginal, violence, substance abuse, acculturation or alcohol abuse. They evoke the North and South, tradition and modernity, loneliness and belonging, the wind and the snow, but also, and perhaps even more importantly, their personal aspirations, these hopes live despite it all : “I want to be free in the world,” says one of them. But this is not the time, not the time to be free. “

A window on the other

On stage, inside and around a house on which are projected landscapes that extend to the infinite in the north of the 55th parallel, but also titles and maps, Nancy Saunders and Hannah Tooktoo go about the daily business, interact plainly with the audio documentary (also available on the application and the site HERE First). Through the window of the house, one observes the two young women perform acts mundane : cook the banique, drink tea, knit, or check their phone.

But the red thread of their existence — and therefore one of the show’s anti-spectacular, it is the radio, a medium that holds a crucial role in the northern communities. Always turned on, the receiver is like a reassuring presence, a narration continues, a night light in the night, a beacon in the storm, a space of sharing and a transmission belt, on a vast territory. Thus, in a beautiful mise en abyme, the radio documentary pays tribute to the convening power of the radio, the way in which the waves are borders and miles when it comes time to relate the realities and the linking of the fates.


Production of the documentary radio : Marie-Laurence Rancourt. Directed by : Laurence Dauphinais. A production of the Collective Aalaapi, in collaboration with Magneto. At the salle Jean-Claude Germain of the Center of the Theatre from today until 16 February.


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