The 23rd Carrefour is firmly rooted in the present and looks to the future. I wanted this edition—my last as artistic director—to be reflective and entertaining, inclusive and plural: a multiplicity of sensibilities and perspectives; cultural, sexual and neurological diversity; a mix of artistic disciplines—theatre, dance, circus, digital arts, literature—combining fiction, autobiography and documentary. With inspirations sometimes drawn from the past—through Racine, Tolstoy, Jack Kerouac—and sometimes spurred by the stream that carries us into the future: anticipation, transhumanism, artificial intelligence. ‘’Nothing human is alien to me’’, Terence wrote twenty-three centuries ago… Humanity as a common denominator.
A lot of water has flowed under the bridge since I took on the role of artistic director of the Carrefour in my early forties. Little did I know that the boat would carry me for more than 25 years along this long, not-so-peaceful river… I have travelled millions of kilometres, seen thousands of shows, attended hundreds of events, meetings and creations. And parties! I think of the work of the great international artists that I was so happy and proud to introduce to you, Romeo Castellucci, Frank Castorf, Martin Crimp, Israel Galvan, Alvis Hermanis, Ivo van Hove, Yves Hunstad, Christiane Jatahy, Johann Le Guillerm, Krystian Lupa, Eimontas Nekrosius, Thomas Ostermeier, Alain Platel, Joël Pommerat, Tiago Rodrigues, Arpad Schilling, TG Stan…
I think with equal fondness of our Quebec artists, Marie Brassard, Daniel Danis, Steve Gagnon, Christian Lapointe, Dominique Leclerc, Wajdi Mouawad, Claude Poissant, Mani Soleymanlou and so many others, including Robert Lepage, whom the Carrefour presented eight of his creations, and Brigitte Haentjens, who accompanied me during the first 10 years of my term. I think of Où tu vas quand tu dors en marchant…? imagined with Frédéric Dubois and Alexandre Fecteau, as well as the hundreds of creators and performers who contributed to it.
I also think of the festival’s teams, of all the wonderful and admirable coworkers—especially Bernard Gilbert, founder and first executive director of the festival, and, of course, Dominique Violette, our current director. I think of the generous and hard-working volunteers, both on-site and on the Board of Directors.
I loved this job deeply. What stands out from it the most is the encounter. The encounter with works, but above all with human beings, colleagues, artists, audiences. It is you that I will remember. It is to all of you that I say a huge thank you. You have constantly occupied my thoughts, my heart and my time during all these years; you were part of my joys and my sorrows. I will miss you.
Long live the Carrefour international de théâtre!