Anthropologies imaginaires

 performance project for voice, tape and video projection__41'__2014 

Best International Production at Amsterdam Fringe Festival 2015

 Contra Guys Award for New Performance Text at SummerWorks Performance Festival 2016



Anthropologies imaginaires (or Imaginary Anthropologies) is a solo vocal performance that interacts with a video mockumentary. The experts on screen comment on invented vocal traditions demonstrated by the singer-performer. Various odd or isolated vocal expressions from around the world are woven together and revisited through imaginary folklore and experimental voice techniques, showcasing the virtuosity, versatility, and strangeness of the human voice. 

 The result is an aural landscape that questions concepts of normality by reminding audiences how people across the world use the voice differently to convey their cultural identities and artistic sensibilities. 

 A humorous and disturbing exploration of post-colonialism, post-exoticism, cultural extinction, globalization, normalized racism and cultural appropriation. 




August 30, 2021 UMBERTIDE (Italy) - Civitella Ranieri - Fellow Public Presentations 
January 10, 2020 TORONTO (Canada) - New Music Concerts / The Music Gallery
November 21, 2019 NEW YORK (USA) - La Maison Française / Columbia University
August 7, 2019 SAINT-CÔME (Canada) Camp Musical Père-Fernand-Lindsay
April 12, 2019 ISTANBUL (Turkey) - The Multivalent Voice in Transcultural Music-making (Conference)
March 10, 2018 MONTRÉAL (Canada) - Usine C
March 9, 2018 MONTRÉAL (Canada) - Usine C
March 8, 2018 MONTRÉAL (Canada) - Usine C
March 7, 2018 MONTRÉAL (Canada) - Usine C
February 21, 2018 CALGARY (Canada) - New Works Calgary, DJD Dance Centre
November 5, 2017 VANCOUVER (Canada) - ISCM World Music Days, Orpheum Annex
July 15, 2017 OTTAWA (Canada) - Canada Scene / NAC Back Stage, National Arts Centre
April 21, 2017, OSLO (Norway) - Khartoum Contemporary Arts Center
 March 4, 2017 ST LOUIS (USA) - HEARding Cats Collective / Kranzberg Arts Center Studio AMERICAN PREMIERE
January 15, 2017 SYDNEY (Australia) - Sydney Festival / Seymour Centre
 January 14, 2017 SYDNEY (Australia) - Sydney Festival / Seymour Centre
 January 13, 2017 SYDNEY (Australia) - Sydney Festival / Seymour Centre
 January 11, 2017 SYDNEY (Australia) - Sydney Festival / Seymour Centre
 January 10, 2017 SYDNEY (Australia) - Sydney Festival / Seymour Centre
 January 9, 2017 SYDNEY (Australia) - Sydney Festival / Seymour Centre AUSTRALIAN PREMIERE
November 7, 2016 MONTREAL (Canada) - Concordia University (Exclusive Performance for Theatre Department faculty and students)
 August 13, 2016 TORONTO (Canada) - SummerWorks
 August 12, 2016 TORONTO (Canada) - SummerWorks
 August 10, 2016 TORONTO (Canada) - SummerWorks
 August 8, 2016 TORONTO (Canada) - SummerWorks
 August 6, 2016 TORONTO (Canada) - SummerWorks
August 5, 2016 TORONTO (Canada) - SummerWorks
 July 14, 2016 ST. JOHN'S (Canada) - Sound Symposium
July 6, 2016 QUEBEC CITY (Canada) - Festival OFF
June 4, 2016 KITCHENER-WATERLOO (Canada) - Open Ears
March 11, 2016 MONTRÉAL (Canada) - Maison de la culture du Plateau Mont-Royal
February 2, 2016 VANCOUVER (Canada) - Music On Main / PuSh Festival
February 1, 2016 VANCOUVER (Canada) - Music On Main / PuSh Festival
 January 30, 2016 VICTORIA (Canada) - Open Space
 November 6, 2015 CARDIFF (UK) - EXPERIMENTICA15 - Chapter
September 11, 2015 AMSTERDAM (Netherlands) - Amsterdam Fringe Festival
September 9, 2015 AMSTERDAM (Netherlands) - Amsterdam Fringe Festival
September 7, 2015 UTRECHT (Netherlands) - Gaudeamus Academy For Crying Out Loud: Music & Politics Symposium
March 28, 2015 WINNIPEG (Canada) - Cluster Festival
January 22, 2015 HALIFAX (Canada) - CAPACOA Conference 'Critical Response' workshop
October 17, 2014 COLOGNE (Germany) - Akademie der Künste der Welt - Pluriversale I
October 4, 2014 AMSTERDAM (Netherlands) - Splendor EUROPEAN PREMIERE
August 2, 2014 MONTRÉAL (Canada) - Zone Homa WORLD PREMIERE



ISCM World Music Days 2017 (Vancouver)

By far the standout performance in the festival.
Anna Murray - Ceding Musical Territories, Journal of Music – December 6, 2017

Gabriel Dharmoo's Anthropologies Imaginaires is the cleverest bit of theatre I've seen since Robert Lepage was last in town. PICK OF THE WEEK
Matthew Parsons - November 9, 2017

 Let's end by awarding the Most Engaging Performance award to Montreal singer and interdisciplinary creator Gabriel Dharmoo [...]If World New Music Days had a hit, this was it.
Alex Varty - ISCM World New Music Days 2017, MusicWorks - December, 2017


A challenging satirical production that is funny while addressing a serious cultural issue in a non-sermonizing way.
Ted Fox – Imaginary Anthropologies in Summerworks, Evi-Dance Radio – August 2016 

Dharmoo is capable of some truly spectacular vocal feats.
Keira Grant – Imaginary Anthropologies (Gabriel Dharmoo) 2016 Summerworks Review, Mooney on Theatre – August 7, 2016

This straight-faced parody is a must-see. A-
Kelly Bedard – SummerWorks '16: Part VI > My Theatre, My Entertainment World – August 14, 2016

The way it resonates in our postcolonial, racially hierarchical world, feels uncomfortably familiar. For the audience, who is in on the joke, it is also intensely funny.
Sara Constant – Summerworks and the new vocal theatre, The Whole Note – August 12, 2016

Vancouver / Victoria

 Gabriel Dharmoo's Anthropologies Imaginaires is the cleverest bit of theatre I've seen since Robert Lepage was last in town. PICK OF THE WEEK
Matthew Parsons - November 5, 2017

The spoof cuts uncomfortably near the bone. The straight-faced theoretical twaddle perfectly captures the bland self-assurance of a seminar room. And, with his body language and vocal acrobatics, Dharmoo presents an uncannily plausible human response to the surreal dilemmas of these hypothetical primitives.
Lincoln Kaye - Post-exotic puttyman Gabriel Dharmoo plays PuSh stage, Vancouver Observer - February 2, 2016

In a performance that is at once serious and powerful, satirical and playfully funny, and aesthetically delightful, Gabriel Dharmoo transports us into an imagined world of exotic Others, apparently doomed to be swept aside by modernity's relentless march of progress.
Nick Wees - Anthropologies imaginaires: A Review, Centre for Imaginative Ethnography - February 9, 2016

Dharmoo throws his body into each night, and becomes a lithe, elasticized, esthetically intriguing version of himself.
Mike Devlin - Composer Dharmoo lives on the edge where truth meets fiction, Times Colonist - January 28, 2016

Dharmoo wants to bring forth an awareness about how people sing differently. He says there is not just one right way of singing, as there is not just one way of thinking.
Hakim Ferria - Vocal Art-thropology, La Source - Volume 16, Issue 13 - January 26–February 9, 2016


L'équilibre entre beauté, critique sociale et désinvolture s'avère donc tout à fait réussi, nous laissant à la fois hilares et songeurs.
Alexandre Cadieux - Traité fictif d'ethnomusicologie, Le Devoir – August 12, 2014 (English translation and original French version)

[...] j'en ai gardé à l'esprit l'efficacité dramatique, l'intelligence, la finesse, ainsi que ce mélange de fascination/remise en question qu'a exercée sur le public cette performance très physique en solo accompagnée d'un vidéo de 45 minutes ininterrompues. [...] ce spectacle séduit, amuse et perturbe le spectateur dans un même mouvement, car il brouille les frontières entre l'authentique et l'inventé, entre l'ancestral et le nouveau.
Bruno De Cat - Illusions – une création multimédia de l'ECM+ et du Trio Gryphon, Cette ville étrange – April 27, 2015


Our shared culpability in desecrating cultures we don't understand has been deeply sounded in Anthropologies Imaginaires with the tools of musical expertise, deployed with wit, vocal grace and dexterous physical performance.
Keith Gallasch – Remarkable musics, Real Time Arts – January 2017

It was such fun be fooled so cleverly.
 Frank McKone – Anthropologies Imaginaires (Sydney Festival), Canberra Critics Circle – January 10, 2017

Gabriel Dharmoo's fun, quirky display of vocal gymnastics explores darker themes of cultural colonisation and Exoticism. Left the audience both titillated and complicit.
Angus McPherson – Review: Anthropologies Imaginaires (Sydney Festival), Limelight Magazine – January 10, 2017

Unique and highly entertaining.
Paul Nolan – Sydney Festival: Anthropologies Imaginaires @ Seymour Centre, Sydney Arts Guide – January 10, 2017

Anthropologies Imaginaires bears a broad smirk beneath its deadpan mask of academic seriousness and it humorously questions the ways in which Western society judges and defines otherness, and packages it for consumption.
Jason Blake – A wry look at the world via its weirdest music, The Sydney Morning Herald – January 10, 2017


Gabriel Dharmoo surprised everyone with his vocal gymnastics. [...] Making sounds like a Luciano Berio piece, Donald Duck, beat boxing or boarding on a male soprano, Dharmoo was a singing sensation, as "academics" spoke in French of each culture's musical forms (the addition of a tribe singing 12 tone music was brilliant). ★★★★
James Ellis, Experimentica – Day 3, The Sprout – November 13, 2015


Although at times hilarious -who doesn't want to gargle, sticking one's head in a giant bowl of water- there was a critical note as well. As we went deeper into the evening, the fake academics got more and more patronising in their comments. [...] And so the great pitfall of anthropology, practiced from a white, Eurocentric standpoint, is fully exposed.
Helen Westerik - My 2015 Fringe in 3 Performances, Cultuurpers - September 11, 2015(translated from Dutch by the author)

And then, through imperceptible inflection, as slowly and gently as a northern European dawn, what he was actually doing started becoming apparent. As my suspicion gained strength I began to realise the brilliance of the show, which Gabriel gradually illuminated until it shone bright as a solstice noon. Up until yesterday, I would have argued subtle satire was not possible.
Steve Kretzmann - Subtle satire, The Critter - September 10, 2015


Script and Musical Composition: Gabriel Dharmoo
Voice and Performance: Gabriel Dharmoo
DOP: Ménad Kesraoui
Editor: Paul Neudorf
Sound: James O'Callaghan
Thanks to the "specialists": Alexandrine Agostini, Daniel Anez, Florence Blain Mbaye, Luc-Martial Dagenais and Catherine Lefrançois. 

 The development of this project was supported by the Canada Council for the Arts