After more than a quarter century in Montreal, I find there is still so much to discover. This week I’m discovering Créations Estelle Clareton, founded in 1999 and counting over a dozen productions under it’s belt. A dance company at it’s core, founder Estelle Clareton is a touche-à-tout, interested in everything that relates to moving bodies in space. This month she presents her new work, a co-creation with playwright and theater director Olivier Kemeid, at the Théâtre de Quat’Sous, from November 15th to December 2nd. Sous la nuit solitaire (Under the Solitary Night) is a collage, dance enhanced through friction with theater and literature, under the theme of Dante’s Inferno as illustrated by Gustave Doré.
Four singers, five musicians, five choreographers and six dancers are united under the inspiration of Léo Ferré this week in an evening of song and dance at the Cinquième Salle. Corps Amour Anarchieis an ode to the French singer-songwriter, created to celebrate the 100th anniversary of his birth in 2016. His career spanned nearly 50 years and a number of his hits are immortalized as classics of French song: C’est extra, Avec le temps, Jolie môme, to name a few. Montreal’s festival Coup de Coeur Francophone, highlighting French music from November 2nd to 12th, is behind the production, with choreography by PPS Danse and musical direction by Philippe B. and Philippe Brault.
Japan has always fascinated me. Whereas the unknown can often be synonymous with scary or intimidating, the Japanese culture evokes instead a delightful mystery. On one extreme, we recognize the Japanese in bright and daring fashion. On the other, we know them for being extraordinarily humble and quietly respectful. Their rich culture has evolved so differently from what the western world calls normal, and it has completely captured our imagination. Agora Tangente, the short name for the two-company neighbour-collaborators, indulges our fascination this month with a two-week focus on Japan, Dansu. Comprising three dance shows and a movie series, it’s a close-encounter with the wonderfully foreign scene of current Japanese performance.
In case you were wondering, Montreal’s ties with the homeland are as strong as ever. Case in point, Jean-Paul Montanari’s visit just yesterday to the Quartier Général of the Festival Transamériques to cross-promote the latest work by Benoit Lachambre and Fabrice Ramalingom with the 35th anniversary of Montpellier Danse. As director of this dance festival for several decades and collaborator since its very beginnings, who better than Montanari to spread the word on this international scale event, and who better to listen than the dance lovers of Nouvelle France’s cultural capital?
If the summers in North America were as long as the winters, there’d be nowhere better in the world. Sunshine, patios, festivals… We really have it all. Only the dance world seems to go into hiding during the summer months. Most companies’ seasons wrap up well before the summer solstice, leaving show-goers with a bit of dance dry spell until the fall. If like me you can no longer stand the wait until the September premieres, fear not! The SummerWorks festival for theatre, music, live art and dance kicks off August 7th in Toronto boasting a full week of performances to quench your pre-season craving.
Dance is an inclusive art form, movement and emoting is accessible for all to practice, but a career in dance is much more select. How then does a new group forge a name for itself among the restrictive list of elite companies with success worldwide? The key may lie in imperfection, members of the burgeoning company ImPerfect Dancers might say.
This young company is currently in its fifth year and is growing strongly as it adds new works to its repertory and extends its reach to increasingly more stages around the world. Coming up next for ImPerfect Dancers is their world premiere of ANNE FRANK. Words from the Shadows. due to take the stage on May 11. Continue reading →
Fresh off their tour in the Balkans, Montreal’s Les Grands Ballets Canadiens return home to perform the final piece of their 2013-2014 season. True to the company’s vision of being “differently classic”, they will be closing their season with a world premiere by Stijn Celis that promises to highlight the company’s technique, versatility and creative imagination.