Last year the world lost a remarkable poet and musician. Montreal-born Leonard Cohen decks the halls of fame of Rock and Roll, Canadian music and Canadian Songwriters, for his opus of work spanning over sixty years. His folksy sound is especially resonant through his lyrics, which speak to love, loss, religion and political unrest. For their upcoming 2017-2018 seasons, two landmark Montreal dance companies will pay homage to him with a new work created to his music, and a gala danced in his honor. Dance Me, by the Ballets Jazz de Montreal, will premiere in December, and Les Grands Ballets will hold special gala performances, Soirée des Étoiles, the following June under the theme Dance Me to the End of Love, both companies taking their title inspiration from Cohen’s 1984 song.
Again and again I am reminded of how lucky I am to live in one of the most creatively productive cities in the world when it comes to dance. Unlike in many places, a big problem of living here isn’t a lack of options, but rather choosing which shows to say no to. December 4th had been marked on my calendar for several months already and I gladly said no to other events as I anticipated the return of Les Ballets Jazz de Montreal, commonly referred to as BJM, to Place des Arts. This is one local company we don’t see often enough (we’ll get back to the reasons why), but that is a treasure and pride of Montréalais culture. Presenting a triple bill including a world premiere, BJM have come home to show off at Théâtre Maisonneuve for the Danse Danse series.