We have never had so much to celebrate in a single year. 2017 marks important birthdays for Canada and Montreal, 125 and 375 years respectively, and is also the inaugural year of a world-class cultural hub right here in la belle province. Opening on the Place des festivals in the heart of the Quartier des spectacles, the Édifice Wilder Espace Danse regroups Quebec’s leading purveyors of dance under one roof. Agora de la danse, Tangente, École de Danse contemporaine de Montréal and Les Grands Ballets will share this 10-story building with the Ministry of Culture and Communications, the Conseil des arts et lettres du Québec and the Régie du cinéma. Where there used to be designated events for artistic entities to exchange, there will now be daily encounters between people from every perspective of the dance community. And with its central downtown location, the Wilder building will also open its doors to the public to explore and interact with the arts like never before.
Over the past couple years, I’ve come to know Manuel Roque the dancer, the performer, the mover. He is irresistible. He stands out in groups with his fragile expression, but solid stance. His compact, athletic body doesn’t compensate for any movement. Every muscle is familiar and isolated, allowing him to use every inch to really go in depth. Can you tell I have a bit of a crush? I was especially blown away by Manu’s solo Data which premiered at Usine C last December. All the elements I love about his performing were highlighted in it. Needless to say I was very much looking forward to seeing his next creation, which saw the stage last week at Tangente. Dena and Stéphane, respectively Tangente’s curator and general director, as just as big fans of Manu’s as I am. They introduced him before the start of 4-Or, focusing on how they gave him carte blanche in creating and presenting this work. I wonder, in doing so, what their expectations were.