Arts this Fall
September 1, 2011
Flash version here
by Tao Fei
Montreal dance audiences won’t
have much time to cool off after the sizzling summer season dominated
by the Festival Transamériques and OFFTA lineups. Autumn returns dancegoers
to the city’s slew of performance venues as they unveil brand new
seasons packed with buzz-worthy premieres, exciting international visits
and great opportunities to get a state of the art on local creation.
This season’s fare in particular will reward the daring.
Virginie Brunelle, one of the hottest young talents on the local
scene right now, kicks off Théâtre La Chapelle’s season with the
world premiere of Complexe des genres (Sept. 6-17), for six dancers.
The self-professed choreographic love child of Quebec experimentalists
Dave St-Pierre and Daniel Léveillé, Brunelle makes viscerally raw
works that have already earned her accolades at home and abroad. Let’s
see if this third work proves her breakout moment. Feeling exploratory?
The 9th edition of Transatlantique Montréal’s Quartiers
Danses (Sept. 16-25) transforms seven Montreal neighborhoods—their
alleys, parks, public squares, museums and arts centers—into an urban
stage for contemporary dance. Among the sprawling program of films,
photo exhibits and myriad performances, catch a restaging of a defining
piece of Quebec dance history, Françoise Sullivan’s
Dédale (Sept. 19, 24-25), created in 1948. Also revealing
its appetite for non-traditional spaces, Agora de la danse ventures
into the Kingdom Gentleman’s Club with the risqué event Danse
à 10 (Sept. 18-19, 25-26), curated by the busy Montreal daance
collective La 2e porte à gauche. Eight standout innovators on
the local scene – Marie Béland, Nicolas Cantin, Mélanie Demers,
Stéphane Gladyszewski, Frédérick Gravel, Benoît Lachambre, Jérémie
Niel and Manon Oligny—take over the St-Laurent strip club to make
an avant-garde spectacle of the body. If the plush seats at the Place
des Arts are more your style of show, don’t despair, the Danse Danse
season opens at the end of the month. Belgian wunderkind Sidi Larbi
Cherkaoui returns to Montreal with his signature multicultural stylings
and newly established company Eastman VZW to present Babel
(words) (Sept. 29-Oct.1, Théâtre Maisonneuve), a
work evoking all the chaos and harmony of the Biblical allegory. Eighteen
dancers and on-stage musicians from around the globe promise a lush
and epic voyage.
October’s big event is the world premiere of Rodin/Claudel
(Oct. 13-29, Théâtre Maisonneuve), a brand new evening-length ballet
created for Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal by Ontario-born
choreographer Peter Quanz. Based on the tumultuous love affair between
the French sculptors Auguste Rodin and Camille Claudel, this is an important
piece for the company, as it marks its first Canadian commission in
over ten years. For some international fare, check out choreographer
Helge Letonja and his Germany-based company Steptext Dance Project
in The Bog Forest (Oct. 19-21, Agora de la danse), a darkly atmospheric
portrait of human exodus. And lovers of dance theater won’t want to
miss a return visit from Pippo Delbono, the Italian actor and
stage director whose unclassifiable, carnivalesque performance works
have made him a cult figure on the European contemporary scene. This
time he brings the Canadian premiere of his confessional one-man-show
Tales of June (Oct. 26-29, Usine C), sure to be a treat.
November has even more genre-bending dance highlights in store,
courtesy of Théâtre La Chapelle’s new collaboration with the edgy
ARTDANTHÉ Festival in France. Montreal-based multidisciplinary artist
Stéphane Gladyszewski, a fixture of Quebec’s experimental next
wave, opens the series with his phantasmagoric, mixed-media self-portrait
Corps noir ou l’inconscient convié
(Nov. 2-4). Next, American dancer-choreographer Antony Rizzi
channels performance art pioneers Penny Arcade and Jack Smith, as well
as tanztheater icon Pina Bausch, in his gabby, irreverent piece,
An Attempt to Fail at Ground Breaking Theater with Pina Arcade Smith
(Nov. 6-7). And then comes Bulgarian wild child Ivo Dimchev
in his off-kilter one-man-show (and-tell) Som Faves (Nov. 11-12),
full of poignant eccentricities. Longing for pure, virtuosic dance at
this point? Acclaimed classical Indian dancer and Pina Bausch muse
Shantala Shivalingappa performs two programs at Cinquième Salle:
Gamaka (Nov. 16-20), a solo in the classical Kuchipudi style, and
Namasya (Nov. 22-26) a contemporary program featuring works by
Bausch and Ushio Amagatsu. Shivalingappa is a singular performer
straddling diverse dance worlds, and these twin programs are a great
way to witness her majestic range. And finally, what’s a Montreal
dance season without an offering by Compagnie Marie Chouinard?
Chouinard’s recent one-act ballet The Golden Mean (Live)
(Nov. 24-26, Théâtre Maisonneuve) offers audiences another glimpse
into the choreographer’s strange and spellbinding universe.
by Julie Beaulieu
After traveling all over Quebec to
attend the province’s many summer festivals, play hooky from work
one last time to catch this fall’s cultural and artistic events. Do
you have a weakness for Impressionism, or is cabanisme more your
cup of tea? It’s up to you! To steer you in the right direction, we’ve
mapped out the following events in the hope of, at the very least, piquing
Discover around thirty Quebec works from the MNBAQ’s collection, as
well as paintings by Eugène Boudin—a precursor of Impressionism
famous for his seascapes—at the Musée des beaux-arts de Sherbrooke’s
exhibition Impressionnisme? Organized and produced by
the Musée National des beaux-arts du Québec, this exhibit runs until
October 2. Impressionism? The choice is yours!
Mauricie and Central Qc
Explore the region’s natural beauty… and its culture! Two impressive
exhibitions on TV culture are currently on view in this part of Quebec.
The Musée des religions du monde in Nicolet presents Colle, papiers,
ciseaux, a retrospective on the life of Claude Lafortune,
until March 18, 2012. Well known and respected in the Quebec community,
Lafortune worked in television for over thirty years and is known for
his programs “L’Évangile en papier” (1975-1976) and “Parcelles
de soleil” (1988-1995). 45 of his paper sculptures are being shown,
including 25 created especially for the exhibition.
Le Musée québécois de culture
populaire in Trois-Rivières
presents Le temps d’une paix,
l’exposition, created by the Musée de Charlevoix. Relive
the well-loved Quebec television drama Le temps d’une paix
through photographs, costumes, re-created sets, and clips from the show.
Until March 18, 2012, the pop culture museum offers those curious a
chance to look behind the scenes of the cult series that marked a generation
The Musée populaire de la Photographie,
located in Drummondville, is still unknown to most. Their exhibition
Le réel ment ?, running until October 9, presents various illusions,
perceptive displays, and multi-perspective images related to the psychology
of perception. The highlights include 3D reproductions of paintings
by Fragonard, Botticelli, and Arcimboldo, as well
as a 3D Mona Lisa.
From September 30 to October 9, Trois-Rivières
will host the annual Festival international de la poésie (International
Poetry Festival)—a seminal event on the Quebec cultural scene. 400
activities will be offered in locations across the city (dubbed “the
poetry capital” by Félix Leclerc). To celebrate its 27th
anniversary, this year the festival pays homage to Gaston Miron. To
all word lovers: this annual event is not to be missed.
Quebec’s capital city was alive with music during the various
summer festivals; this fall, its museums offer us amazing new exhibitions.
Among the highlights is ROME. From the Origins to Italy’s
Capital at the Musée de la civilization, on until January
29, 2012. The exhibition is well worth a look; it offers museum-goers
the chance to discover the unrivaled city, famous for its art and history,
from its rise to its fall.
The Musée national des beaux-arts
du Québec also brings us two noteworthy exhibitions. Up Close
and Personal with the Caillebotte Brothers: Painter and Photographer,
a look at French Impressionism, will be shown from October 6 to January
8, 2012. Steichen:
Glamour, Fashion and Celebrities. The Condé
Nast Years, 1923-1937 will follow, open from October 27 to February
5, 2012; the all-encompassing retrospective on the works of American
Edward Steichen, one of the most prolific and influential photographers
of the 20th century, brings together 225 original photographs,
more than one of which is inspirational. Garbo and Dietrich will definitely
be there; will you?
There is no doubt that Montreal is overflowing with art and culture.
Here is a list of exhibitions and events sure to delight Montrealers
and tourists alike.
Not to be missed—Musée des beaux-arts
de Montréal is showcasing The Fashion World of
Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk
until October 2. Also, The Québec Triennial—the
largest exhibition centered on contemporary Quebec Art—is at the Musée
d’art contemporain from October 7, to January 3, 2012;
forty artists will be featured in this show, which is accessible to
all audiences. The Centre d’histoire de Montréal
brings us Lost Neighbourhoods
(until March 25, 2012), an exhibition-documentary that is exciting for
anyone interested in the evolution of the city. Last but not least,
the 17th annual Festival international de
la littérature takes place between September 16 and 25. 200 national
and international artists will invade the city for this one-of-a-kind
celebration, which will offer fifty stirring literary and artistic events.
A must-see for lovers of art and literature.
the Outaouais region
The Canadian Museum of Civilization is known for its awe-inspiring exhibitions.
Until October 10, Japan is in their spotlight. Japan: Tradition.
Innovation. allows us to learn and understand how technology
and avant-garde design have become part of Japan’s traditions. A striking
juxtaposition of Japanese tradition and technological innovation awaits
you at this unique exhibition.
at the river’s end
The Musée du Bas-Saint-Laurent in Rivière-du-loup brings us Cabanisme,
Nouvelle perspective sur un mouvement artistique méconnu
(Cabanisme: A New Perspective on an Undiscovered Artistic
Movement), which will no doubt pique the curiosity of many. Created
by Yvon Chassé, cabanisme marked Quebec’s arts scene during
the 1960s but disappeared with the death of its founder. This retrospective
includes around thirty colourful, cutting works—anchored in tradition
yet very modern—that bring to light the origin of this movement, which
takes its name from the colourful expression “ma cabane au Canada.”
What a wonderful discovery!
Translation: Aleshia Jensen
by Jessica B. Hill
This season, there’s a focus on
several of Montreal’s stages offer a look at the surprising differences — and
yet surprising similarities — between adults and children in this theatre
season. This season’s picks give theatregoers an opportunity to critique
social mores, values, and class systems are critiqued as they watch
adults act like children (or forget the wonder of their youth) and children
struggle to grow up before their time. Powerful plays unveil the pretense
of adult society while others humorously portray adults as overgrown
children. These shows this season strongly underlineillustrate how family
and society affect our youth and invariably shape us and affect our
youththe adults we become. Perhaps the moral of this season’s picksese
plays is a reminder that once you’ve entered the world of grown-ups,
you must temper yetbut never forget the child within.
Starting the season off with much
gleefully, Montreal’s fledgling musical company, Processed Theatre,
brings us The 25th Annual
Putnam County Spelling Bee. A hit musical and Tony Award-winning
show, this piece promises to be both hilarious and touching all at once.
Six quirky, misfit adolescents, accompanied by grown-ups who narrowly
escaped childhood themselves, compete for the spelling championship
of a lifetime. The Spelling Bee becomes a place where these pubescent
outsiders can both fit in and stand out at the same time. Playing at
the Mainline Theatre, September 6 to 24.
The Centaur Theatre opens its season
with True Nature by award-winning Montreal playwright,
Colleen Curran. ParallelingJuxtaposing the lives of two women’s lives,
one a contemporary academic and the other a brilliant paleontologist,
True Nature is an enchanting story that intertwines different centuries,
science, and social classes, and scientific methods. Masterfully mergingcombining
themes of romance, friendship, discovery and evolution while maintaining
humor throughout, True Nature promises to be a gripping opener.
Directed by Amanda Kellock, It runs from October 4 to November 6.
In keeping with the theme of social
class, the Centaur follows up with God of Carnage by Yasmina
Reza, directed by Roy Surette. Four urban professional parents converse
after a child’s playground brawl and subsequent dental injury. Sophisticated
society is dissected andas values and manners slowly degenerate in this
brutal but comic satire of bourgeois hypocrisy. An Olivier Award winner
in 2009 for Best New Comedy, God of Carnage runs from November
8 to December 4. Peter Shaffer’s Equus opens the Segal
Centre season. This award-winning, powerful play follows a psychiatrist
as he tries to unravel the mystery that pushed a teenage boy to violently
blind six horses. The play disconcertingly unflinchingly delves into
the world of psychodrama and unearths a chilling combination of pathology,
religion, and sexual fascinations. This play is sure to leave you on
the edge of your seat. Directed by Domy Reiter-Soffer, Equus
runs from September 11 to October 2.
The Segal Centre will then changes
gears with The Play’s the Thing, by Ferenc Molnar and
directed by Blair Williams. This delightful but seldom-staged parlor
comedy is pure amusement, and teeters between farce and romantic comedy.
A successful playwright and his collaborator arrive at a fancy Italian
Riviera castle late at night, with their new protégé composer in tow.
Hoping to surprise the composer’s fiancée, the diva actress who is
to star in their play, they unfortunately discover more than they bargained
for. With colourful characters and deliciously witty writing, this show
will make a terrific night out. Runs from October 30 to November 20.
Geordie Productions brings back a
children’s timeless classic to the stage: The Little Prince,
directed by Dean Patrick Fleming. An aviator crash-lands in the desert
and meets a strange little boy who has traveled across galaxies on an
asteroid. As the Little Prince recounts his adventures, the Aviator
is gently reminded of the simple truths and observations children perceive
that adults tend to forget as they grow older. An adorable, simple story
filled with imagery. October 11 to the 23.
Suggested minimum audience age: 8 years old
Infinitheatre confronts us with a
terribly topical season opener, The Poster, a guest production
by Teesri Duniya Theatre directed by Arianna Bardesono. In Palestine,
a man who prints posters of people who die in the Middle East struggles
finds himself printing the poster of his only son. The Poster
is a close look at the consequences on both sides of the Israeli/Palestinian
conflict. The original French version of the play, L’Affiche,
was named Play of the Year in 2009 by the AQCT. Playing at the Bain
St-Michel, 5300 St-Dominique, from November 17 to December 4.