The word on dance this fall in Montréal
What’s happening on Montréal’s dance scene this fall? Feast your eyes on some truly daring and inspiring programming this autumn season.
Exciting new revelations
In celebration of its 20th anniversary, Danse Danse is inviting renowned choreographers and inspiring up-and-comers from here and abroad. Tour the world during the 2017-2018 season with performances from Québec, Vancouver, New York, Oslo, Helsinki, Barcelona, London and Taipei. The Compagnie Marie Chouinard kicks it off with Le Cri du monde + Soft virtuosity (September 26 and 27), followed by Jérôme Bosch : Le Jardin des délices (September 28 to 30). In October, Andrew Skeels presents Rose of Jericho, which combines diverse elements of contemporary, classic and street dance (October 10 to 14). In November, the spotlight shines on “rock star” choreographer and composer Hofesh Shechter, whose much-anticipated return is made with Grande Finale (November 1 to 4). Dancers of Damelahamid, the Indigenous dance company from British Columbia, presents Flicker, a multimedia choreography by Margaret Grenier, in collaboration with the MAI (November 14 to 18). In December, Les Ballets Jazz de Montréal showcases Dance Me, an homage to poet and musician Leonard Cohen, with choreographies by Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, Andonis Foniadakis and Ihsan Rustem. And finally, finishing 2017 with a flourish, the brilliant and willowy Clara Furey joins four other dances to perform Cosmic Love, her first collective choreography (December 6 to 16).
Music and spirituality
Fall is fresher than ever at Les Grands Ballets: a beautiful new home in the Wilder Building and a new artistic director, Ivan Cavallari, who opens his first season by showcasing up-and-coming choreographers and foreign creations. This autumn, among others, he offers us the double billing Stabat MATER. In the first half, Romanian choreographer Edward Clug puts his own modern twist on Stabat Mater, the masterpiece of the Italian Baroque by Pergolesi. Next, the legacy of German choreographer Uwe Scholzla, who left us prematurely almost 10 years ago, includes an outstanding interpretation of Beethoven’s Symphonie no 7 with a “ballet on pointe, as finely cut as a diamond” (October 11 to 28). And when Christmas comes around, the celebrated Nutcracker returns to the stage to delight audiences young and old (December 14 to 30).
Poetry, intelligence and fragility
Stunning local and international works will be featured at ever on-point Usine C. Australia takes to the stage first with Piece for person and ghetto blaster, a performance by Nicola Gunn who addresses conflict resolution, moral relativism and how art can be of service in solving these ethical dilemmas. (September 27 to 29). That’s followed up with the double billing of Vice Versa by Belgian company Mossoux-Bonté, whose creative approach lies somewhere between dance and theatre, and the installation performance Serpentine by Daina Ashbee (October 31 to November 1). Frédérick Gravel wraps up the year with Some Hope for the Bastards, a somber party where nine dancers search their way through it (November 29 to 30).
A hotbed of talent
A major figure on the contemporary dance scene for the past 36 years now, Tangente promises a thrilling season populated by the bright new stars of choreography. This year, audiences can look forward to daring artistic visions and a radical and inclusive eclecticism. The fall line-up features powerful solos by Iranian choreographer Nasim Lootij and First Nations artist Christine Friday in Porter l’héritage (October 5 to 8). Next, a triple billing with Dansu, in partnership with Agora de la danse, which includes performances and screenings by three Japanese choreographers, Mikiko Kawamura, Kaori Seki and Zan Yamashita (October 18 to 28). Finally, gender stereotypes are turned inside out in Gender Fluidity in a double billing with Sébastien Provencher and Manuel Shink (November 16 to 19).
Boundary-breaking and creative
Fall 2017 at Agora de la danse will feature six performances in the regular programming and one triple billing from Japan in collaboration with Tangente. The season kicks off with Anne Plamondon and her Mécaniques nocturnes (September 20 to 23), as she “returns to the sources of the first movement, the first desire”. Mind-blowing visual artist Sylvie Cotton explores the movement of breath and breathing in her performance Le jour se lève (October 2 to 5), while José Navas celebrates the friendship between performers and collaborators dear to his heart with On (October 11 to 14). Lastly, the newest creation by the Out Innerspace Dance Theatre presents seven dancers in Major Motion Picture, a work that “explores the themes of territory, propaganda and beliefs through eccentric characters who fear neither God nor man”.
Get ready for a truly smashing season (24 shows, including 16 premieres) at Théâtre La Chapelle, which welcomes an array of artists from different backgrounds and disciplines. Don’t miss the premiere of La vie attend by Danse-Cité, by choreographers David Albert Toth and Emily Gualtieri (September 27 to October 7). End the season with Mélanie Demers and MAYDAY with WOULD, which received the prize for best choreographic work by Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec in 2015 (December 11 to 15).
Experimental and hybrid works
The focus this fall at the MAI is on intercultural artistic practices and Montréal’s diversity. Go see Room 2048 by the multidisciplinary company Hong Kong Exile, where digital lighting, fog and pop music create a new space to explore the sociopolitical realities of the Cantonese diaspora (October 6 and 7). En alerte by Moroccan Taoufiq Izeddiou promises to take your breath away with a reading of contemporary Arabic poetry accompanied by two musicians (October 27 and 28). Say farewell to the season with La Pileuse, which dives deep into the origins of dance and rhythm with protean performer Sarah Elola from Burkina Faso (November 24 and 26).
Laure Juilliard, blogger
Laure is a writer, community manager and the founder of the blog Une Parisienne à Montréal. She’s also an epicurean globetrotter who’s always on the hunt for innovative concepts and must-try restaurants. In 2016, she co-founded Slow Journeys, a webzine that focuses on ecotourism and design.