Travel Blog

3 Oct

Montreal Fall Arts & Culture Guide

Fall Arts Montreal
This fall, Montreal lives up to its reputation for showcasing international and homegrown artistic and cultural creations, whether at festivals or stand-alone shows. See the latest in world cinema, innovative twists on ballet, comedic opera, family-friendly circus, Shakespearean symphony, dynamic contemporary dance and visual art…

(on screen) With its astute eye on the international and local cinema scenes, the Festival du Nouveau Cinema  brings hundreds of new films in genres ranging from comedy to avant-garde to Montreal  October 9-20, including Triptyque, co-directed by Robert Lepage and Pedro Pires, and Alejandro Jodorowsky’s long-awaited La Danza de la Realidad, Jia Zhang Ke’s A Touch of Sin, Atom Egoyan’s The Devil’s Knot, and a series of free outdoor screenings in the Quartier des spectacles. Stories of real life in all its glories and hardships can be found in ample supply at the Montreal International Documentary Festival, November 13-24, featuring Bà Nội by Khoa Lê, Abenaki director Alanis Obomsawin’s Hi-Ho Mistahey!, Israeli filmmaker Avi Mograbi’s Once I Entered a Garden, along with special ethnographic and musical programs and much more. Alongside those festivals, French-language film of all kinds comes to CINEMANIA and Image+Nation shares an abundance of LGBT stories. For something a little different, in mid-October check out a bevy of debuts and free family screenings at the entertaining and technically-impressive Stop Motion Animation Festival.

(on stage) The inherent dark side of fairy tales comes to the surface in Swedish choreographer Mats Ek’s modernized, subversive version of Sleeping Beauty, performed by 30 dances of Les Grands Ballets, October 10-26. Love, marriage and money make for non-stop comedic, musical entertainment in Verdi’s Shakespeare-like Falstaff, returning to the Opéra de Montréal November 9, 12, 14, 16, and starring Marie-Nicole Lemieux as Mrs. Quickly. Funnily enough, the Montreal Symphony Orchestra also takes on Shakespeare this fall with works by Mendelssohn, Prokofiev and Hatzis. More musical comedy is on hand, though this time tapping in to the spirit of 1930s Harlem, in Broadway hit Ain’t Misbehavin’: The Fats Waller Musical Show, at The Segal Centre for Performing Arts, September 29 to October 20. And acclaimed playwright Steve Galluccio, known for penning Mambo Italiano, returns with another comedy of error about the lives of Italian-Canadians in Montreal: The St. Leonard Chronicles runs October 1-27 at Centaur Theatre.

World-class contemporary dance and circus productions also come to Montreal stages throughout the season. In the circus realm, at Montreal circus centre Tohu, a magician, a DJ and five acrobats turn the world upside down in Swiss company Zimmermann de Perrot’s absurdist comedy Hans was Heiri, October 1-10, while in early December, inventive Montreal-based troupe 7 Doigts de la Main’s brings back Traces, their critically-acclaimed apocalyptic story of empathy and humanity. In dance, Danse Danse presents a trio of much-anticipated shows: in late October, Australian choreographer Lucy Guerin’s Weather, inspired by climate change and chaos theory; followed by Compagnie Marie Chouinard’s newest double bill Henri Michaux: Mouvements, based on the drawings of Henri Michaux, and Gymnopédies, set to the music of Erik Satie; and in November, Group Rubberband Danse performs Mexican-American choreographer Victor Quijada’s contemporary-meets-street-dance Quotient Empirique. And Danse-Cite stages Je ne tomberai pas – Vaslav Nijinski, a combination of theatre and dance drawn from the Nijinski’s personal writing and controversial performance Le Sacre du printemps.

Fall Arts Montreal

(on the walls) Urban culture and Aboriginal identity come to theMusee d’art Contemporain in compelling, enlightening ways in new exhibition Beat Nation: Art, Hip Hop and Aboriginal Culture, opening October 17 and featuring work by Jackson 2bears, KC Adams, Sonny Assu, Bear Witness and many other artists. Gorgeous, colourful glass sculptures delight at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts’ Chihuly: Utterly Breathtaking exhibition, on until October 20, while the incisive photography of Michael Campeau can be seen in Industrial Splendour and Fetishism: The Bruce Anderson Collection, showing until November 10. At Old Montreal’s Phi Centre, Jonas Mekas: In Praise of the Ordinary presents an overview of the artist’s 365 Day Project, a year-long series of films and videos made in 2007 – the exhibition presents the work on 12 screens and in a portrait series.

Dive into the clandestine world of military drone images in Trevor Paglen’s photography exhibition at SBC Gallery until November 9. All autumn, centrally-located culture hub Place des Arts celebrates its 50th anniversary with free art exhibitions and performances. And right outside Place des Arts, don’t pass up interactive art installation Megaphone: speak your mind into the megaphone and see your words animated and projected several storeys high.

Take advantage of your stay in Montreal with this Sweet Deal package!

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