In a city like ours, where the language barrier is a constant presence, it is refreshing to see a festival that can be said to be truly Montreal’s. Dance, by its nature, transcends language, and this is more significant today than ever before with the plethora of languages entering our daily lives. The festival in question is the yearly Quartiers Danses, a showcase of contemporary dance artists from around the world.
The multidisciplinary festival, which runs from September 10 to 26, boasts 30 performances, six film screenings, and two art exhibitions. What makes this event unique is its mantra; according to the event website, the festival exists to “democratize and decentralize dance by taking it out of the downtown cultural institutions.” For this reason, many of the performances will be held outdoors and in public spaces, and all of them will be spread evenly throughout nine districts of the city.
Many of the performances seek to investigate the more unspoken aspects of our day-to-day lives. On September 24, for example, a dance troupe led by Geneviève Bolla will be performing Others, an exploration of how people see themselves and their partners in relationships. Other events to look out for include Jane Mappin’s world-premiere multimedia performance “The Point at Which Movement Begins” at the Maison de la culture Maisonneuve, “New Creation” by Taafé Fanga at Place Pasteur in the Latin Quarter, and “Madness Tango” at the Maison de la culture Côte-des-Neiges – a crowd favourite from last year’s festival.
Your best bet for finding more information on this and other events is the festival’s website quartiersdanse.com, which has an easy-to-use calendar complete with brief summaries and maps to all of the performances, film screenings, and outdoor sites.