Place des Arts
Place des ArtsLast Saturday marked the fiftieth anniversary of the largest performing arts center in Quebec; Montreal’s Place des Arts - also recognized as being one of the most important arts presentation, producing and promotion venues in North America.
Last Saturday marked the fiftieth anniversary of the largest performing arts center in Quebec; Montreal’s Place des Arts - also recognized as being one of the most important arts presentation, producing and promotion venues in North America.
Since September 21, 1963, approximately 45 million spectators have gathered in one of the six concert halls that make up the Place des Arts complex, to enjoy a variety of over 40, 000 performances ranging from opera, comedy, ballet, live music and theater. Place des Arts is the creative playground for its resident companies, the company théatre DUCEPPE, Les Grands Ballets canadiens de Montréal, and the Opéra de Montreal along with numerous collaborators from various other shows and festivals. Over the past three years, Montreal has invested heavily to modernize and revitalize the indoor and outdoor space of what has now become the heart and core of the new Quartier des Spectacles.
To mark the celebration of the 50th anniversary, a brilliant line-up of colorful performances were on offer to mark this historic passage. Some of the highlights included The Opéra de Montréal production of Lakmé by Léo Delibe, a brilliant and sparkling tale of forbidden love set within a bollywood theme. Kent Nagano with the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal took to the stage at the new Maison Symphonique to perform a world premiere by Québec composer Jean Papineau-Couture. Salle Maisoneuve put on an incredible dance performance that reunited no fewer than five major Montreal dance companies presenting various extracts from their recent productions.
Having had the pleasure of attending the dance recital, here below are short descriptions of the three dances that left a favorable impression on me:
- O Vertigo presented Khaos by Ginette Laurin. The performance was an explosion of human emotions on stage. Dancers frantically twirled and swirled to express moments of grief, happiness and hunger to survive in an undefined, ever changing world. The intricate steps were paced to an upbeat, electro-acoustic composition by Martin Messier.
- The always-astounding Ballets Jazz de Montreal presented a rare treat for dance lovers with their extract of Harry from Israeli-American choreographer Barak Marshall. Half spoken, comedy and theatrical dance, the men and women interchanged with each other comically, propelled by the inner battles that we all wage. In the end, compromise was the essential key to restoring balance.
- Les Grands Ballets reprises the rhythmic and colorful Danz by Ohad Naharin. Thirty dancers took to the stage to perform synchronized and composed patterns, sometimes in the shape of small hand gestures at other times deeply grounded movements that express their inner turmoil and bodily rhythms. The various sub choreographies were accompanied by music that ranged from Beethoven to surf-rock.
The 50th anniversary celebration continues over this month with various activities open to the public.
Saturday, September 28: From 11 to 4 pm, OPEN house of Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier along with performances, videos and talks. A fun event for adults and families alike.
- The Metropolitan orchestra is inviting music lovers to take part in a rehearsal with their chorus from 2 pm to 4 pm in the Salon Urbain.
Sunday, September 29, Children, students and families are welcome to two free performances of Peter and the Wolf . 11:00 am and at 1:30 pm at the Piano Nobile.
For a complete listing of activities, please visit: