Posted on May 25th, 2010 by .

Montreal is known as a festival city, often translated as “party town.” And while that’s true, the more nuanced reality is that our parties come in all forms.

The upcoming Festival Transamériques (FTA) might not fill the streets with people wearing silly hats (wait for Just for Laughs) or singing the blues (Jazz Fest ain’t just for jazz), but there will be dancing dans la rue (Quebecois Sylvain Emard’s Le Très grand continental) and gasping in many of the city’s theaters (Merce Cunningham Dance Company’s 902 comes to mind, and so does Congolese choreographer Faustin Linyekula’s More more more… future and Japanese dancer Saburo Teshigawara’s Miroku.)

The FTA, now in its fourth year and with a long history behind it, can be as playful about the performing arts as it is serious about showcasing the sharpest in cutting edge creativity. This year, 25 shows from 17 countries around the world, in more than a few different languages (translations provided, of course), make the fest a must for anyone looking for high-quality, incredibly professional theatre, dance, music and more.

Festival Director, Marie-Hélène Falcon, explains how the FTA is rooted in the present and respects and draws from tradition, but always has an eye on the future. “All the artists in this festival are looking at their world and want to create action and be an influence,” she says. “They have something to say and knowledge to back it up, but ultimately it’s a festival of creation.”

Other unmissable new shows:

– From Mexico, Luisa Pardo and Gabino Rodriguez’s personal-meets-environmental Asalto al agua transparente

– Montreal choreographer Frédérick Gravel’s Tout se pète la gueule, cherie incorporates folk-rock into  punk-dance

– Toronto dancer D.A. Hoskin goes beyond the frame to look at art and love in Portrait

– and Vancouver’s always entertaining Maiko Bae Yamamoto and James Long bring us The Greatest Cities in the World (note: they all happen to be in Tennessee…)

Festival Transamériques, for showtimes and tickets.

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