It’s an action-and-art-packed week in Montreal, especially for those of us who are into watching talented people perform amazing feats. Cirque du Soleil’s Amaluna is all that and more, as are many of this week’s dance, theatre and live music shows plus two film festivals and mind-blowing how’d-they-do-that digital art…
(flying high) Cirque du Soleil transports us to a moon-ruled world of wild women, l’amour and rock n’ roll in Amaluna. Goddesses and mere mortals cavort with muscled lizard men and charming clowns alike as incredible feats of acrobatic prowess play out for the captivating almost-three-hour show. In true old-school circus style, Cirque’s new-school circus takes place in a big blue and yellow tent in the Old Port of Montreal, to July 19.
(electronic arts) Now in its 13th edition, the Elektra Festival, May 1-6, has always rolled with the high-tech leaps and bounds and punches. The international festival specializes in new media/digital art, this year based on the theme of the “invisible” – with astounding art installations, music, film and performance by Meat Parade, Novi_Sad, Jean Piché, Mihai Grecu, Herman Kolgen, Projet EVA, Jean-Pierre Aubé, Vincent Morisset, Schnitt and many more. Shows take place around town and coincide with the ongoing International Digital Arts Biennale at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts and participating galleries, including tech-savvy SKOL and Oboro as well as at the Ancienne Ecole des beaux-arts (3450 St-Urbain) and SAT.
(theatrical times) You’re already our guest as a visitor to Montreal but Disney’s all-singing, all-dancing Broadway musical version of Beauty and the Beast comes right out and sings about it (and a bunch of other things, like star-crossed love and the life of a teapot) at Montreal’s Place des Arts, April 28-29. Some of Canada’s finest actors grace The Segal Centre stage in Bernard Slade’s romantic comedy Same Time, Next Year, to May 20. Shakespeare’s Hamlet gets the updated and musicalized treatment in Persephone Productions’ play To Be, at the Rialto Theatre to May 5. And relive a classic tale with the whole family as Geordie Productions premieres its adaptation of Pinocchio, to May 6 at Centaur Theatre.
(freedom of movement) Danse Cité sets up its Hippo-Dôme show in the 360-degree audio-visual dome at Montreal’s Society for Arts & Technology, April 27-28, 8 p.m. A night of big talent and wild entertainment is in store at Cabaret Gravel at Lion d’Or (1676 Ontario E.), featuring performances – curated by Montreal choreographer-dancer Frédérick Gravel – that fuse dance, live music and multimedia, presented by Theatre LaChapelle, May 1-4. Over at Usine C, April 28-29, is Belgian dance troupe NanoDanse’s magical Kiss & Cry. There’s still time to catch what’s up and coming in Quebec dance at the first edition of Québec Danse festival before it’s over on April 29. Meanwhile, the major DansÉmotion conference and exhibition takes place at Place Bonaventure, April 28-29. And the much-anticipated, much-adored Le Petit Prince, presented by Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, debuts May 3 at Place des Arts.
(life on film) Two film festivals keep it real with views from around the world this week in Montreal: The 2012 Montreal Israeli Film Fest, April 29-May 7, and Vues d’Afriques Festival du Cinema, April 27-May 6. The Israel Film Fest opens at the AMC Forum with award-winning Israeli director (with Montreal ties, including music in the film from Patrick Watson) Guy Nattiv’s The Flood, about a boy on the eve of his Bar Mitzvah, and flows from there with eight more films, while Vues d’Afriques roams the world in feature films, shorts and documentaries that show Africa and the African diaspora in its diverse identities.
(music for all) Rockabilly, country and punk make for mega-entertainment as Reverend Horton Heat and The Real McKenzies take over Club Soda on April 28, while Little Scream impresses with her big performance power at Casa del Popolo. Montreal’s own psych-pop-folk purveyors Adam & The Amethysts play Il Motore on April 29. Wonderful French multi-instrumentalist Yann Tiersen, who composed the music for the film Amélie, entrances at Metropolis, May 1. Also on May 1, German industrial metalists Rammstein return to the Bell Centre, followed the next night by none other than ‘90s stalwarts The Red Hot Chili Peppers. Guitar mastery seems to know no bounds with Trio Fred Frith, playing with Charity Chan & Jean Derome at Casa del Popolo (4873 St-Laurent) on May 2 – and accompanying arty visuals the following night at Cinémathèque Québécoise. That same night, Swedish pop-rock stars Miike Snow play Metropolis. And the etherial fuzzed-out indie-pop of School of Seven Bells fills La Sala Rossa to the rafters on May 3.