Enjoy Montreal’s winter traditions this week, from tobogganing to warming comfort foods, and find yourself transported by all manner of entertainment: electronic dance music, Chinese dance, Russian ballet, high-tech French film, inventive art, and more…
(party outside) Along with the many winter activities at Parc Jean-Drapeau comes four weekends of family fun and outdoor activities at Fête des Neiges de Montréal: along with music and other entertainment, slide down snowy hills, go ice skating, snowshoeing, skiing and dog sledding and even ride a zip line, every weekend January 18 to February 9. More ice skating happens every night at the Old Port in Old Montreal, where ice fishing beckon those with patience and love for a true Canadian winter experience. Later, cozy up with gourmet comfort food at the SAT Foodlab’s nordic terrace, enclosed by a yurt all winter. And after that, opt for the uniquely Montreal outdoor electronic-music dance party Igloofest, starting its a four-weekend-long run at the Old Port with music by Matthew Dear, Âme, Skream and more talent on two stages.
(theatre & dance) Russian ballet stars, including Yulia Makhalina and Mikhaïl Venshchikov, as well as dancers from the National Ballet of Ukraine perform solos and duets from Swan Lake, The Sleeping Beauty, Don Quixote and more at the Gala des Étoiles du Ballet Russe at Outremont Theatre on January 17. See the four-part Jeux de Cartes project from Robert Lepage and his company Ex Machina, made specifically for a circular stage and beginning with provocative theatrical show Pique, to January 25 at circus centre Tohu. Celebrate Chinese New Year early with a colourful, high-energy performance by the Phoenix (Huayun) Artistic Troupe, with guest artists from Cirque du Soleil, on January 18 at Theatre Maisonneuve at Place des Arts. Also on Saturday, see new dance by emerging choreographers at dance festival Bouge d’ici’s Cabaret show and afterparty at Mainline Theatre. And Tangente presents nGENESISn, Montreal dancer-choreographer Thierry Huard’s new work exploring gender and androgyny, January 23-26 at Monument National, while Agora de la Danse presents Danièle Desnoyers’s dance-meets-music Duos pour corps et instruments, une [re]création, January 22-25.
(film & art) Truly immersive new multimedia project ObE, a wild creation by French artists Maotik and Fraction, surrounds viewers at the SAT’s 360-degree Satosphere dome all month. See new sculptural work by acclaimed artist Valérie Blass at The Parisian Laundry and see what’s going on in conceptual art with a performative element at SBC Gallery’s Stage Set Stage series of performances, films and workshops. The Objet Sonore art lecture series continues at the Phi Centre on January 18 with talks on nostalgia and shortwave radio, and the Hybrid Bodies series begins on January 22 with a round-table discussion on the interdisciplinary PITH project, which sees artists and medical doctors working together. The Phi Centre also screens Abdellatif Kechiche’s Blue Is the Warmest Color on January 20 as well as other independent films throughout the month. Always-interesting Montreal artist 2fik launches new exhibition Museum, created in residence while in Brooklyn, Regina and Paris as an exploration of canonical Western art history, photographic technologies and boundaries of acceptance, at l’Espace to January 21. And if you’re looking for another perspective on the world, Astronaut Colonel Chris Hadfield talks about life on Earth and in and outer space on January 23 at Place des Arts.
(live music) While Montreal’s lords of wondrous gloom Godspeed You! Black Emperor plays two sold-out shows at Metropolis on Saturday and Sunday, they’re almost rivaled by several other shows: on Saturday January 18, Neutral Milk Hotel returns to play songs from much-loved classic album In the Aeroplane Over the Sea as well as more recent creations, with Elf Power opening, at L’Olympia, while The Jim Jones Revue rock ‘n’ rolls out the funk, with Alexei Martov and Loose Pistons opening, at Il Motore. Wander through the waterways of Venice at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts Splendore a Venezia exhibition and stay to hear Ensemble Caprice play chamber music at Bourgie Hall at 8 p.m. on January 18. On Monday evening slip into the captivating creative world of Welsh singer-songwriter Cate Le Bon at Il Motore. On Tuesday, British musician Johnny Flynn brings his country-tinged style to Sala Rossa. On Wednesday, Reverend Horton Heat with Nekromantix and more come to rockabilly the night away at Club Soda, while San Franciso’s Weekend engulfs fans in post-punk at Casa del Popolo. And choice abounds on Thursday, January 23: American hip-hop artist with r’n’b flare J. Cole gets real and stays fun at Metropolis, warming us up for Jay Z on Friday night at the Bell Centre; Montreal’s The Luyas play their ethereal-yet-tough style of indie-rock at Divan Orange, locals Ruff Talons debut their new EP with Mands and Loosestrife at the Playhouse; and hear Colombian music by high-tempo group Raices Caña y son, playing a free show at Espace culturel Georges-Émile-Lapalme at Place des Arts.
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