THINGS TO DO IN MONTREAL: NOVEMBER 18-24

Posted on November 18th, 2011 by .

Another seven days full of great big sights and sounds here in Montreal. This week, see some of the best in local music, from worldbeat to rock, as well as some of the biggest music acts in the world. Travel afar via documentary film at the RIDM film fest, the narrative Indian dance of Shantala Shivalingappa, and come back to basics with good food thanks to the SAT and fair hockey thanks to the CWHL. And more – there’s always more…

(Montreal sounds good) Montreal is a mecca for good music, from jazz to classical to indie rock, and this week’s M for Montreal festival proves, yet again, why. Friday night’s showcase at La Sala Rossa rocks out with Hollerado and Parlovr and meanwhile, at Club Soda, the vibe is a little softer but just as loud with Bran Van 3000, Misteur Valaire and Plaster. Saturday night’s closing party does the fest justice with Juno and Polaris award-winning Karkwa along with Galaxie, The Barr Brothers, Arianne Moffatt, Random Recipe and Marie-Pierre Arthur, at Metropolis.

(life on screen) Montreal’s documentary film festival, RIDM, ends this weekend with films that directly tackle current events, global concerns and the gritty, sometimes funny, stuff of everyday life. Go from France to Mali with a storyteller in Montreal filmmaker Catherine Hébert’s Carnets d’un grand détour, or get the low-down on skateboarding in California, in Tristan Patterson’s Dragonslayer. The current state of capitalism and democracy doesn’t escape the camera in many of RIDM’s entries either: the Canadian forestry industry is criticized in Richard Boyce’s Rainforest, cargo shipping is under investigation in The Forgotten Space, and Tahrir, place de la libération looks at the reasons for the recent revolt of Egypt’s youth and the resulting government changes. And, of course, there’s much more – see the fest’s schedule.

(comedy and tragedy) Women are funny – I’m not sure why this has ever been a subject for debate. The all-women showcase She’s Got a Shape stops in Montreal, November 18–19, featuring great stand-up and sketch comedy, at Théâtre Ste-Catherine. Meanwhile, two-person improvised drama, It’s Not You, It’s Me (An Improvised Tragedy), featuring the talents of Dan Jeannotte and Kirsten Rasmussen, digs its thespian heels into the tough stuff of love, November 19 and November 24–26, at the Montreal Improv Theatre.

(dance around the world) One of the most accessible and expressive dance shows I’ve seen recently, Shantala Shivalingappa’s Gamaka, a take on Kuchipudi, classical dance from Southern India, is gorgeous, entertaining and awing – with four musicians on stage who are just as engaging (their call-and-response song with the audience is especially fun). See the traditional show until November 20, with artist talk November 19 at 4:30 p.m. Shivalingappa’s contemporary showcase, called Namasya, features choreography by Pina Bausch and others, November 22–26. Both great shows are at Cinquième Salle at Place des Arts.

(theatre digs deep) A new play, years in the making, looks at the unique perspectives and universal understandings of English and French, Canadian and Scottish, men and women, together at theatre institution Espace Go, November 22 to December 10. Montreal’s Imago Theatre teams up with Scotland’s Stellar Quines for Ana, a bilingual play (with subtitles) based on the Sumerian myth of the goddess Inanna, directed by Serge Denoncourt. Teesri Duniya Theatre launches its season with The Poster, Philippe Ducros’ play about the personal side of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, November 17 to December 4, at Bain St-Michel (5300 St Dominique), a disused public pool that has been turned into a theatre space in the Mile End neighbourhood.

(art of food) Every evening at Montreal’s Society for Arts and Technology, mix cerebral art with bodily satisfaction. In the SAT’s new 360-degree audio-visual dome, see art exhibition, Salon de massage McLuhan, inspired by thinker Marshall McLuhan’s influential work, open to the public every evening Wednesday to Saturday. Then immerse your senses in the culinary art of the SAT’s Foodlab chefs, Michelle Marek and Seth Gabrielse, who have created a menu of food and drink that suits the show perfectly. At the SAT (1201 Saint-Laurent), 5–8 p.m.

(hockey for a cause) We’re fully into the regular NHL season hype here in Montreal, with the Canadiens raising our collective hopes once again (hopefully not to be dashed once again) – but there’s even more hockey action going on. This weekend, 11 Olympians in the Canadian Women’s Hockey League (CWHL) show off their speed and skills to raise funds and awareness for the Quebec Breast Cancer Foundation. The Montreal Stars – last year’s league champions – face off against Boston on Saturday at 2:30 p.m., wearing one-of-a-kind pink uniforms, later to be auctioned off to fans along with a variety of choice NHL and Team Canada memorabilia. Entry to the game is ostensibly free, but donations are greatly encouraged. If you can’t make Saturday’s game, the Stars play Boston again on Sunday at 1 p.m. At Étienne-Desmarteau Arena (3430 Bellechasse).

(taking artistic action) While Occupy Montreal continues outside Square Victoria metro station, Montreal’s long-standing, sometimes controversial anti-homelessness art activist group ATSA (Action Terroriste Socialement Acceptable) launches this year’s peaceful campaign for social solidarity, November 18–27 at Berri Square (next to Berri-UQAM metro). As winter begins in Montreal, the event, called État d’urgence, brings the public and community organizations and, yes, homeless people together to bring awareness to the social illness that is homelessness – film, music, public art and performances, as well as discussions happen every day and evening.

(mmm music) Start the weekend with the electro-hip-hop awesomeness Africa Hitech play jams from their Warp Records release 93 Million Miles, at Cabaret Mile End. On Saturday night, go dance at the Deepfield party with DJs Kalden Bess, Orbital Mechanics and more up at Espace Réunion (6600 Hutchison), the official afterparty for M for Montreal at Club Soda. On November 21, Montreal’s Hangedup play along with a screening of documenary Blood, Sweat + Vinyl: DIY in the 21st Century, at Sala Rossa. Peter Murphy, of 70s goth-rock Bauhuas plays songs from his ninth album and more at The Corona Theatre November 22, while Jay-Z and Kanye West watch the throne at the Bell Centre. On November 24, arts collective Howl showcases women musicians at Sala Rossa and, on another note entirely, Judas Priest and Thin Lizzy play the Bell Centre.

M for Montreal Photo Credit: Alexandre Bedard

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