This week in Montreal is tailor-made for music fans and show-hoppers, with hundreds of bands in town for the Pop Montreal music fest, while at the same time, the new arts and culture season gets going with world-class dance, theatre, film, art, circus and more, some of it even outdoors during these last days official days of summer.
(pop music city) Pop Montreal takes over many of the city’s music venues until the wee hours of Sunday night, with bands that both exemplify and defy the modern definition of pop. Among the many, many shows to see this weekend: on September 21, see David Byrne and St. Vincent, Tim Hecker, Yamantaka//Sonic Titan, free afternoon shows at Parc Petite-Italie and at Divan Orange; on September 22, hear the piano stylings of Chilly Gonzales, the hip hop of Big K.R.I.T. and Slim Thug, and more frees shows; and on September 23, check out Purity Ring, Grizzly Bear, Patrick Wolf and stay out late at the fest’s closing party with Nicky Da B. Plus, September 22-23, peruse the creative output of artsty-crafty Montrealers at the Puces Pop Craft Fair, at St-Michel Church.
(life on film) The 8th edition of the Montreal International Black Film Festival runs to September 30 on screens around town, featuring a program of documentaries, feature films and shorts from around the world, including an Homage to Harry Belafonte, winner of the festival’s Humanitarian Prize this year, a talk by Stedman Graham, screenings of new film Winnie, about the life of Winnie Mandela starring Jennifer Hudson, jazz-singer doc Girls in the Band, Luv starring Common, and much more. And dance enthusiasts can see performances and discussions on film at the first Cinédanse Montréal film festival, September 20-23.
(circus & burlesque) Creative Montreal-based circus Cirque Éloize blends circus arts with hip hop, breakdance and stories of identity in their new, all-ages show iD , featuring 14 high-energy performers, at Montreal circus centre La Tohu, September 20-October 6. Acrobatics and music astound in Pfffffff, a show by French circus troupe Akoreacro, running September 25-October 6 at La Tohu. And on a smaller scale and more adult-oriented, on September 21, see the Candyass Club burlesque-meets-subversive-vaudevillian-cabaret show, downtown at Café Cléopatra (1230 St-Laurent, 2nd floor), 10 p.m.
(dance days) The dance season officially opens this week with Danse Danse celebrating the 40th anniversary of BJM – Les Ballets Jazz de Montréal, a show featuring pieces by Cayetano Soto, Benjamin Millepied and Barak Marshall, September 27-29 at Place des Arts. The Quartiers Danses festival comes to a close September 22 with a performance by Manuel Roque at Tangente at 6:30 p.m. and with dance performances and a roster of great DJs at the Darling Foundry (745 Ottawa) in Old Montreal, starting at 8 p.m. Twenty-one dancers take the stage in Cas Public’s Duels September 20-22 at Agora de la Danse, and Danse-Cité presents Ta Douleur by choreographer Brigitte Haentjens at Théâtre La Chapelle.
(theatrical times) Verdi’s La Traviata opens the 33rd season of L’Opéra de Montréal, featuring Greek soprano Myrto Papatanasiu, Italian tenor Roberto De Biasio and baritone Luca Grassi, to September 22 at Place des Arts. Metachroma Theatre sticks to the classics while still taking chances with Shakespeare’s Richard III, at The Segal Centre, to September 30, and Theatre Teesri Duniya put on Governor General’s Award-winning playwright Kevin Loring’s Where the Blood Mixes, about the life-long effects of Aboriginal residential school experience – at Centre Culturel Calixa-Lavallée (3819 Calixa-Lavallée) in Parc Lafontaine to September 30.
(art of performance) Art, music and dance converge this weekend, partly due to Pop Montreal. On September 23, see a show by Los Angeles-based performance duo Lucky Dragons, who mix synthesizer sounds, video projections and movement, some of it involving the audience, at the PHI Centre in Old Montreal, 5 p.m. Also on September 23, see dance performance Where the River Gets the Water Remix, with live music by Katie Moore and Matthew Woodley, at the Ukrainian Federation (5213 Hutchison), 4 p.m.. And on September 27, get lost in audiovisual performances from German producer-artist Byetone, co-found of electronic music label Raster-Noton, and French producer and video artist Nohista at the PHI Centre, 9 p.m.
(fresh air) The weather is still warm enough to spend a few hours outside this weekend. Take a walk around the Botanical Gardens and stay until the sun goes down to see the amazing lanterns at the Chinese and Japanese gardens. On September 22, from 10 am to noon, explore one of Montreal’s neighbourhoods by foot at Heritage Montreal’s family workshop on Little Burgundy. Down at the Old Port, check out the Clock Tower Beach, complete with food and full bar, before it closes for the season on September 23. And over at Parc Jean-Drapeau on September 23, daytime dance party Piknic Electronik parties in Pop Montreal style with Pierre Babin, EZLV, J.A.S.S. , PillowTalk and Catz N’ Dogz.