The final weekend of March’s madness! Temperatures may have fluctuated wildly this month, but spring is definitely in the air now, even if our fingers still can’t quite feel it… Bring a pair of gloves out just in case, but arty happenings indoors and out will keep the blood flowing, whether ballet’s your bag, film’s your forum, rock n’ roll’s your rock or events of strange and sublime proportions are your, er, thing…
[spring steps] Springtime – and the rest of Vivaldi’s famed Four Seasons – hits the stage as Les Grands Ballets Canadiens (pictured above) beautifully wows with Italian choreographer Mauro Bigonzetti’s heralded Four Seasons and a new contemporary ballet work, Cantata. Les Grands Ballets Canadiens stays on its many toes at Théâtre Maisonneuve, Place des Arts, until March 26. For the more subversively minded, the Edgy Women Festival questions sex, gender and the fine art of dance and performance in a triple-bill show featuring a strip-teasing Narcissister, the half-smiling and truth-telling Anti-cool and a raging Leslie Baker – step onto the cutting-edge at Tangente (840 Cherrier), March 24–27.
[moving art] Montreal’s International Festival of Films on Art (FIFA) lets us peek into many a creative mind, from painters such as Jean Michel Basquiat, Emily Carr (pictured above) and Montreal’s own Zilon, to architects like Mies van de Rohe and Le Corbusier, to purveyors of punk rock. FIFA runs to March 27 at various locations. Meanwhile, avant-garde film keeps on going strong at the Segal Centre Cinemaspace with Keeping Trace: On Time and Film, a selection of films and videos that mark the passing of time itself, March 26, 7:30 p.m.
[good theatrical times] Montreal’s Village Scene Productions is known for its strange take on highly entertaining productions – their newest play, Man Boobs (penned by NYC playwright J. Julian Christopher) is no exception, telling the story of two men, their emotional and sexual connection and their body issues (an official event of the seventh annual Sugar Bear Weekend), at the Rialto Theatre (5723 du Parc), March 24–27. Also fun: on Friday and Saturday night, the Rialto hosts a late-night Silent Disco: strap on a pair of headphones on and dance the night away. Or, if you’re feeling romantic in a slightly sultrier way, waltz on down to Mainline Theatre (3997 St-Laurent Blvd.) for Spring Slowdance Night – pick up a dance card, pick out a partner or 10, and rest your weary head on a stranger’s shoulder.
[all-natural fun] Education, entertainment and sugary treats come together in one delicious package at Montreal’s Botanical Gardens. Their sugaring-off exhibit at the Tree House and Arboretum lets kids in on the secret of maple syrup and the trees it comes from (though I have known more than one adult to be confounded that maple syrup does in fact come out of trees, so maybe parents should pay attention too), featuring activities and, of course, snacks, to April 3. We’ve got a few more urban sugar shack options for adults-only too.
[artistic renderings] The late Princess Diana and John F. Kennedy are the main characters in Vancouver artist Barry Doupé’s film work, Whose Toes, a re-imagining of past events and an exploration of collective discomfort and trauma. Screening with Ponytail, Doupé’s multi-character filmic quest to understand people’s attraction to failure, on Friday, March 25, 7 p.m. at artist-run centre Articule (262 Fairmount W.). Also on show is the animation, video, painting, drawing and installation work of Montreal artist Jessica MacCormack, whose work addresses issues of violence in the everyday and finds ways to resist neoliberal capitalism and social control.
[Easy listening] One of the sweetest and sweetest-sounding Canadians around, Sarah Mclachlan emerges with new tunes and sings old favourites, at Theatre St-Denis (1594 St-Denis) on Thursday, March 24. The next night, Wilco’s frontman Jeff Tweedy does his own alt-country-psych-rock thing at Olympia Theatre (1004 Ste-Catherine E.) and former/current hip-hop artist Nelly shows up in full force at Métropolis (59 Ste-Catherine E.) along with Cali Swag District. On Sunday, heavy-riff masters Queens of the Stone Age pummel the willing with hard rock at Metropolis, and L.A. cool kids Warpaint bring warm sunny tunes to dance to, at La Sala Rossa (4848 St-Laurent Blvd.).