Created in 2012 by the artist Axelle Munezaro, 100Lux is a non-profit organization whose purpose is to facilitate and encourage the professionalization of urban dancers, who are all self-taught, regardless of their style – hip hop, house, locking, etc. This professional environment helps them to improve their style, and express their imagination and creativity, while enjoying greater visibility and awareness among larger audiences. Every February, 100Lux organizes a festival that has become a must-see event in Montreal for contemporary dance. Other annual events also feature urban dance, and 100Lux happily collaborates with areas, such as contemporary dance, as part of OFFTA (live art festival), whose next event is scheduled for late May-early June, 2017.
Furthermore, I am really excited about the opening earlier this year of Espace SANS LUXE, providing dancers with an opportunity to take part in free practice sessions or sessions on specific styles.
MAI (Montréal, arts interculturels)
From March 16 to March 26, 2017
MAI, which has been open to the public since 2000, with a theatre, a contemporary art gallery and a café bar, is an essential distribution platform for intercultural artistic practices, including exhibitions, and performances of dance, music and plays. This mix of genres and styles gives rise to some original forms of expression that reflect Montreal’s diversity. This place, which aims to facilitate contact among the various artistic practices, makes lots of room for native artists, visible minority artists, immigrant artists and artists with disabilities, offering them all greater visibility. Residency, mentorship, studios and coaching help them to reach a place that is often difficult to attain. MAI plays a major role in this respect, one that should serve as an inspiration for the creation of other bodies with the same calling.
From March 16 to 26, Taking Place, an event is scheduled featuring performing arts from around the world, and which “was also conceived as a means to reference civil rights and liberation movements, of inclusiveness.”
Another of my favourites is the famous troupe La Pocha Nostra, who will perform their work Uroborus on March 25, and have scheduled a week of workshops known as Exercises for rebellious artists, from March 20 to 24.
Cabaret Babylon Aztlan. © Don Costello.
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From March 17 to May 14, 2017
TOHU, founded by the Cirque du Soleil, the École nationale de cirque and En Piste, has very quickly acquired an international reputation for the circus arts. Having become an absolutely essential place in this area, it has begun to welcome other disciplines, such as dance. Currently we can attend a performance by the Akram Khan Company, Until the lions, from March 17 to 25, and Tendre, by Créations Estelle Clareton, a company associated with Diagramme, from March 31 to April 1. In addition, there are programs for young audiences aged 0 to 6, such as the initiative Petits Bonheurs, from May 5 to14. Room has also been made for visual art exhibitions, such as the one by the Mexican artist Dinorah Calzaco, Teocuahuitl: l'axe du monde, being shown until May 7, 2017.
Mention must be made of TOHU’s architecture, a large green building combining new technologies and ecological elements. A vegetable garden, accessible to everyone, has been created and even beehives have been installed, adding to the particular friendliness of TOHU. And mention must be made of its circular hall, which is absolutely unique in Canada.
A place I heartily recommend to be visited year-round.