The Sky ends at Place des arts: Danse Danse Unveiling 2023-2024.
This is not even The Ground. When we talk about Place des arts, we are desperately touching the sky. It is one, if not, the most prestigious name in the Montreal Art scene. In every corner, I see their posters of operas and Dance shows like Le Lac des cygnes. Unfortunately, having this disturbing feeling that it is too expensive for me, too expensive to even ask the price, I walk, slowly but surely, to the metro like a villain outcast. Travelling to Berlin, an artistic director at my work asked me to attend the unveiling on her name.
This is how I ended up on an infinite red carpet floor, leading me to Salle Wilfrid Pelletier. Danse Danse 2023-2024 was presented by Pierre Des Marais. Place des arts can easily bring well known artists on the stage without any issues. This is also why the public is mainly composed of art schoolers, old contemporary art teachers, classic art lovers(seniors), who to remind themselves that they are still the best in their field or in their taste, go to the same places every week.(myself included)
There's a profound need to entertain an elitist but well thought approach on ART in the contemporary scene. This is probably why, I was looking for inclusion and saw some Black and Brown choreographers here and there. Nevertheless, they talked about inclusivity and how it was important for Place des arts to work on that part. You can find a specific section about inclusivity and some programs on their website. First, I know, it is not easy to have a place there without being a Token as a Black artist, but it is worst to stay there and face racism daily. if you tell me that it is not important, I will respond that communities need money and I'm curious to see how these people navigate through their communities:
Are they fighting the system or participating in it ? and more importantly What are they doing and how do I feel about that ? because they are still here at the end of the day and it's always better to know different art scenes.
If you can afford it next year, I encourage you to go to these artists shows, with these questions in mind.
Here are some that I found interesting : Symphonie de cœurs by Rhodnie Désir and Yannick Nézet-Séguin, SANKOFA DANZAFRO Detrás del sur danzas para Manuel by Rafael Palacios , Jungle Book reimagined by Akram Khan, Soul Chain by Sharon Eyal and Gai Behar. On this distinguished list, there is an adaptation of Swan Lakes by Marie chouinard, a quebec dancer, Cayetano Soto and Hofesh Shechter.
After an hour long presentation, we moved to the Foyer, to eat little sandwiches for me and to buy some tickets for others. In the middle, it was amazing to see the dance floor and drink wine. I won't lie, during this moment I had fun and met few artists. There weren't a lot of young people and I thought that great conversations with different generations on Art is more needed than we think.