by Paula Citron
For Festival de Saint-Sauveur, finding the right balance between the risky and the accessible is an on-going challenge for new artistic director Anik Bissonnette. The 20th anniversary retrospective of Montréal Danse got a standing ovation, but people did walk out.
The venerable company was founded 20 years ago as a repertory company for cutting edge choreography. Current artistic director Kathy Casey has resisted Montreal’s fascination with Eurotrash and the repertoire has remained dancey.
The 20th anniversary show included 11 excerpts by eight choreographers and two film montages of past works. The evening certainly gave one a taste of solid and worthy choreography, but with so many pieces, it felt like a concert on fast forward.
The eight experienced dancers added gravitas to work which was often oblique and intellectual. This is the grave problem facing contemporary dance. You can’t leave your brains at the door.
Two outstanding choreographers were Estelle Clareton and Martin Bélanger.
From Le Grand Chapiteau in Saint-Sauveur, Quebec, I’m Paula Citron, arts reviewer for CLASSICAL 96.3 FM.