I almost forgot how inspiring Montreal gets in the Fall. Summer is such a whirlwind of off time, down time, summer rays, parties, and a high mark for Montreal’s fashion industry. The leaves begin to fall as the trees mold to decay and suddenly the streets are barren with layers and places to go not just places to be. Beauty and psychological muses are all around us and in the nations artistic capital my mind remains anticipating each day as I fall again and again in love with this city. The doors close and our mind expands taking in all the magic, some that catalyst us into a state of benefitted frenzy bouncing creative projects forcing out ideas before the snow falls. I have been feeling this wind since fashion week, recently entranced by seeing the mind altering Grimes live out my inner most spiritual fantasies, immersing into a photo shoot campaign for DYDH Productions, and most recently during Danse Danse where I was captured by internationally acclaimed Les Ballets Jazz De Montreal‘s latest brilliant production for their 40th anniversary.
I recently attended a benefit soiree ,CONTACT, for the BJM at the Maison du Conseil des Arts. We ate cupcakes off models, seduced by eclectic cocktails that included aloe or maple, a live transformative performance by Mekele that included a one of a kind surprise dance by the company including showering us in glitter. There was past provoking visuals, an array of patrons from all industries, A-Rock on the tables, and I in a VFranz robe, Chloe clutch nestled inside a vintage army cap and boots. The night showed a different side of the company,which was given an aura of magic by creative director of the night Andrew Ly of TRUSST, so I was enthralled to be invited to their opening night at Theatre Maisonneve for their opening night and see what they traditionally offer.
I was naturally running behind running home from work in order to reconfigure what I Thought I was going to wear. Ended up trolling for a cab in a Maroon Blazer, Leather V-Neck top, White oxford, a sheer black tied bow, top man shorts, hosiery, tribal-esque clutch and studded black shoes. Fled up all the red carpetry and making it classically in time to take my seats behind the wives of heads of states and I mean that facetiously but who knows at Place Des Arts.
The first act although inspired by a musical piece Fuel, which it was named after, was an act of machinery and creating the dancers intro the system in place. I saw it as a car chase, and not one of those one where everything blows up, people are shooting and going backwards. This piece choreographed by Cayetano Soto, was a classic car chase from the first half of the century. I saw the way the dancers were grouped and jolting like a gang of unitegral violence. An assault on youth and youth culture being choked by old ways and old wisdom. A mechanical re-energy from the mids silence which set it apart from the loud robust chase the music originates and continues after you mistakenly wonder if it’s over. The last part was collesul in the best way, as the last ¨car crash¨ seemingly takes the life of one of the male dancers with a strong pair of headlights pulls him in but actually seems to end in the harrowing death to the last heart beat of Morgane Le Tiec.
The second act was a songbook counter to the opening scene. An enigmatic selection choreographed by Benjamin Millepied, who you might know from Black Swan and\or wifey to Natalie Portman. A poetic and seasonal journey as the stage lights dance along from yellowed hues, to whites and blue. optioning a disposition of summers love and back around to winters demise. A beautiful dream as the two dancers Celine Cassone, and Alexander Hille,who just worked it for a two page spread in ELLE Quebec, force you into an erotic yet pure tranquility only heightened by the designs by Montreal’s design duet Jose Manuel St-Jacques and Simon Belanger of UNTTLD. A different journey than the first which took your emotions and spun them around into oblivion and Closer, the duet, takes your inner most spirit and escalates it onto this Tabla Rossi, the canvas for their flight.
The last pieces and full second half of the show, Harry,was made just for the BJM crew. This was a departure from the first half of the night infusing acting, humour, and politics. I saw a 1940s war crime drama. This was a modern vintage piece with obvious Israeli influence from the Israeli-American choreographer, Barak Marshall who states he was inspired by human struggles whether between men and women, our within our own physical and existential framework. Within the death, there was a lot of death, marked by the guns of red balloons, and the sounds of war-time interrupting an era of international leisure and commercial paradise exploration. I felt such a swag from all the performers really showing each in everyone’s personality amongst the theatrical piece of 45minutes. Almost a murder mystery as each character tapers off into their own deathly routine but all centring around who i thought was a war criminal, Harry.
Overall I was entranced by the night, the performance, and the free wine and food which did in fact keep the vegans in account, bonus! This further proved the innovation and modernized ethic of BJM. Their take on classic pieces and classic moves keeps it fresh, edgy, and such an appetizing future for such an extensively talented team. A stunning and sexy group of individuals that are sure to take you on a post modern contemporary journey fusing Jazz, Ballet and various forms of dance to create a performance you will need to see if you can catch them.
View some videos and making of below and don’t forget to check out the calendar HERE to see what BJM is up to next!
Making of Harry
All Photos and Videos courtesy of Google and The BJM Website.
- Montreal Fashion Week Pre-Tox (montrealstreetfashion.com)