Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Iceland and Finland to present
cultural activities throughout the month of April
International artistic creativity will be celebrated in style from April 4 to 29, 2018 at Place des Arts! Printemps nordique, a new large-scale project, will bring performances and activities from Nordic cultures, especially Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Iceland and Finland to the stage. Besides being an unprecedented artistic and cultural event for Québec, this series of activities will shine a light on the values of cooperation, humanism, and environmental consciousness of these fascinating countries.
A wide array of shows will be staged for the occasion. Theatre, contemporary opera, dance, circus, music, and puppets will introduce the public and Montréal professionals to talented artists from the region and deepen the ties between the Québécois and Nordic cultures. With dozens of events on the program, including twenty-three performances and many free activities – such as roundtables, master classes, and public talks – audiences will be able to immerse themselves in the social and cultural dimensions of the countries of Northern Europe.
“Place des Arts is thrilled to host so many artists and take spectators from every walk of life on a multidisciplinary voyage into the heart of Nordic cultures. The richness of the Printemps nordique program contributes to the vitality of our multidisciplinary cultural complex, a unique space for the performing arts and a national institution that is very active in developing partnerships,” says Clothilde Cardinal, Director of Programming, Place des Arts, and the force behind the program.
A Boldly Diversified Program
Contemporary dance will be showcased from April 5 to 7 at Théâtre Maisonneuve! Produced in cooperation with the Danse Danse series, Printemps nordique’s inaugural show will feature the Zero Visibility company’s presentation of Again, a unique work tying the power of emotions with music. Employing shadow play, virtuoso lifts, and floor movements, the piece was choreographed by Ina Christel Johannessen, founder of this internationally acclaimed Norwegian company. The audience is invited to meet and speak with the creators and dancers after the show on April 6.
Also at Théâtre Maisonneuve, an operatic work will be presented in English on April 14. Produced by Hotel Pro Forma, a veritable laboratory of the visual arts and performance in Denmark, NeoArtic by Kirsten Dehlholm, with texts by Icelandic writer Sjónand interpreted by the internationally renowned Latvian Radio Choir, will surely be an event! This evocative, poetic, and avant-garde musical performance was inspired byhumankind’s disruption of the earth’s ecosystems. Twelve remarkable singers span the range from classical song to electronic music – composed by acclaimed British music producer Andy Stott –as they bring the spectator on a breathtaking journey through different visual landscapes.
Theatre lovers will be delighted to witness the first Québec visit of Sweden’s Royal Dramatic Theatre – the famous Dramaten – with their play Doktor Glas on April 27 and 28 at Théâtre Maisonneuve. The play is an extract from the novel by Hjalmar Söderberg which was first published in Sweden in 1905, leading to major uproar because of its discussion of two then-scandalous themes: sex and death. Today, this masterful solo performance stars actor Krister Henriksson, best known for his role in the detective series Wallander, which has been translated into several languages and published around the world. Doktor Glas was a hit in the West End, and applauded by The Guardian‘s theatre critic. The play will be presented in Swedish, with supertitles in French and English. The play was adapted and directed by Peder Bjurman, who regularly collaborates with Robert Lepage.
On April 28, the Maison symphonique will host Norwegian Anglophonpe folk-pop singer Ane Brun. The artist was a hit on her first visit to Montréal before going on to open for a Peter Gabriel tour. She was also the recipient of a Norwegian Gold Record, and was awarded best female artist at Spellemannprisenwinning the prize for Song of the Year in 2005. This concert is being presented with the participation of the Immersive Festivalof Scandinavian Kultur and Art – FIKA(S).
Many other shows will take the stage during Printemps nordique at Place des Arts. Meet up at Cinquième Salle on April 6 and 7 for The Knowledge, a work starring the priceless multidisciplinary Swedish artist Gunilla Heilborn. Al one on the stage, our hostess will humorously explore the mysteries of the brain in a conference discussing such diverse themes as memory, maritime navigation, and taxi driving in London! Gunilla Heilborn will speak with the public following the April 7 performance.
On April 9, Norwegian duo Arvvas will put on a unique musical show featuring Sami singer Sara Marielle Gaupand contrabassist Steinar Raknesat Salle Claude-Léveillée. This show is presented in collaboration with FIKA(S).
From April 12 to 15 at Cinquième Salle, you’ll be able to witness Finnish circus act Dois with twins Luis and Pedro Sartori do Vale, organized in partnership with TOHU, in which the two artists evoke complicity, intimacy, fraternity, and rivalry. Full of humour, poetry, risks, and fragility, the differences that set them apart are ultimately what unite them. The audience will be able to meet and speak with the Sartori Do Vale brothers on April 13.
From April 17 to 21, celebrated Finnish dancer and choreographer Tero Saarinen will charm audiences with his dance performance Breath (Loopit in its original language), in collaboration with renowned accordionist Kimmo Pohjonen, as part of the Danse Danse program. On what is announced to be this brilliant artist’s final solo act, the show offers an inviting dialogue between dance and music with stunning visual effects designed by Mikki Kunttu. The Cinquième Salleaudience will be able to speak with Tero Saarinen after the April 20 performance.
Two public encounters will also be held as part of Printemps nordique in collaboration with the Blue Metropolis International Literary Festival: the first at Cinquième Salle on April 26 with Norwegian author Linn Ullmann, daughter of Ingmar Bergman and Liv Ullmann, and the second at Salle Claude-Léveillée on April 27 with rising Icelandic crime fiction writer Ragnar Jonasson.
To close the program, the theatrical puppet show Papper, part of the popular family series Place des Arts Junior and produced by Sweden’s oldest puppet theatre, the Marionetteatern, will enthral children ages 4 and older on April 28 to 29 at Cinquième Salle. The show is a joyous and surprising mix of shadow theatre, puppets, actors, dance, visual art and music.
Free Activities for Nordic Culture Fans
Many free activities are offered all through Printemps nordique in the various spaces of Place des Arts. For starters, let’s mention that from April 5 to 29, the exposition hall of the Espace culturel Georges-Émile-Lapalme will welcome the public for an exhibit by the Association of Sami Artists entitled Aigematki – Tidsreise – Time travel – Voyage dans le temps. The Sami are a nation inhabiting the extreme north of Norway, Finland, and Sweden. Espace Culturel’s mosaic of screens and Nordic digital arts will be getting busy with Leges Motus, the work of Denmark’s Lasse Andersen and his studio Dark Matters, starting on April 5.
Conferences regarding the book, distribution and research endeavours between Quebec and the various Scandinavian cultures are planned for April 4, 5 and 6, in collaboration with the Chaire de recherche sur l’imaginaire du Nord, de l’hiver et de l’Arctique de l’Université du Québec à Montréal, while on April 10 at Cinquième Salle, a master class on writing a detective series will be organized in collaboration with UQAM’s Media School. Professional encounters fostering exchange between Québec artists and those from Nordic countries will also be held on April 7. It will be an enriching way to celebrate all these cultures and create ties between the artists. The complete list of activities will be available in early 2018.
An Even Bigger Celebration
In addition, the Cinémathèque québécoise will be showing a retrospective of the work of Swedish director, filmmaker, and screenwriter Ingmar Bergman from April 6 to 30. Also, the OSM will host Finnish orchestra conductor John Storgårdsat the Maison symphonique de Montréal from April 24 to 26 for an expected three concert series, as part of its “Nordic Spring” Festival.
To reserve show tickets and get all the details regarding Printemps nordique, go to placedesarts.com/printemps-nor
This event, initiated and produced by Place des Arts, is being made possible thanks to the financial support of important partners: Nordic Culture Point, the Nordisk KulturFond and the Place des Arts Foundation. The presentation of certain shows is being made possible thanks to the cooperation of local partners, including Danse Danse, TOHU, the Blue Metropolis International Literary Festival, the Immersive Festival of Scandinavian Kultur and Art – FIKA(S), and UQAM.
About Place des Arts
The goals of the Société de la Place des Arts de Montréal are to operate a business dedicated to the promotion of the performing arts, to administer the Place des Arts de Montréal and the Amphithéâtre Fernand-Lindsay in Joliette, and to establish the artistic programming at the Maison symphonique for organizations other than the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal. These activities are to be conducted, more specifically, so as to provide a residence for major arts organizations and improve access to the various types of performing arts, and promote arts and culture in Québec. The Société produces, co-produces, and hosts artistic works originating in Québec or abroad, featuring both emerging artists and international stars, in collaboration with artistic organizations, producers, creators, and the entire cultural community.