“At long last, we are able to gather together in performance halls once again! Although Festival Quartiers Danses (FQD) continues to be affected by the pandemic for a second consecutive year, what a joy it will be to share the experience of creative dance in all its glory at Place des Arts, the Montréal Museum of Fine Arts’ Bourgie Hall and the McCord Museum Amphitheatre.

For the second year in a row, Montréal/Tiohtià:ke—one of seven international dance capitals—will be in the spotlight. The 32 local choreographers on the program of the 19th edition of FQD superbly represent the Montréal dance scene and its diversity, openness, strength, poise and history. This edition is infused with Montréal’s dance heritage in all its forms and hybridisms.

We are proud to open the festival with the world premiere of Sky Dancers by Mohawk choreographer Barbara Kaneratonni Diabo. Diabo will be the first artist from the Mohawk community of Kahnawake to perform at Place des Arts, thus reclaiming the land of her ancestors. FQD recognizes that its activities take place on land not ceded by the First Peoples, which was ancestrally occupied by the Kanien’kehá:ka (Mohawk) people, among others. FQD wishes to celebrate Indigenous culture and is honoured to present artists from all walks of life in a space historically marked by artistic, cultural and social exchanges.

The 2021 edition of the festival is a celebration both of our history and of our future, and this year’s choreographers range in age from 23 to 92 years old. A collaboration by Jeanne Renaud, Marc Boivin and Louise Bédard—key figures in Montréal dance—will be performed at Bourgie Hall. The festival will also present a piece from the Margie Gillis Foundation’s Legacy Project, an initiative dedicated to ensuring the continuity of the repertoire and philosophy of this grande dame of modern dance. This year’s edition will truly be a gathering of the pioneers and the up-and-coming generations of dance.

The festival’s must-see program features a wide range of talents. Our decision to offer a triple program—in theatres, urban settings and online—will make of the 19th edition of FQD our most ambitious undertaking yet.

In keeping with our brand, we will present contemporary ballet, breaking, performance, Bollywood and contemporary dance. As a platform that represents the diversity of our cosmopolitan city, FQD aims to shine a spotlight on local artists in this all-Montréal edition.

May you make some wonderful discoveries!”

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Rafik Hubert Sabbagh

Executive and Artistic Director

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Marc Béland

President and Spokesperson

“This year, once again, Festival Quartiers Danses (FQD) stands out for its dedication to the dance community, its support of artists and its commitment to increasing the accessibility of cultural events. In this, my tenth year as spokesperson and president, I am proud to highlight an innovative project that has enabled FQD to contribute to the revitalization of the dance scene: public residencies for the choreographers of our urban program. From June 28 to September 3, two stages have been set up in Gédéon-de-Catalogne Park in the Saint-Henri neighbourhood, where the artists are able to work on their newest creations. Through this initiative, more than 20 groups have been provided with free rehearsal space and technical support.

In addition to supporting the dance community by providing artists with increased rehearsal space, the project has helped democratize dance by bringing it to new locations, in this case, the day-to-day environment of the citizens of Saint-Henri. Many curious cyclists, pedestrians and workers on break have caught a fleeting glimpse of a new piece, an informal performance or a surprising creative moment. These onlookers will have the opportunity to discover the completed works of these emerging and established choreographers throughout the festival.

Festival Quartiers Danses contributes to the revitalization of Montréal’s dance scene in numerous ways. This year, its urban program will feature a showcase of emerging Montréal talent. I had the pleasure of staging a 30-minute wandering showcase of short pieces by six emerging choreographers. For most of these artists, the showcase is their first professional experience at a renowned festival. Through this initiative, we wish to provide young artists with a springboard to a professional career.

In addition to its activities as a presenter of dance, FQD pursues its cultural outreach activities all year long. So far in 2021, despite the lingering pandemic, more than sixty cultural outreach activities have taken place in fourteen Montreal/Tiohtià:ke neighbourhoods, and the year is not over yet!

I wish you an excellent festival!”

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