Cultural life in general
One thing I love here is the alternative scene. It's always exploding in new directions, nothing is set into any style. Conventions are broken all the time and new expressions of art keep us on our toes. One can feel young forever here :)
One good place to be stirred and amazed is the Théâtre de la Chapelle, right in Centre-Town. Tonight I saw the Première of Duda Paiva's Angel, what a performance!
Angel is a puppetry show for adults. Duda Paiva is a dancer and actor from Brazil who performed there, in India and Japan before arriving in the Netherlands in 1996. Angel won awards in Lleida, Spain; Tallinn, Estonia; La Paz, Bolivia; Ljubljana, Slovenia; Torun, Poland; Ostrava, Czech Republic; and in Holland too.
The way Duda moves is incredible! and the way he lives through his Angel of stone is even better. The Angel is so cute, so expressive! so tragic too...
I went there tonight without knowing what to expect at all. By coincidence, I had my Portuguese language book with me and was studying it, waiting for the show to start. Suddenly, Duda walked up to me in the audience and all I could say was "oh.. sorry.. I'm starting to learn Portuguese... Como te chamas?" (I'm only at Lesson 2...) He laughed and taught me a few words of Portuguese, then returned to the stage and started the show.
When it was over and I was quite enthralled, I went on the stage to take a photo of the "stone" angel, and Duda came by so we talked a bit. A great guy. Here are two photos, for fun :) Montreal is my city, where I always feel that I'm becoming... that's my fondest thought of Montreal, it's not a memory, it's an evolving feeling. Yeah, I love Montreal!
Here's a word from Duda Paiva:
"An unexpected take on Pygmalion:
Bored at a friend's dinner party, I start looking at magazines
which were strategically placed for those with low social skills,
That's when I encountered one picture about a graveyard in Havana and there he was, sitting with his little legs crossed on a grave stone pleading with his eyes a question which never left
my mind : wha da hell am i doing here?
On that very night I learned how to talk to statues.
On that very night I decided to create the show ANGEL."
La Chapelle -- 3700, rue Saint-Dominique, Montréal
This is where you will hear...
This is where you will hear French and English being spoken at the same time. Montreal is very European and the old part is breathtaking! There is always a festival going on so you're guaranteed never to be bored. When I'm away from Montreal, I miss the party atmosphere. And the french!
St Lawrence River
Long ago, in school geography, we learned of the mighty St Lawrence River and of how it provides shipping access to the Great Lakes (with canals in the areas not suitable for navigation). It was definitely on my ‘want to see’ list.
Although Montréal has a port area (and the “Sailors’ Church”), it’s easy to forget that the city is actually on an island in the St Lawrence. So, as we departed by train and crossed over what was, without question, the largest river I’ve ever seen, I recalled my teacher and those classes from many years ago. Impressed with the reality? Very much so: for most of the year all Australia’s rivers combined would not carry this much water! Then, shortly after crossing the river, we also crossed the St Lawrence Seaway canal, with a ship in the lock: it completed the picture for me.
Main and second photos:St Lawrence River
Third, fourth photos: Ship in the lock on the canal.
Representations of Montreal...
Animal: the beaver, often seen over the armorial bearings, it represents the industrious character of Montrealers who contributed to the city's developpement.
Motto: "Concordia Salus" which is latin for "salvation by agreement".
Logotype: A modern and stylist red four "V&M" shapped petals flower (for Ville de Montreal) always following the city's name.
Flag: A white flag, parted in four the quadrants of a red heraldic cross assembling four plants that represent Montreal's population of the 19th century; first quadrant is illustrated with a fleur de lys: emblem of the Bourbon House of France, first owner of the city's land, the second quadrant represents a Lancaster rose for Montreal's English influence, the third quadrant is imprinted with a thistle, symbol of Montreal's Scottish population and last quadrant symbolises a shamrock: four leaf clover signifying the Irish element established in Montreal.
It was Sunday afternoon and we got caught in the middle of a downpour. After a quick stop for ice cream, I was led to a park where a crowd had gathered around for the local phenomenon known as "Tam Tam" - an anything-goes dance-in-the-park where musicians, drummers and free spirits come to dance to the hypnotic beats. Even though it was raining, there was certainly quite a crowd. Apparently this has been happening at this park in Montreal for years. It happens every Sunday afternoon.