2014 By: Ilania Abileah





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FASS 2014

 and Pictures courtesey of David Asch



 It all started with Guillaume Côté's "Body of Work", and the amazing choreography “Dance me to the end of Love” to the music of Leonard Cohen. 


And the Gods continued to walk the stage!  This year the dancers told us with their bodies “I am alive, I can fly, I can paint, I can scream, and I can dream!


The Martha Graham Dance Company gave mythology and dance perfection with the tales of:  “Errand” danced by Maiya Dashkina & Lloyd Knight; and “Echo” inspired by the Greek myth of Narcissus and Echo.    Marie Chouinard brought a mixed package of romantic Chopin music danced in a style of her own, and poetry reading with the bodies of dancers, with one Hercules in their midst.  


The Opera Glam Couple Ailyn Perez & Stephen Costello
gave a medley of love songs from the opera and musicals. The Montreal Gospel Choir got the audience on stage! The String Orchestra Appassionata played a beautiful musical program with lovely passages in Piccicato.  


The two international evenings Jason Reilly gave “Ballet 101” a ballet class that will remain in my memory for a long time, and then he proceeded to charm us with “Bite” with Anna Osadcenko a magnificent Russian dancer - one of the most impressive duos in this festival.  Yukichi Hattori danced some of his own choreography describing what a dancer's body means, a temple of art. 

The young Francesco Gabriele Frola & Shaila D’Onofrio, performed beautifully, Francesco Gabriele Frola actually soared upwards! And the seasoned dancers Guillaume Côté and Greta Hodgkinson, as well as Joaquin De Luz & Misa Kuranaga gave us their all in beautiful classical ballet pieces!  


These were eight evenings charged with the highest caliber artistry in dance and in music.  One cannot but leave it to the visual memories that were imprinted in one's mind to recount this excellent event - courtesy of David Asch.   






Here is the program for the 2014 Festival

Thur., July 31, 8 pm: The next Artistic Director of the Festival is Guillaume Côté who is co-producing this year’s festival with current director Anik Bissonnette. The opening night show features Guillaume Côté’s choreography: “Lost in Motion” a short film, a solo “Body of Work”; and “Dance Me to the End of Love”, set to music by Leonard Cohen, performed by National Ballet of Canada dancers. And “Excerpts from Giselle” by Jean Coralli and Jules Perrot, a pas de deux performed by Côté and the Bolshoi Ballet’s principal dancer, Svetlana Lunkina; and another Côté creation: “Fractals: A Pattern of Chaos” performed by the young Toronto troupe ProArteDanza.


Fri., Aug., 1, 6 pm: Ailyn Pérez and Stephen Costello For the music lovers, this Opera singing couple comes to enchant us with music from Puccini to Broadway.



Sat., Aug., 2, 8 pm: Canadian Premiere of the Martha Graham Dance Company. Three works from the company’s repertory: “Diversion of Angels”; “Errand; and “Lamentation Variations”. The fourth work: “Echo” choreographed by Andonis Foniadakis will be shown for the first time in Canada. At 4 pm, there will be a multimedia presentation about the work of Martha Graham. The conference will be done in English. Limited seating – Please reserve early ($25)!




Sun., Aug., 3, 8 pm: The spellbinding Montreal Jubilation Gospel Choir returns to the Festival with traditional gospel songs with a touch of jazz, pop, and classical pieces.










Wed., Aug., 6, 8 pm: Appassionata and Arthur Murray Montreal. Daniel Myssyk and his 17 musicians will play music by Grieg, Bach, and Tchaikovsky with Guest dancers Christopher Panasuk, and Anna Akselrod.








Thur., Aug., 7, 8 p.m.: Compagnie Marie Chouinard. The company will perform “24 preludes by Chopin”; and “Henri Michaux: Mouvements” inspired by the work of the Poet and painter whose drawings are projected in the background.










Fri., & Sat., Aug., 8 & 9, 8 pm: International Ballet: A night with the stars. Eight internationally acclaimed principal dancers perform two different programs of classical and contemporary dance styles – they will amaze the audience with their beautiful soaring leaps, and graceful movements. The dancers are: Guillaume Côté, National Ballet of Canada; Svetlana Lunkina, Bolshoi Ballet; Joaquin de Luz, New-York City Ballet; Misa Kuranaga, Boston Ballet; Jason Reilly, Stuttgart Ballet; Anna Osadcenko, Stuttgart Ballet; Yukichi Hattori –Alberta Ballet; and Tara Williamson – Ballet BC.


There will be two free evening shows at Park Filion 6:30 & 9:30 pm, most nights. 

Aug., 3, is Children’s Tohu-Bohu 1-4 pm.





Big Top show tickets are $45 & $60.

Passports: Complete Series (8 shows) $379; Dance (5 shows) $260; or Music (3 shows) $153.


Some tickets are available at half price for those under thirty.


Quebec residents have a chance to win one of two prizes to be drawn on August 9, at the big top; tickets for this draw are $5. The prizes are: vacation in Mexico for two; and a 6-months rental for a Fiat. www.fass.ca.

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FASS 2014 will take place July 31 to August 9

The FASS celebrates 23 years since its inception.  It is the 18th Festival held in St. Sauveur.  A significant corner stone – The number eighteen means “Life” (in Hebrew) and it is a year for a breath of Life for this important event.  This year we shall be treated to a new and inspiring program, with something for every taste.  There will be classical ballet, as well as contemporary dance, musicians playing classical, modern, opera and devotional music. 

The artists coming to the festival are dancers and musicians who have worked hard for years perfecting their art.  The dancers learnt to make gestures that describe visual effects, and feelings with their bodies, while creating amazing movements to music, or making their own sounds.  The musicians and singers practiced their instruments to reach purity of sound, and unison of an orchestra or a choir.  There will be dancers leaping into unbelievable heights, stretching their limbs out and up or contracting their bodies into little balls, wearing dark or colourful costumes, dancing on toe slippers, shoes, or barefoot.  Internationally renowned soloists, and dance troupes arriving from different corners of the world, to inspire us.   

Unlike previous years, this year each evening features a new dance or musical performance at the Big Top.  The Children’s Day of “Tohu-Bohu” is back, and so is the silent auction featuring goods contributed by local merchants and artists!  It will be quite important to reserve your tickets early to ensure good seats, since there will be bus-loads coming from Montreal, and the buses will also stop in St. Jerome to pick up concert- goers! 

New this year! A Master Class for Dancers, in fact a whole day dedicated to a pioneer dance group coming here for the first time!  Oh what a treat! 

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