Festival des arts de Saint-Sauveur 2013 By: Ilania Abileah






Click on underlined text for more information!


The Tuba-Man Danced, and so Did We!


Note: August 2013 Except for the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, photos are by David Asch.

During the whole festival shows at the Big-Top were performed to full houses and standing ovations. The BC Ballet opened with an astounding performance by enthusiastic young, superbly trained dancers, who performed in perfect unison. “Aniel” choreographed by Emily Molnar, the Artistic Director, with the cheerful colourful costumes; Herman Schmerman with dancer Gilbert Small pirouetting in a skirt, delightful! “Muse”, choreographed by Nicolo Fonte, featuring two amazing male dancers: Darren Devaney and Dario Dinuzzi, ending with a dancer rolling into the smooth flooring material, later used on the whole stage. “Petite Cérémonie”, choreographed by Medhi Walerski, was danced to a medley of beautiful music by Mozart, Bellini, Rogers & Hart and Vivaldi. This was a captivating thirty-minute piece, danced by sixteen well trained dancers, athletic, musical and expressive. Thank you BC Ballet!

“Aterballetto” of Italy performed five pieces choreographed by Mauro Bigonzetti. “Cantata” had the whole group sing, dance, talk and shout to original and traditional music of Southern Italy. There was humour, and young exuberant Folk-style dancing, pushing, shoving, jumping, lifting and hugging. The standing ovations and calls of Bravo of the overwhelmed audience went on and on. The dancers responded with each of them coming forward executing a unique dance movement.

Both dance groups, BC Ballet and Atreballetto, featured group dances with a tremendous amount of original movements, dancers twirling around each other incessantly, very athletic leaps and jumps, elbow and hand movements, body slapping sounds, spoken utterances, tremendous unison, and magnificent duets with lifts that required exceptional trust. I am writing this, one group is yet to be seen, the Montreal Jazz Ballet.

The International dance star-studded evenings left us with memorable moments starting with Greta Hodkinson and Ethienne Lavigne of the Ballet National of Canada. The young prodigy Cesar Corrales leaped and soared to unbelievable heights. Benjamin Pech and Alice Renavand of the Paris Opera Ballet, in “Le Rendez-Vous” choreographed by Roland Petit, left a lasting visual memory. Ida Praetorius and Andreas Kaas of the Royal Danish Ballet danced “Traditional”, an award-winning choreography by Alessandro Pereira. And last but not least was the Quebec icon of contemporary dance Louise Lecavalier, and Keir Knight, with a fifteen-minute performance of extracts from choreography by Edward Lock.

The preservation Hall Jazz Band musicians were individually impressive. An absolute treat! Ronell Johnson, the TUBA man made us all get-up and dance! He skipped and danced around the stage carrying that big instrument, as if it is part of him, happily moving to the music. He epitomized what music and dance are! The best way to cherish life! The Tuba-Man proved that dance is part of life. Submit to the music! The rest is magic.

FASS - Oh what a triumph! A whole village turned into a haven for dance and music lovers. A hub for happiness, rain and all! Life has always been beautiful, but FASS definitely makes it so much more so!

*   *   *

Dance & Music Graces the Big Top Again

St. Sauveur has been dressing up for the big event that brings over 25 000 people to the village.  The Saint Sauveur Arts Festival with once again brings us a remarkable program including free outdoor shows in the park.  Here are some highlights of the festival:

Ballet BC - Thur., & Fri., July 25 & 26, 8 pm: Contemporary dance group with artistic director Emily Molnar is coming with a vibrant program featuring Aniel, choreographed by Molnar herself; Petite Cérémonie, created for Ballet BC by French choreographer Medhi Walerski; a pas-de-deux from Herman Scherman, by the great William Forsythe; and an excerpt from Muse, by the inventive American Nicolo Fonte.

International Ballet Showcase, Sat., & Sun., July 27, 8 pm & 28, 6 pm: top dancers from prestigious ballet companies share the stage: Herman Cornejo and Luciana Paris, of the American Ballet Theater; Benjamin Pech and Alice Renavand, of the Paris Opera Ballet; Étienne Lavigne and Greta Hodgkinson, of the National Ballet of Canada; and Andreas Kass and Ida Praetorius, of the Royal Danish Ballet. Joining them will be Canadian contemporary dance icon Louise Lecavalier, and Cesar Corrales, the young prodigy of the Toronto production of Billy Elliot.

A rendezvous with vintage wine and remarkable dancers!  Sun., July 28, at 8 pm: Dinner Cocktail and Silent & Live Vintage Wine Auction, where Dancers will assume the role of auction referees, at the Chalet Pauline-Vanier, 33 rue de l’Église, St-Sauveur.  The number of tickets is limited: $50 for performance, and $250 for the fundraiser = total $300.  A Tax receipt for the maximum eligible amount will be issued. www.fass.ca 450-227-0427 info@fass.ca.

The Preservation Hall Jazz Band, one of America’s most cherished cultural treasures, is performing on Wed., July 31.  Founded in 1961 by Allan and Sandra Jaffe, the band has travelled worldwide. Its current director Ben Jaffe, the son of Allan and Sandra, plays tuba with the ensemble.

Italy’s famed Aterballetto will be performing a program by choreographer Mauro Bigonzetti on Thur., & Fri., Aug., 1 and 2.  Under the direction of Cristina Bozzolini, ten dancers of Aterballetto will present excerpts from Come un respiro, Romeo and Juliet, Almost Blue, Rossini Cards and Cantata.

  BJM - Les Ballets Jazz de Montreal closes the festival on Sat., Aug., 3, with a dynamic program: Harry, created for the BJM by the Israeli-American wunderkind Barak Marshall; Fuel, by the Spanish-born Cayetano Soto; and Closer, by the French-born Benjamin Millepied.

Festival des Arts de Saint-Sauveur is one of the most important artistic and cultural events devoted to dance and music in the country. It is the only major dance festival in eastern Canada.  And for us who live here it is a wonderful Treat!  

Festival des Arts de Saint-Sauveur - Outdoor shows

Free Shows at the Park Filion 6 & 9 pm : Thurs.., July 25: MAFRICA — Percussion and African Dance.  Fri., Jul., 26: DANZA — Tango and Gypsy Music.  Sat., Jul., 27: PÉREZ — COMO NIEVA — Flamencos with José Luis Perez.  Sun., July 28, 1-4 pm Tohu Bohu for the young and their families! Wed., Jul., 31: STUDIO SHAKE — Hip Hop Dance.   Thur., Aug., 1: JEFF ROGERS — R&B Music.  Fri., Aug., 2:  M’MICHÈLE — Electric Harp & DJ Accompanied by a DJ and bass player, composer and harpist M’Michèle.  Sat., Aug., 3: LES SORTILÈGES — A world tour of traditional dance and music styles from around the world.  Free ZUMBA!  30-minute sessions, move with the rhythms of Latin music, and have fun.  Sat., to Thur., 5 pm by the Desjardins Stage.

*   *    *

Photo:  BJM Harry photo: Gregory Batardon - Photo:  Gregory Batardon

Ballet BC Aniel - Photo: Michael Slobodian



  FASS Presents a Program to Dazzle Audiences  (June 2013)

Once again, this year’s Festival des Arts de Saint-Sauveur (FASS) offers a variety of high calibre artists to dazzle audiences at the big top.

Ballet BC, the internationally acclaimed contemporary dance group Ballet BC, recently listed as one of the “25 to Watch” by the prestigious “Dance Magazine”, will visit St. Sauveur for the first time. They will open the festival performing twice Thur., & Fri., July 25 & 26, at 8 pm. These are the mystery dancers we introduced to our readers last month. They bring us a unique program in four acts danced with astounding musicality, and unison. The Globe and Mail wrote about this dance group: “Sophisticated choreography performed by a terrific group of dancers.”

International Performance – This is a rare occasion to enjoy eleven luminary artists, from the American Ballet Theatre, Ballet de l’Opéra de Paris, Ballet National du Canada, the Royal Danish Ballet, renowned Quebec dancer, and an emerging artist who share the stage for two evenings - Sat., July 27, 8 pm & Sun., July 28, 6 pm.


Photo:  Greta Hodgkinson national ballet of canada photo: aleksand

Preservation Hall Jazz Band of New Orleans: Wall Street coined them “The quintessential New Orleans Jazz Band.” These musicians will perform Wed., July 31, 8 pm. This legendary band will perform their latest program in a one night show of “toe-tapping rhythms and sounds of the Big Easy.”


Preservation Hall Jazz Band Photo - Shannon Brinkman

Aterballetto the European contemporary dance company from Italy performs Thur., & Fri., Aug., 1 & 2, 8 pm. This is Aterballetto’s first visit to Quebec, and first appearance in Canada in twenty-five years. They present: Aterballetto Suite, a program of excerpts from the works Romeo and Juliet, Almost Blue, Come un respire, and Rossini Cards. 
Aterballetto - Photo A. Anceschi

BJM – Les Ballets Jazz de Montréal – is returning to St. Sauveur with works of three renowned choreographers. Sat., Aug., 3, 8 pm.


Ballet Jazz de Montreal - Photo Von Wong

There will be pre-show and post performance discussions, and the silent auction with artworks, hotel and spa packages and more.

This year the festival is planning busloads of people from outside our region. So if you are a dance and music lover, order your tickets early! Tickets to big top shows are $45 & $60. Passports: complete series, five shows $210; or four dance shows $180. For those under the age of thirty, there is a 50% discount. www.fass.ca. Ticketpro: 1 866 908-9090.

Free Outdoor Shows - Enthralling evenings to enjoy at Park Filion by the Church two shows per evening 6 & 9 pm. Thur., Jul., 25: “Mafrica”; Fri., Jul., 26: “Danza”; Sat., Jul., 27: “Perez-Como Nieva”; Wed., Jul., 31: “Studio Shake”; Thur., Aug., 1: “Jeff Rogers”; Fri., Aug., 2: “M’Michèle”; Sat., Aug., 3 “Les Sortilèges”. And, free 30-minute Zumba sessions Thur., to Sat., 5 pm, “Get fit while having fun!”

Tohubohu: Sun., Jul., 28, 1 pm to 4 pm – For Children: Percussion, Hip-Hop, Contemporary Dance, Break Dancing, and a performance by Janika Fortin, circus dancer acrobat.

Dance Camp is being held Jul., 22 to Aug., 3, 10 am to 4 pm, for students aged 12 to 18, with dancer/teacher Brigitte Valette. Sat., Aug., 3, Dance Camp show 1 pm to 3 pm. New this year the camp opens its doors to adults for Jazz Ballet classes, places are limited deadline is July 5. FASS 450 227-0427 info@fass.ca.

See you at the Festival July 25 to August 3!

*   *   *


The Mystery of FASS 2013! (May 2013)

Who are these dancers?
Photo Michael Slobodian


Dressed in contrasting colours, moving, and they have interesting facial expressions. Are they questioning something? Are they experiencing a joyful, timeless, musical experience? Who are these dancers? Nathalie Grosshenny, the Executive Director of the Festival des arts de Saint Sauveur, suggests that you come to FASS!

The Festival of the Arts St. Sauveur embodies the spirit of dance, be it traditional, ballet or contemporary, as well as music that transcends cultural boundaries. It provides audiences with dynamic dance groups that use movement to express reality through the original, innovative vision of choreographers, and the passion of musicians. The performances we shall see will touch on passion, conflict, destiny, love and death. The
dancers’ athleticism is astounding; they are trained to deliver emotion through intricate, yet beautiful movement with precision, grace and versatility. They take you on a journey into the heart and soul of every part they play. During the festival, we shall hear award-winning musicians and see stunning performances of critically acclaimed dancers and dance groups.

The website of the festival, www.fass.ca will be updated on May 13. It will include all the mysterious surprises the people of the festival have worked all year to present at the Big Top, and the free shows, including the opportunity for you to join in and dance in the
park. There will be lots to choose from, or, simply take it all with a passport package. Whatever you choose, it is best to order your tickets ($45 - $60) in advance to ensure availability and good seats. Mark your Calendars! Thursday, July 25 to Sat. August 3!


There will be Zumba again at the FASS this year - this time with Martine Plouffe

- July 25, 26, 27 and August 1, 2, 3 at 5 pm, 30-minute sessions - Free admission!



This site was last updated 12/20/17 Copyright © 2009 Ilania Abileah. All rights reserved. erved. The