What to do this weekend, June 2-4: Volta, Cycling, First Friday
Pedal to the mettle with the twin Tour la nuit and Tour de l'Ile: The Tour la nuit starts Friday night at 8pm at Lafontaine Park, and ends in Jeanne Mance Park, where there will be carnival rides and other fun. (I saw them putting up a ferris wheel yesterday!) The 20km ride is a shorter, funner take on Sunday morning's Tour de l'Ile, which has 28km and 50km options. Kids under 12 ride for free, and 13-17 year-olds ride for $10. If you don’t have a bike, like me, you can rent a bixi. And if you're not biking, make sure to consult the road closures so you don't get stuck!
I caught Volta, Cirque du soleil's latest offering, at the Old Port until July 23. When you enter the Big Top, you meet three distinct groups living alongside each other in the future: the Greys, the Elites and the hippie Free Spirits. We start out at a gamshow where the drab, hardworking Greys compete on a glitzy gameshow, hoping to be plucked from obscurity and enter the ranks of the gilded Elites. But Yaz, the host/judge, becomes disillusioned with the process, and he does a volte-face. He rips off his heavy vestments to join the Free Spirits, who are playful, fun and really, really good at BMXing. The story is not especially easy to follow, but the visuals are spectacular and on message: a bejewelled contortionist hanging by her hair, parkour-ing acrobats and cyclists flipping around and nearly off the stage. I especially liked when a younger Yaz does an "acro lamp" routine, where an acrobat dances and hangs off a lamp suspended from high above. The costumes are spot-on, especially the black-and-gold Elites, who look like they rifled through Padmé Amidala's closet. French electro musician M83 provided the score, which is both thumping and ethereal.
Have you ever tried Indigenous cuisine? Chef George Lenser invites you to expand your palate at a tasting menu this weekend. Lense, a Squamish Nisga’a from Terrace, BC, has worked for Joe Beef and is currently a student at Concordia. He serves up dishes like seaweed bannock Madeleine and three sisters salad at the Ecomusee du fier monde in the gay village Friday and Saturday.
If your taste buds want to roam, check out First Friday, Canada's largest food truck rally at the Big O Esplanade. Last month's session, the first of the season, was cancelled due to rain, so the time to nosh is here! Free entry and music, but you're on your own for food.
The Festival TransAmériques (or FTA) continues with a host of avant-garde dance and theatre shows. Check out Dance Machine, a free, six-hour show at Espace Danse at Place-des-Arts (1435 de Bleury). A Vancouver choreographer named Lee Su Feh has composed an immersive dance piece where the public is invited out of the 'concrete jungle,' to interact with dancers in a space that has 64 pieces of bamboo suspended from a copper disc (see photo above). It begins at noon on Friday, Satudrday and Sunday.
Nearby, you can catch Amadeus Live, a touring show that celebrates the Oscar-winning 1984 movie, Amadeus. Follows the rockstar antics of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in the 18th century Austria wtih the movie projected onto an HD screen, with a live full orchestra and choir synced to the music. Friday and Saturday at 8pm, Place-des-Arts.
The 27th Montreal Fringe Festival has just kicked off, and while most of the shows have yet to begin, the Off-venue spectacles are available for your viewing pleasure! See Peter Pansexual, a riff on Disney's classic set in a Neverland Montreal (expect Peter is a megalomaniac pansexual lover) tonight at Café Cleopatre. There is also Memento Mori, a support group for the dead, at Freestanding Room on the Main. There is also a Fringe Prom Friday night, and the Quebec Provincial Air Guitar Championships Saturday.
And in the West Island, check out the local artisan market being organized by the good folks at a Relay for Life, a charity that combats cancer. It's happening Sunday June 4 at the Marcel Morin Community Centre in Pierrefonds.