In Montréal, contemporary dance is being spotlighted. A photography exhibition space has been established at the newly renovated Parc Serge-Garant in the Gay Village – a project instigated by local resident Mario D’Astous with the help of l’Agora de la Danse. The city of Montréal began restoring the space in the spring of 2013 and this August it mounted a series of dance photographs on permanently installed outdoor panels, which will remain on display into the summer of 2014. Every year the photographs will change to celebrate a different aspect of the city’s rich art scene.
The inaugural exhibition, Sur un nouveau pas de danse, includes iconic contemporary dance companies such as Cas Public, José Navas/Compagnie Flak, Compagnie Marie Chouinard, La Fondation de Danse Margie Gillis, La La La Human Steps, O Vertigo, PPS Danse, Sinha Danse, Van Grimde Corps Secrets and Fortier Danse Création. According to d’Astous one of the challenges of the exhibition was curating the photographs to be displayed based on the limited number of panels, the many contemporary companies in Montréal and the availability of usable high-resolution photographs of their work.
The goal of the project is to expose more people to dance and the beauty of the human body, bringing a new artistic element to the Village. While the general public is not regularly confronted with contemporary performance in everyday life, this exhibition offers a small window on the dynamism of the vibrant Montréal dance world. “This park is an intimate space – as a matter of fact, contemporary dance is also very intimate. It transports people to completely different universes,” says d’Astous.