Message from our Directors

Our 2023 season presented by our two directors, Guillaume Côté and Etienne Lavigne.

Message from Guillaume Côté, Artistic Director

Every year, I have the privilege and pleasure of developing the program for what has become the largest summer dance event in the country. An increasingly large and varied crowd comes here eager to make discoveries and to experience beauty and emotion.

In Saint-Sauveur, the public is both curious and generous, making the artists feel welcomed with open arms and hearts. The festival’s reputation and popularity continue to grow to the point that I have decided to extend it by one day and one performance.

This expanded edition is marked by the return of international companies while reflecting the effervescence, originality, and diversity of Quebec creation.

This expanded edition is marked by the return of international companies while reflecting the effervescence, originality, and diversity of Quebec creation.

The kick-off of the festival is the result of a collaboration between EX MACHINA and CÔTÉ DANSE. You will see the first draft of a version of Hamlet on which I worked with the immense theatre man and director Robert Lepage. Together we took up the challenge of approaching Shakespeare’s play solely through dance.

Embodying the urban spirit of Los Angeles, BODYTRAFFIC has distinguished itself with energetic and refined works, carried out by performers of rare versatility. This summer, the Queen of Cool will cross paths with the King of Rhythm and Blues in choreographies by Matthew Neenan, Micaela Taylor, Ethan Colangelo and Richard Siegal.

Calgary-based DECIDEDLY JAZZ DANCEWORKS, described as “music for the eyes”, celebrates both the traditions and the future of jazz dance. It will feature a spirited program of works choreographed by Brandi Coleman, Melanie George, Lisa Latouche and Kimberley Cooper.

Kyle Abraham is internationally acclaimed for his elegant and explosive identity choreography inspired by African-American culture. Blending hip-hop, post-modern dance and jazz, the iconic pieces to be performed by his New York-based company, A.I.M. BY KYLE ABRAHAM, bear his signature along with those of Keerati Jinakunwiphat and Bebe Miller.

I have put together a double bill of two rising dance figures whose work is already internationally acclaimed. Quebec choreographer HÉLÈNE SIMONEAU has made a name for herself in the U.S. with her highly personal, athletic and fluid style of exploring intimacy, sexuality and the power of body and voice, of which Delicate Power is a perfect example. ANDREW SKEELS, a Montrealer by adoption, has a subtle and sophisticated choreographic language, nourished by an insatiable curiosity, a great humanism, and a plurality of dance styles. He will premiere Past Rooms, a deeply moving dreamlike reflection on absence.

Ambassadors of happiness and great communicators of musical passion, the ORCHESTRE MÉTROPOLITAIN and its illustrious maestro Yannick Nézet-Séguin will bring to Saint-Sauveur the lyricism and ardour of Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, Jean Coulthard, Wagner, Dvořák and Marquez.

Featuring the world’s leading dancers in fireworks display of solos and pas de deux from the classical, neoclassical and contemporary repertoires, NIGHT WITH THE STARS will close the Festival on a dazzling note, with independent artists and stars from the National Ballet of Canada, the Staatsoper Berlin, the Norwegian National Ballet and Boston Ballet.

Free activities

In addition to the shows presented under the Big Top, the festival offers many free activities to celebrate art together: performances by Destins Croisés, James Viveiros, Nyata Nyata, Véronique Giasson, Parts+Labour_Danse and Zeugma along the Dance Trails in John H. Molson Park, dance film screenings under the stars, swing dance workshops, a Dance Battle organized by Bboyizm and Crazy Smooth, and the FASSart exhibition at Galerie ROD.

Off-FASS

I am proud that the Festival’s reach and the artists’ visibility are expanding thanks to partnerships with presenters and neighbouring municipalities. For example, the Dance Trails will land in Sainte-Adèle, where the public will be able to see the work of Vias, Tentacle Tribe and La Tresse. The cultural mediation project Mouvement de passage FASS, which allows artists from the Laurentians to meet with seniors who are losing their autonomy or at the end of their lives, will continue in the Antoine-Labelle RCM. The finalist short films of the FASS Forward International Dance Film Festival will be screened at the Théâtre du Marais, in Val-Morin, and will then be available for viewing on our website.

Each edition of the Festival is full of surprises and promises a lot of emotions inherent in the fact that the artists give us all, body and soul. I hope you enjoy discovering them as much as I enjoyed inviting them.

Message from Etienne Lavigne, Executive Director

Running an arts organization is like being the captain of a vessel that acts as a sailing ship, an icebreaker and a ferry. You have to steer the boat, avoid the dangers, face the elements and sometimes bail out. All year long, I break the ice that stands in the way of our navigation to help make Guillaume Côté’s vision a reality; I look for development partners and public and private funding; I shuttle between the artists and the people who are interested in their work and in presenting it.

During 10 days each summer, I know why I invest in all this effort. The public responds with openness and enthusiasm. Audiences find or discover artists who find or discover Saint-Sauveur, the setting for the largest summer dance festival in the country. Smiles walk up and down Main Street. The park and the wooded trails become playgrounds, exploration grounds and a hunting ground for dance and music treasures. Like a sailing ship, the Festival takes us around the world through the talent and imagination of our guest artists.

Like a sailing ship, the Festival takes us around the world through the talent and imagination of our guest artists.

FASS has the wind in its sails, but these sails remain fragile. We inspect them, we hoist them, we patch them up and we hope. It is like the canvas of our Big Top. It houses shows and shelters our dreams of seeing it transformed into an Arts Centre that will perpetuate the work begun nearly 35 years ago, so that an entire community can enjoy the fruits of creation. This large-scale project for the future is no longer science fiction, thanks to the efforts and commitment of passionate people who are all focused on the same goal: to offer the public an exceptional experience that highlights creation in all its diversity, and is a centre of excellence in the region. A true legacy for future generations.

At FASS we are fortunate to be able to count on a circle of remarkable partners who have supported us for a long time. There are many of them and I invite you to take note of the support they offer us and to give them yours if possible. Thanks to them, we can share an extraordinary experience, reach new audiences and pursue FASS’s objective of democratising dance. These partners are supported by our generous donors who see a growing future for the Festival and continue to keep us going, for which we are extremely grateful.

The Festival’s growth is demonstrated by the additional shows under the Big Top and our free events in Saint-Sauveur, but also by the addition of Off FASS events in neighbouring municipalities, Sainte-Adèle and Val-Morin. Our international reputation has been strengthened with the introduction of our digital section in 2020; the works we have produced and the selection of films in competition at FASS Forward continue to be broadcast for free on our website.

The power of numbers, networking and mutual support is a potent force. FASS is proud to belong to the Regroupement des festivals régionaux artistiques indépendants (REFRAIN), a proactive and collaborative organization that promotes and stimulates the supply of artistic activities essential to the tourism, economic and cultural development of Quebec. The paths that each of us has carved out for ourselves become roads that others can travel. This is how we move forward, all together.

The success of FASS is based on the intrepid efforts of a group of experienced administrators, a close-knit team, loyal collaborators and hundreds of dedicated volunteers. Its development is made possible by the generosity and support of patrons, partners, business people, funders and elected officials who know how important culture is in our lives. I would like to take this opportunity to express our gratitude to all of them.

Enjoy the Festival!

MELISSA HOUGH

A.I.M BY KYLE ABRAHAM |Photo : Kathryn Landefeld

BODYTRAFFIC

On the program

Big Top
Hamlet – First Draft

Hamlet – First Draft

EX MACHINA AND CÔTÉ DANSE
July 26 to 28 2023
Big Top
Mixed Program

Mixed Program

BODYTRAFFIC
July 29 2023
Big Top
Family of Jazz

Family of Jazz

DECIDEDLY JAZZ DANCEWORKS (DJD)
July 30 2023
Big Top
Mixed Program

Mixed Program

A.I.M BY KYLE ABRAHAM
August 2 2023
Off FASS, Virtual FASS
Théâtre du Marais in Val-Morin

Théâtre du Marais in Val-Morin

FASS Forward 2023
31 May 2023
Big Top
Double bill

Double bill

SIMONEAU / SKEELS
August 3 2023
Big Top
Orchestre métropolitain

Orchestre métropolitain

ORCHESTRE MÉTROPOLITAIN WITH YANNICK NÉZET-SÉGUIN
August 4 2023
Free activity
Desjardins Stage -Georges-Filion Park

Desjardins Stage -Georges-Filion Park

Dance films under the stars
July 27 and August 3 2023
Big Top
Mixed Program

Mixed Program

A NIGHT WITH THE STARS
August 5 - 6 2023
Free activity, Off FASS
Claude-Henri-Grignon Park

Claude-Henri-Grignon Park

Dance Trails in Sainte-Adèle
July 8 - 9 2023
Free activity
John-H.-Molson Park

John-H.-Molson Park

Dance Trails in Saint-Sauveur - path 1
July 28 - 29 2023
Free activity
John-H.-Molson Park

John-H.-Molson Park

Dance Trails in Saint-Sauveur - path 2
August 4 - 5 2023
Off FASS
ROD Gallery

ROD Gallery

FassART : Art in Motion
July 26 to August 20 2023
Free activity
Desjardins Stage - Georges-Filion Park

Desjardins Stage – Georges-Filion Park

Matinée jeunesse
August 2 2023
Free activity
Desjardins Stage - Georges-Filion Park

Desjardins Stage – Georges-Filion Park

Saint-Sauveur Dance!
July 28 - 29 and August 4 -5 2023
Off FASS
Théâtre du Marais in Val-Morin

Théâtre du Marais in Val-Morin

FASS Forward 2024
May 29 2024
Free activity
Desjardins Stage - Georges-Filion Park

Desjardins Stage – Georges-Filion Park

FASS Dance Battle
July 30 2023
Free activity
FASS Big Top

FASS Big Top

Radiomaton MARIBÉ – SORS DE CE CORPS and MONTRÉAL DANSE
July 26 to August 6 2023
Off FASS
Mouvement de passage FASS

Mouvement de passage FASS

Cultural mediation project

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Thank you to our public partners