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The Marathon des arts: A cultural crescendo

September 8, 2011

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This weekend, ten of the city's greatest cultural institutions will meet at Le Parterre in the Quartier des spectacles, to jointly celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Ministère des Affaires culturelles. On September 10 and 11, be prepared to witness an unprecedented burst of culture.

By Marie-Christine Beaudry
It's a first for Quebec. Never before have ten cultural institutions assembled for a single public event celebrating culture.

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Photo credit | Mattera Joly
Imagine if you will: the Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec, Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, the Théâtre du Nouveau Monde, DUCEPPE, the TOHU, the Opéra de Montréal, the Orchestre Métropolitain, the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal and Place des Arts - all out on the street to mix and match their artistic specialties. It's a dream come true for all culture lovers!

Look forward to fabulous events

The most intriguing and unusual events this weekend will surely be the meetups between different cultural institutions. For example, the Théâtre du Nouveau Monde and DUCEPPE will stage a "Marathon des mots" on Sunday afternoon, presenting excerpts from the works that define this history of the two theatres.

Many actors will take part, including Sylvie Léonard, Lorraine Pintal, Alexis Martin, Pierre Curzi, Marie Tifo, Normand D'Amour and Michel Dumont.

You just might also catch circus performers enlivening a book reading at the Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec, or get invited to sing a Gérald Godin poem... karaoke style!

The best events are the ones where you risk being drafted into the performance by one of the many artists sent out onto the street. Many of the workshops have been designed to integrate members of the public into the show.

For example, you're invited to learn the basics of classical dance from the dancers of Les Grands Ballets Canadiens.

The "Grand Kata", presented by TOHU for two hours on Saturday afternoon, will give you the chance to practice martial arts and absorb the theme of the new TOHU show, "Chi of Shaolin: Tale of the Dragon".

"It's rare to see all of these cultural institutions out on the street, explains Lorraine Pintal, Marathon des arts spokesperson. "The event is truly participatory, with people invited to mix and mingle with Montreal artists. What better occasion for everyone to share our culture."

The weekend forecast calls for opera under the stars, painting in public, a grand ball, a picnic with a beat and so much more, a bold way to kick off the fall cultural season at Montreal institutions.

Young and old like will find something fascinating to do -- and don't forget that the event is totally free! There's always a good reason to come down and celebrate culture.

For all of the programming details, visit the event's Internet site.

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