Festival Accès Asie is ready to celebrate its 25th anniversary in style! This year’s program presents Montrealers with five weeks of festivities from which to choose as we head into Asian Heritage Month, which is also celebrated every year in May across Canada.
The Festival kicks off with its opening cocktail at the prestigious Conseil des arts de Montréal (CAM) on Thursday, April 30 where we have some special entertainment lined up for the evening. Included in the evening’s festivities will be the exhibition opening The Nocturnes by Iranian visual artist Azalia Kaviani who was supported in this artistic endeavor by the CAM. The exhibition will run throughout the Festival until Saturday, May 30.
The program begins with the KickStart Festival, in collaboration with CanAsian Dance and Tangente, presenting the works of four choreographers, Charo Foo Tai Wei, Winnie Ho, Andrea Nann, and Deepti Gupta. Their performances take place over three days from Friday, May 1 to Sunday, May 3. On Saturday, May 2, we also present the 25th anniversary cabaret celebration, Cycles of Light, featuring artists from the LGBTQ+ community who performed in the very first and last editions of the Festival.
In the second week of activities, a conference to complement Azalia Kaviani’s exhibition The Nocturnes takes place on Thursday May 7. Azalia lives with cerebral palsy and will talk about how she realizes her artistic work. She will be accompanied by the team of the pilot project Abilities: Inclusive Practices whose goal is to provide adapted support to Azalia. On Friday, May 8, the Festival is collaborating with Centre Kabir to present the touching movie Chuskit from the indian director Priya Ramasubban. On Saturday, May 9, the dance company Circul’R founders David Phiphak and Bérénice Dupuis perform Zones de Confluences with Charles Gao, urban dancer and Quianen Fu, violinist and dancer. On Sunday, May 10 and in collaboration with Le Vivier, we present Scenes and Formations, a concert featuring the artist Natsuki Hiratsuka on piano and the Montreal duo Park Sounds performing a rearrangement of works by Asian composers and others.
The third week begins on stage with Bâtardes by Théâtre Everest, company and show led by sisters Chloé and Jade Barshee, presented in association with MAI. We continue on Friday, May 15 with Rituels spéculatifs (Speculative Rituals), a concert of experimental music with Gabriel Dharmoo, Mili Hong, and Rouzbeh Shadpey. The installation and performance Approchez, je vous dirai ce que j’ai oublié by the artist An-Laurence Higgins will be presented in collaboration with OBORO on Saturday, May 16. The week concludes with the opening of the documentary photo exhibition Visages du Cap Breton (Faces of Cape Breton) by Ben Fry and Kyra Shaughnessy and the exhibition Baggage, presenting art works created by Asian immigrant children under the guidance of curator Parisa Rajabian.
We start the fourth week with music on Thursday, May 21 with Kyra Shaughnessy and Sakay Ottawa. Friday, May 22, features the electro dance party LayLit with DJs Wake Island and SAPHE. A concert of traditional Indian classical music is offered on Saturday, May 23 with Dr. L. Subramaniam and his guests in Enchantement du violon indien, presented in collaboration with Centre Kabir. On Sunday, May 24, we invite you to attend two traditional Chinese and Japanese tea ceremonies with Tea Master Han Le and Miyuki Nha-My Do-san, as well as shamisen player Kayo Yasuhara tocompletely immerse your senses.
In its last week, the Festival presents its international section, Perles d’Ailleurs, with the traditional Mongolian dance performance Od Sor featuring the troupe UB Ensemble, coming to this year’s Festival directly from Mongolia. The evening will begin with a solo performance by Mongolian and Canadian contemporary dancer Misheel Ganbold. With the purchase of a VIP ticket, you can attend a private cocktail with the artists for some delectable Mongolian appetisers and an exhibition of certified religious paintings by visual artist Batjargal Nergui. On Friday, May 29, the dance performance video from the Philippines, Acts of Reclamation, will be presented by curator Roselle Pineda. Saturday, May 30 features Musique sans frontières : la magie du rythme with the group Mosaïque, presented in collaboration with the Maison de la culture Ahuntsic. Finally, the Festival wraps up on Sunday, May 31 outdoors with performances by the Balinese music and dance group Giri Kedaton who will share the stage with the dance company PAMANA Ng LuzViMinda performing their repertoire of folk dances from the Philippines.