In collaboration with le Gesù and in coproduction with the Quartier des spectacles, Festival Accès Asie returns for a fourth year with its outdoor event Wind of Asia at the
Quartier des spectacles. For three days from May 21 to 23, Ste‐Catherine Street, at Place des Arts’ emmarchement, will come alive in an array of outstanding concerts and
performances as part of this year’s 20th Anniversary Edition.
On Thursday, May 21 from 12:00 to 1:15 pm, and from 4:45 to 6:00 pm choreographer and dancer Sonia St‐Michel will perform two pieces from her repertoire of classical Indian dance, Odissi, which comes from the rituals of ancient Hindu temples. This performance will be followed by the multidisciplinary percussionist, Patrick Graham, described by Yves Bernard for Le Devoir as an “improvising master of percussions” who stands “at the frontier of several traditional and innovative music styles.”
On Friday, May 22, lunchtime and after work performances bring in a warm Asian wind with the Phoenix Artistic Troupe (Hua Yun) featuring an exciting traditional Chinese dance, and an instrumental duet with virtuoso musicians Bashir Faramarzi on santour, and Ziya Tabassian on percussion, with their unique style of Iranian music.
Festival Accès Asie wraps up this festive event on Saturday, May 23 from 2:30 to 5:30 pm with the Troupe Création Danse Atmana performing Indian dance styles to Bollywood film soundtracks in Anjali, a celebration of sensuality, beauty and joy. Japanese Canadian dancer Rie Sasahara performs her Taiko Fusion, a graceful and powerful combination of baladi and taikos (Japanese drums). During the afternoon a couple of Bollywood dance workshops are offered. At 6:00 pm the public is invited to the Church of the Gesù for the evening’s special closing concert by singer Lamia Yared with the Zaman Ensemble performing a repertoire of classical Arabic music. Ensemble Zaman features Nathaniel Huard on percussion, Khalil Moqadem on oud, Nicolas Royer-Artuso on violin and Nizar Tabcharani on qanun.
Iranian artist Bashir Faramarzi is a musician and santour player based in Montreal. Bashir has performed with music bands in Iran, Turkey, Europe and Canada. The traditional and contemporary instrumental schools of Persian santour music as well as Central Asian musical traditions inspire this eclectic musician.
Montreal based artist, Patrick Graham has an extensive music background which includes a Bachelor of Music degree from McGill. His multi-percussion art is inspired by music from Japanese percussions to Indian and Irish rhythms and Mediterranean frame drumming. He collaborates on projects with music groups and artists around the world and notably with the Cirque du Soleil.
Born in Japan, Rie Sasahara has been dancing since she was a child. She settled in Montreal after a period of travel (2004‐2011) and studying dance in Japan and Turkey. Sasahara has a graceful style strongly influenced by oriental dance styles and Japanese music. She performs solo and with local troupes, and teaches oriental dance courses.
Choreographer and dancer, Sonia St‐Michel draws upon the aesthetic of Odissi dance to create her very passionate works. She studied Odissi dance in India, where she also learned Hindustani singing and medulla (Indian percussion). She often collaborates on interdisciplinary art projects. St‐Michel teaches Odissi dance at the Académie de danse de l’Outaouais and offers school workshops in Quebec and Ontario though the MASC network.
Création Danse Atmana specializes in Indian dance styles performed with Bollywood film music. Under the artistic direction of Manijeh Ali, this troupe brings together dancers Martine Clément, Julie Mondor, France Ouellette, Caroline Veilleux and Catherine Venne.
The Phoenix troupe is an artistic troupe of 50 Chinese performers from artistic disciplines such as dance, singing, martial arts, instrumental music, acrobatics, fashion, etc. The troupe is very well known in the Greater Montreal area. As Phoenix Troupe (Hua Yun) celebrates its 15th anniversary this year, it remains dedicated to sharing Chinese culture with its audiences everywhere.
A native of Iran, artist Ziya Tabassian has been playing tombak since he was ten years old. In addition to world music, he performs ancient and contemporary music. Tabassian is a founding member of the Ensemble Constantinople and has performed in concerts in America, Europe and Asia. He has released many albums, ten of which are with the Ensemble Constantinople and two as part of a duo with his brother Kiya Tabassian. His first solo album TOMBAK was released in 2007.
Lamia Yared is a singer of Lebanese origin who draws on a wide repertoire of Arabic classical music from Andalusia, Aleppo and Egypt. She has studied jazz at Concordia University as well as with Montreal’s Ranee Lee. Yared’s music combines jazz modal music and Samai, from Ottoman music tradition.
Bashir Faramarzi ‐ Musician
Patrick Graham ‐ Percussionnist
Rie Sasahara ‐ Dancer
Sonia St‐Michel ‐ Choreographer and dancer
Création Danse Atmana Troupe
Phoenix troupe (Hua Yun)
Ziya Tabassian ‐ Percussionnist
Lamia Yared ‐ Singer