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September 9, 2020

Hors les murs is back on the Esplanade at Place des Arts from September 17 to 27!

From September 17 to 27, Places des Arts will hold the participatory event Hors les murs for the second year in a row. The Esplanade at Place des Arts, a community hub in downtown Montreal, will be transformed into a free outdoor dance floor for the occasion. People of all ages are invited to move to the rhythms of music from around the world, led by professional dancers and musicians.


The event is divided into three themed sections: Soirées dansantes (Dance Evenings), hosted by talented Quebecois singer-songwriter Sarahmée each Thursday, Friday and Saturday evening; Midi dansés (Dance Afternoons) at lunchtime each Thursday and Friday; and Fêtes famille (Family Party), which will take place in the daytime on weekends. To ensure compliance with governmental and health department sanitary guidelines, access to and from the site will be controlled and the premises will be thoroughly cleaned before and after each activity.  


“We invite Montrealers to the second edition of Hors les murs on our outdoor Esplanade. Over a period of ten days, a series of dance evenings led by professional artists will introduce people to some highly diverse styles and enable them to discover the cultural traditions of various communities that help make our city so dynamic,” noted Marie-Josée Desrochers, president and CEO, Place des Arts. “There will also be lunchtime jazz ballet workouts to help participants stay in shape and music, singing and dance workshops specially designed for families on the weekends. Hors les murs will be a fun event—and a safe one, too. All of the activities have been modified this year to ensure a thoroughly enjoyable group experience for participants.”   


“I’m delighted that Place des Arts asked me to host the Soirées dansantes evenings for its Hors les murs event,” says Sarahmée. “Whether you know how to dance or not, I invite you to join me on the Esplanade to discover a host of incredibly gifted Montreal artists. With their help, you’ll be able to learn the various types of dance featured in the programming while treating your ears to some great music. Over the 10 days, there will be something to suit all tastes. It doesn’t matter if you’re there by yourself, as a couple or as a family—all you need is a sense of curiosity and a desire to try something different. It’ll make you feel good!”


Soirées dansantes: Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, 7 to 10 p.m.


Hors les murs will kick off at 7 p.m. on Thursday, September 17, with the first Soirée dansante, hosted by Philippe Fehmiu. The other five evenings will be hosted by Sarahmée. Each evening, participants—either by themselves or with a partner from their family bubble—can learn to dance alongside professionals, accompanied by live music from various Montreal performers and groups. Discover West African and Scottish dances, the flamenco, the waltz, the cumbia or swing.


West Africa—September 17: Estelle Lavoie will introduce participants to African dances, propelled by the pounding beats of the group Taafé Fanga.


Swing—September 18: With the help of two instructors from Montreal swing school Cat’s Corner, participants will discover different types of jazz dance to the sounds of Emily Estrella & Her Stardust Stompers.


Flamenco—September 19: Hosted by Delphine Mantha and Julie Dumoulin, this evening will enable participants to learn the basic steps and movements of flamenco. A trio of musicians comprised of guitarist Caroline Planté, percussionist Miguel Medina and singer José Lumbredas will get everyone swaying to the rhythm on the dance floor.


Waltz—September 24: Partners Mathieu Casavant and Mélanie Martin invite dance fans to a short ball where they will learn the basics of the waltz, either on their own or with a partner, set to the melodious strains of the Orchestre Métropolitain and its brass quintet.


Cumbia—September 25: Carlos Reyes, artistic director of Colombia’s Ballet Raices, will reveal the secrets of the cumbia, then invite participants to practice their moves to the sounds of the group Bumaranga and DJ Guasá.


Scotland—September 26: Jennifer Stephenson will teach Scottish rhythms by introducing various types of traditional dance, while the band Solstice will be sure to get the dance floor jumping!


Fêtes famille: Saturday September 26 and Sunday September 20 and 27, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.


The schedule includes a variety of dance, singing and music workshops and other organized activities for children and adults, each designed to let you experience art and culture in a new way. All Fêtes famille events also include a free-play zone with bowling, chalk, hoops and jump ropes.


Ta voix enchantée—September 20: Three choral singing workshops, voice games and crafts will be led by professional performers.


Paysages imaginaires (Culture Days)—September 26: A series of three workshops on storytelling, contemporary dance and crafts will stimulate the imagination of everyone who takes part.


Autour du monde (Culture Days)—September 27: Three dance and music workshops (Rhythms of Réunion Island, Rhythms of Mexico and Afro-Colombian Rhythms and Movement) will wrap up the Hors les murs event.   


Midis dansés: Thursdays and Fridays, 12 to 12:45 p.m.


Finally, during lunchtime on Thursdays and Fridays, local residents, students, passersby and workers who are back at their office downtown are all invited to take part in jazz dance workouts presented by Les Grands Ballets Canadiens’ dance studios. Suitable for all levels, these workshops led by professional dancer and instructor Chantal Dauphinais are designed to be easy to follow.


Please note that wearing a face mask (which will not be provided) is mandatory for all activities. In addition, since the number of places is limited this year, it is necessary to register for the Soirées dansantes and Fêtes famille in advance. A deposit of $5 will be requested to reserve your spot on the ground. This amount will be reimbursed following your participation in the activity. View the full programming for the Hors les murs event at Place des Arts.


It is important to note that since activities will take place outside, they will be cancelled if they cannot be held due to the weather. The Hors les murs event at Place des Arts is presented with the support of the Fondation de la Place des Arts and the Rossy Foundation.


Source :

Place des Arts

Marie-Claude Lépine, gestionnaire communications



Media contact :

Roy & Turner Communications

Isabelle Longtin /, 514-266-3295

Janie Allard /, 514-970-8440

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