For the past two years within Festivalissimo the people at Alexis Nihon shopping mall and Loto Quebec get together and present a noon hour diversion called Les Midis de Festivalissimo. On the metro level of the mall between noon and 2:00 for several days the music and dance of Latin American, Spain and Portugal is offered up for the public's entertainment.
This past Tuesday it was Le Quatuor Damian Nisenson. Musician Damian Nisenson played the soundtrack from a film. While people sat down with their brown bag lunches they were able to hear a live version of the music that is used to direct/prompt/engage our emotions during a film.
Continuing on with film and music, on Wednesday it was Salsa and Cinema. A big screen was erected and the film "Dance With Me" starring Vanessa Williams played. In front of the screen dancers from a local Latin dance school were there to teach whoever was interested the steps involved in the salsa dances in the film. Many people got up to participate – whether in a group with the dancer/instructors or one on one with a male partner. You could tell that several people were stretching their lunch hours because they were having so much fun.
Thursday it was time for some Flamenco. Several musicians and a female dancer demonstrated the music and movements that are part of this sensual dance. It is strong and filled with passion at the same time. Some members of the dance troupe Sasasa were there performing.
Last, but certainly not least, up on Friday was another round of Salsa. It was once again full of crowd participation with the dancers there encouraging people from the crowd to join in. Not that it took much persuading. It is easy to see why this dance is enjoyed the world over by millions.
Les Midis de Festivalissimo is such a great idea. It is a nice diversion in the middle of the day for nearby Dawson College students, regular shoppers or employees at Alexis Nihon Plaza and workers in the area. Several dozen people took advantage each day of this unique (and free!) opportunity.