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30 Jan, Monday
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Montreal Families

Become your own maëstro

When I was 5 years old, I went to the ballet for the first time. I am told that as the ballerinas swirled on stage to the sound of Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker, I stood at the edge of the balcony furiously waving my arms in the air as I conducted – at least in my mind – the orchestra for an entire two acts.

Now every child can to know the fun of conducting their own musical as they step into the shoes of conductor, all thanks to Place des Festival’s new interactive installation, Maëstro.

From Aug. 6 to 10, the fountains at Place des Festivals – the largest array of animated interactive fountains in the country with some 235 water jets – will be rigged to a sensor that enables them to be controlled with a baton. The fountain’s spouts become your veritable orchestra as you control their movements to scores from classical masters Bizet, Tchaikovsky, and Beethoven.

“What we are actually controlling is the volume of the sound and the height of the fountains and it works with the amplitude of our movements,” says Marie Lamoureux, who works for Quartier des spectacles. “There’s a camera that catches the movements, the bigger and larger your movements the higher the fountains, the louder the music.”

The fountains are between Jeanne-Mance and Balmoral Sts. where a podium will be in place complete with a theatre backdrop; two hosts will explain how the activity works and teach you the ins and outs of operating the baton. Then it’s time to shine, as you take to the stage and command your surroundings with a flick of the wrist. This free activity was introduced for the first time in May.

Maëstro can be enjoyed Monday to Wednesday from noon to 1:30 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., Thursday and Fridays from noon to 1:30 p.m. and from 5 p.m. until 9 p.m., Saturdays from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. and Sundays from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.

For more information, visit quartierdesspectacles.com/maestro

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