Saturday, September 27, 2008
Montreal Offers Taste Of Europe
As dusk falls over the Montreal Botanical Garden, a serpentine string of lanterns leads to an enchanting realm of beautiful maidens, warriors, gods and dragons. Temples with flaring rooflines outlined in small white lights are reflected in a pond that merges reality and dream. From inside one of the temples, the sweet, mournful sound of an ancient stringed instrument evokes longing for beautiful, lost things.
For the past 16 years, during September and October, the Botanical Garden's Chinese Garden has been transformed by hundreds of traditional lanterns and dozens of huge, illuminated figures. The stories depicted by the lanterns originated in Chinese performance arts such as juggling, acrobatics, opera and music.
This year's Magic of Lanterns show, on the theme A Thousand and One Stars, runs through Oct. 31. Not just a travelling show, this is Montreal's own and has been around long enough to take root and flourish.
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