The Hooping Life: Montreal

The Hooping Life: Montreal by Philo Hagen packed the collapsable travel hoop in the suitcase and hopped on a plane (and then a train) to get to Montreal, Quebec. We simply couldn’t miss the Canadian Premiere of The Hooping Life at The Festival des Films du Monde, aka the Montreal World Film Festival, and within minutes of our arrival it was time to slip into something hooptastic to perform at the festival’s gala opening event along with Rebecca Halls of and Ann Humphreys of The Hoop Path. At a film festival screening 500 films from all over the world, it couldn’t have been better to have been the first impression, and as the festival high rollers ate hors d’oeuvres and sipped wine and rare iceberg water, the trailer for the film was playing throughout the event. How did we get so lucky? We would later learn that the director of the film festival, at a press conference about thier selections for 2010, recognized The Hooping Life as the film to see this year. And following their lead the CBC, the national public broadcasting channel throughout Canada, gave the film considerable coverage prior to the premiere.

The CBC piece had everyone scrambling to know more about hooping too. Wandering into the film festival office the day before the premiere with my hoop in hand, I was soon teaching festival staff how to hoop in the lobby and I was told they’d been having all kinds of inquiries regarding the hoopjam prior to the premiere. Perhaps that is why a few hundred people from Montreal turned out simply to watch us hoop. And in attendance were hoopers from all over Quebec, as well as several hoopers from Toronto and Ottawa and the surrounding American states. And prior to the screening at Le Quartier des Spectacles the hoopers were a spectacle indeeed.

The Canadian Premiere of The Hooping Life was a major success with a full house and people hooping in the street in front of the theater following the screening. “The Hooping Life events were so much fun! Hoopers are the most amazing community! Great movie, fab hoop jam and workshop with Anah… Hoop heaven!” said Brigitte “Hooperella” Ethier of Ottawa, Ontario. Elise of Victoriaville, Quebec, told, “I’ve been hooping alone in my backyard for four months and it was my first experience to hoop with other hoopers and it was just awesome!” At the Sunday screening in Montreal I was personally quite busy teaching people of all ages how to hoop before and after the movie – and teaching some local hoopers a few new moves as well. And if all of the film related hooping wasn’t enough in the weekend, a real highlight of the trip as well was hooping at the outdoor Piknic Electronik event on the island across from Montreal and enjoying the views of the city and all of the beautiful dancing people and the incredible beats. Merci Montréal! Je n’aurais pas manqué ça pour tout le monde!

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