Dance will triumph

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This page is also available in / Cette page est également disponible en: Francais (French)

After the shock of the pandemic and the ordeal of emergency cancellations, uncertainty remains the dance world’s greatest adversary. But while long-term planning remains difficult, presenters are doing everything they can to keep up. Judge for yourself.

Danse danse

Throughout the confinement, dance enthusiasts have relieved their boredom by discovering the pleasure of online workshops. Danse danse offers five virtual workshops for the general public, all led by outstanding performers and communicators, including Anik Bissonnette, who starts the programming with the Nelken Line training. Caroline Ohrt, co-artistic director of Danse danse, explains: “Showcasing the work of 35 young dance students and allowing the public to attend in person or to participate virtually by filming their own line is a nod to the masterpiece Nelken by Tanztheater Wuppertal/Pina Baush, which has unfortunately been cancelled.” Students from the École de danse contemporaine de Montréal and the École supérieure de ballet du Québec will offer their Nelken Line on the Place des Arts Esplanade on Sept. 27.

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Nelken Lines are blooming all over the world, and it’s Montreal’s turn to stand out. “We hope to receive as many videos as possible,” says Pierre Des Marais, the other artistic director of Danse danse. “Whether they are from alleyways, houses or parks, we’ll compile them all.” To respect the same spirit, the next workshop will be taught by Julie Anne Stanzak, a dancer from Tanztheater Wuppertal/Pina Bausch, on Sept. 26

Sylvain Émard is a master at the art of getting crowds moving. For him, dance is a mystic celebration. Under the eye of the audience seated around the stage, as it was for the Grand Continental that took the choreographer all over the world, Rhapsodie amplifies energy with bodies propelled by a visceral force. This much-anticipated event, which marks the 30th anniversary of the Sylvain Émard Danse company, features some 20 performers.

“The presentation of large-scale companies is the core of our mission and it is important that we maintain it as much as possible,” says Ohrt. “The audience needs human contact and the emotions that mass movements provoke, and we believe, more than ever, that the bodies of flesh will save lives.” At the Cinquième Salle from Nov. 10 to 21.

To accompany the artists is essential for the future of dance and Danse danse has always been a prophet in the field. “New partnerships are opening up to creators and the current situation made it possible to explore residencies at Théâtre Maisonneuve, which are an extremely rare commodity,” notes Des Marais. Alexandra “Spicey” Landé, then Andrea Peña, will be in residence at the Musée d’art contemporain, while RUBBERBAND, and later Guillaume Côté, are invited to the Théâtre Maisonneuve. Please note the workshops taught by Guillaume Côté (Nov. 14) Sylvain Émard (Nov. 21) and Hervé Koubi himself, who will bring a taste of the Mediterranean with Odyssey, from Dec. 2 to 5.

Agora de la danse

The artist most associated with the Agora de la danse – choreographer, director, performer and composer Jacques Poulin-Denis – tears down the paper walls that separate dance, music and theatre. He creates characters full of wisdom and contradictions to which he gives life in beneficial and absurd works. Punch Line titles refers to the fall of a gag. The piece is a tribute to the imagination of both the artist and the spectator, their willingness to believe in fiction and to disguise reality to make it decent. From Oct. 13 to 17.

The always-excellent Catherine Gaudet continues to pursue her interest in ambiguity as a vector of sensation and evocation in Se dissoudre. With a subtle touch, she makes our contrasts, our complexity and our simplicity emerge from the depths of our being, in all that we contain of light and darkness. Not to be missed. From Nov. 3 to 7.

Les Grands Ballets

Throughout the confinement, the dancers continued their training at home, sharing free classes and intimate moments with the public on Les Grands Ballets’ social networks. “These moments allowed us to get in touch with our dancers in a new way and to learn through their daily lives,” said Les Grands Ballets executive director Marc Lalonde. “I believe that their personality and humor brought great joy to our platform subscribers during this difficult period.” This has made it possible to introduce dance and the dance profession in a different way to an audience that may not have been interested in it initially – as demonstrated by the growing number of subscribers on Les Grands’ social networks since March.

It is not easy for artists whose work is based on touch, movement and exchange to find themselves dancing at a distance from each other, but the dancers have kept a positive attitude. This period has also allowed them to refocus and make room for new creative ideas, to have a different approach to movement, to each other. “I believe that the simple fact of being back in the studio after months of absence, of finding dance again, together, brought them closer,” says Les Grands Ballets artistic director Ivan Cavallari. “Our lives as dancers depend on those of others. We are united and always will be.” The troupe has started rehearsing different pieces again so that, when health measures allow, it can quickly return to the stage and its audience. Cavallari adds: “We look forward to seeing you again in March, with Romeo and Juliet.” 

This page is also available in / Cette page est également disponible en: Francais (French)


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