Friday, 16th July 2010

On the Road: Montréal

JUNE 9-11, 2010

Montréal is such a beautiful city, especially in late May/early June when the lilacs bloom throughout. It’s the perfect time for a festival and Festival Transamériques, now an annual event that incorporates both dance and theatre, is perfectly scheduled. Unfortunately, I only had two days there this year but they were jammed with performances, meetings and several informal showings.

In the mid-80’s, Louise Lecavalier was the human dynamo of LaLaLa Human Steps, Édouard Lock’s company. While Édouard laconically played guitar, Louise’s endless barrel turns at mega-speed took your breath away. Over the past few years, she has come back to performing, commissioning works by Benoit Lachambre and Tedd Robinson, among others. At this year’s FTA, she performed Children + a Few Minutes of Lock. She was absolutely stunning. At 52, and having had a hip replacement, she has somehow recovered her 25-year old body. Her performance with Patrick Lamothe in Nigel Charnock’s aerobically challenging Children was amazing and it was fantastic to see her throwing out those barrel turns again – even in the 13’ of Lock’s work that was performed with Elijah Brown. On the main programme, I was also able to see Tammy Forsythe and the Portuguese artist Tania Caravalho, who is part of the Lisbon-based collaborative, Bomba Suicida. Both these artists are very conscious of the visual look of their work, though in quite different ways.

As part of Off-FTA Frédérick Gravel, an intriguing young voice who puts an equal emphasis on the music (live) as on the dance, showed Gravel Works. Dominique Porte showed a very new work in progress, in which she is exploring the physicality of kinetic memory. A beautiful dancer with a long performance history, this piece holds promise. I also saw a showing of Vertiges by Stéphanie Decourteille, a very young artist who incorporates interesting aerial work.

Being in Montréal also provided a great opportunity to catch up with some colleagues. I met with Kathy Casey, Artistic Director of Montréal Danse, and heard about some new directions the company is taking; Bernard Lagacé, General Manager of BJM Danse talked about their broad repertory and touring program; and Laurence Wegscheider of Compagnie Flak provided some news on how José’s new solo is shaping up (watch this space!).

The Québec Government Office in London has been very generous in their support of DDF staff travel to see Québec dance artists over the past year. We will miss Colin Hicks, Director of Cultural Services, who is moving onto independent ventures and wish him all the best.

Author: laurie | Add your Comment »