Choreographer | Danièle Desnoyers
“The free, fluid, whimsical gestures
constantly test the limits of balance. [...] Desnoyers is truly
a past master of the art of bathing her works in an aura of mystery.
This ineffable quality is most welcome.” (La Presse,
Fascinated by the worlds that arise from the friction
between bodies and sound, Danièle Desnoyers
defies fashions in her drive to produce finely honed works that
are sensual and sensory, rich and allusive. For her second contribution
to Danse Danse - she presented Concerto grosso pour corps et
surface métallique in March 2000 - Danièle Desnoyers
is back with a new work for five dancers and one musician. Created
in collaboration with talented composer and sound installation designer
Jean-François Laporte, the work takes as its focal point
a piano that has been deliberately stripped of its original purpose.
The rapport created between the disused instrument and the dancers
gives rise to a series of solos, duos and ensemble movements that
are like the different facets of a crystal.
With works such as Rouges-Gorges (1989) and Mirador-Mi-Clos
(1990), Québec’s Danièle Desnoyers has made
her mark from the beginning of her choreographic career as an artist
whose innovative work enriches the broad spectrum of contemporary
dance. The pieces Desnoyers has created for Carré
des Lombes, the company she formed in 1989, include Du
souffle de sa tourmente, j’ai vu (1994), acclaimed throughout
Canada, the United States and Europe, and Discordantia
(1997), featuring music by composer Sofia Gubaïdulina and presented
at the Festival international de nouvelle danse and Japan’s
Shizuoka Performing Arts Center.
Desnoyers choreographs one-of-a-kind shows, often
conceived around theatrical devices and sound environments that
influence body language. They include Concerto grosso pour corps
et surface métallique (1999), awarded the Prix d’auteur
du Conseil général de la Seine-Saint-Denis at the
Rencontres chorégraphiques internationales in 2000 and presented
at the Zagreb Music Biennale in Croatia; Bataille (2002),
an “always brilliant synthesis of bodies and music”
(Le Devoir, Montréal); and Duos pour corps et
instruments (2003), a work premiered at the Festival international
de nouvelle danse and performed again at theatres and festivals
in Canada and Europe during the 2004-2005 season, including Agora
de la danse last November.
“[Bataille] is imbued with a fluid
energy, like the flux of life. The superbly orchestrated and shrewdly
placed music is in large part responsible. The discordant line played
by Goldstein, whose stage presence is spellbinding, alternates with
or superimposes over startling samples of electronically modified
baroque music.” (Le Devoir,
In addition to working closely with composers and
sound artists, Danièle Desnoyers teamed up with architect
Pierre Thibault in 2001. The duo explored a dance space in motion
during the Espace Dynamique project for the Fondation Jean-Pierre-Perreault.
In the resulting installation, the spectator shifts into an environment
in constant metamorphosis where several choreographic actions take
place at once.
Between 2000 and 2003, Danièle Desnoyers was
a guest professor in the dance department of Université du
Québec à Montréal, where she created two works
for large ensembles: Vingt jours, 20 nuits (2000) and
Les 10 cahiers (2002). Works from the Carré des Lombes
repertory are also performed regularly in Québec dance schools.
Jean-François Laporte approaches music through concrete experimentation
with raw sounds, whether arising from the day-to-day, from traditional
instruments or invented ones. The variety of his sonic sources leads
him to use multiple musical languages: instrumental, experimental
and electroacoustic. In his career as a musician and composer, Jean-François
Laporte has created close to fifty works for conventional and invented
instruments that have been played in Montréal and across
Canada, Europe, Japan and the United States. The Nouvel Ensemble
moderne, the Ensemble contemporain de Montréal, the Quasar
saxophone quartet and the Trio Fibonacci are among the ensembles
that have performed his compositions.
At the awards ceremony for the Conseil québécois
de la musique’s Opus Prize in late 2002, Laporte won best
new artist of the year, composer of the year and new work of the
year for Tribal, a piece written for an orchestra of invented
Founder of the Totem Contemporain group, this young
composer has lent his skills to dance performances since 2001; before
the Carré des Lombes project, he collaborated with Japanese
choreographer Heidi S. Durning and the American Susan Buirge.
| Luc Senécal