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Choreographer | James Kudelka

“Mr. Kudelka, who has created outstanding neo-classical ballets for American and Canadian companies, succeeds beyond expectation here as a guest choreographer with an exploration of movement that owes nothing to the ballet idiom.” (The New York Time, United States)

Fifteen Heterosexual Duets is a work of great ingenuity and charm, a plotless comedy that touches on the sublime.” (The Globe and Mail, Canada)

“Daniel Taylor is now one of today’s most sought-after countertenors and recognized as “Canada’s star countertenor. There is a sense of conviction that sets him apart from all the others.” (Opera Canada, Canada)

What a brilliant idea to devote an entire evening to James Kudelka! Thanks to Coleman Lemieux & Compagnie, whose mandate includes promoting Canadian dance, the acclaimed choreographer is making his grand return to Montréal. While here, Kudelka will get together with another hugely talented artist, countertenor Daniel Taylor. The purpose of their meeting: creating a show based on Vivaldi’s Stabat Mater incorporating top dancers among others Bill Coleman, Laurence Lemieux, Andrea Boardman, Sylvain Lafortune and Anik Bissonnette, as well as Daniel Taylor (winner of the Opus Prize for artist of the year in 2000) and his ensemble, the Theatre of Early Music (TEM). As well as lending his unique voice to Vivaldi’s music, Taylor will also perform as a member of the cast of dancers.

Included on the all-Kudelka program is Fifteen Heterosexual Duets, which garnered a Dora Mavor Moore Prize and features duos that are absolutely “remarkable for their fluency and variety.” (The Globe and Mail, Canada). Also presented will be the much anticipated repeat performance of Soudain, l’hiver dernier, a stunning male duet danced to the music of Gavin Bryars. Premiered by Montréal Danse in 1987, the work is sure to leave the spectator once again “spellbound by the emotional drama on the stage.” (The Gazette, Canada)

James Kudelka
James Kudelka’s huge talent was apparent from his earliest ballets; the Canadian quickly became one of the most highly regarded creators of dance in North America. Describing himself as a “conscientious observer,” James Kudelka is “one of the most gifted choreographers working in classical ballet today” (The Toronto Sun, 2003). From his beginnings as a solo dancer with the National Ballet of Canada, he went on to dance with the Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal (GBC), where he was later choreographer-in-residence from 1984 to 1990. As head of the National Ballet of Canada from 1996 to 2005, Kudelka is internationally renowned for the quality and depth of his body of work.

“He creates movement so exhilarating, it makes everybody watching wish they could dance.” (In Profile, Toronto, Canada)

A prolific artist who skilfully blends classical and modern dance, James Kudelka has created over seventy ballets that feature in the repertories of companies as diverse as the Toronto Dance Theatre, the San Francisco Ballet, the National Ballet of Canada, the American Ballet Theater, GBC, Les Ballets Jazz de Montréal, Margie Gillis and Peggy Baker. His most acclaimed ballets include Cinderella (2004); The Firebird (2002), a coproduction of the National Ballet of Canada, the American Ballet Theater and the Houston Ballet; The Four Seasons (1997); Le Baiser de la fée (1996) for the Birmingham Royal Ballet; The Nutcraker (1995); and Désir (1991) and In Paradisum (1983) for GBC.

Coleman Lemieux & Compagnie
This company founded and directed by Bill Coleman and Laurence Lemieux creates, produces and performs its works and the works of other choreographers, as well as works created by musicians and visual artists. Performing on local, national and international stages, the company also promotes the performance of Canadian works it considers particularly significant.

Although recently formed, the company comes with the impressive credentials of its founders. It is a dynamic force within Québec’s dance community owing to the scope of its artistic vision and choreography. Coleman Lemieux & Compagnie also stands out by the daring originality of its productions. Grasslands, for example, was staged in Val Marie, Saskatchewan, in 2004 and consisted of a choreographic event for twenty-five dancers (including David Earle and Margie Gillis) and involved about a hundred people from the local community. Convoy PQ. 17 is a requiem for symphony orchestra, choirs and four dancers. A powerful homage to merchant marine veterans of WWII, Convoy PQ. 17 debuted in Saint-Petersburg, Russia, in 2001 and was restaged at the Centre Pierre-Péladeau in June 2004.

The success of these events endorses the belief of Coleman Lemieux & Compagnie that the dance community should engage and interact with the community around it.

The Artistic Directors
Since 1984, Bill Coleman has created over fifty works that have been performed throughout the world by companies as diverse as Bill T.Jones/Arnie Zane & Company, the Toronto Dance Theatre, the Martha Graham Dance Company and the Fondation Jean-Pierre Perreault. His choreographies include Shane and Baryshnikov: The Other Story, winner of the Jerome Foundation’s First Light Award as well as an award from the Dance Theatre Workshop de New York. His work Heartland was made into a film by Laura Taler. Coleman has also choreographed for the Toronto Dance Theatre, Dancemakers, Canadian Children Dance Theatre and New York’s Balletworks. Bill Coleman was awarded the Canada Council’s Jacqueline Lemieux Prize in 2002.

Laurence Lemieux danced with the Toronto Dance Theatre from 1986 to 1994, when she returned to Montréal to join William Douglas Danse; she has also danced for choreographers such as Jean-Pierre Perreault, James Kudelka, Margie Gillis and Benoît Lachambre. In 1998, Laurence Lemieux won the Dora Mavor Moore Award for her outstanding performance of the solo from Cryptoversa by Christopher House. Since her first choreography in 1993, Lemieux has created almost twenty works, including Varenka, Varenka!, first presented at Agora de la danse in 2003, then later toured in Russia.

Coleman Lemieux & Compagnie wishes to thank Les Grands ballets canadiens de Montréal for the presence of Anik Bissonnette.

April 2005


Photos | Paul-Antoine Taillefer (Coleman Lemieux & Compagnie) | Cylle Von Tiedeman (James Kudelka)