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Choreographer | Lola MacLaughlin

”Seduced by outstanding dancers, a stimulating soundtrack and stark images splashed across the background screen, the audience subconsciously walked through the streets of four cities without leaving their seats.” (The Gateway, Canada)

“The festival program talks about ‘German expressionism with the humour of commedia dell’arte.’ Huh? Forget all that – Lola MacLaughlin just makes beautiful, emotional, poetic dances.” (The Ottawa Citizen, Canada)

Danse Danse, in collaboration with Agora de la danse, presents Lola MacLaughlin’s newest work. This trio, in keeping with the choreographer’s previous works, explores the complex relationship between man and nature. Born between the mountains and the ocean and with much experience living abroad, MacLaughlin is also interested in the environment’s impact on our sensibility and way of interacting with the world.

”The most interesting and engaging artists, like [Lola] MacLaughlin, often share in their work the same basic preoccupations of a scientist peering into a microscope, or an archaeologist digging out an ancient city – the same questions continually posed of “what is there?” and “how does it connect with our experience?” […] The aspect of discovery is essential to her work, the act of exploring, as is described in her bio, “[…] the moment when the invisible forces governing our lives are identified and brought to light.” (Montréal.com, Canada)

The Company
A company established in Vancouver in 1989, Lola Dance was first seen locally when it performed Four Solos/Four Cities at Agora de la danse in 2001. Montréal sat up and took notice of this Vancouver company founded and directed by Lola MacLaughlin. Audiences and critics alike were won over by Four Solos/Four Cities, but perhaps even more by their ”kinetic wit and an inventive, beautifully crafted dance” (The Globe and Mail). Lola Dance returned to the Festival international de nouvelle danse to present fuse, then again to l’Agora with Volio.

“With its textures of desire, wind and water, Volio continues exploring the human nature depicted in fuse and Four Solos and the indestructible links tying humanity to its natural environment.” (Le Devoir, Canada)

Lola Dance presents shows designed around the concept of the total artwork, in which all theatrical elements come together to give the piece its meaning. In this spirit, the company works with musicians, writers, stage designers and other accomplished visual artists. The company explores the relationship between visual and performing arts, with an interest in dance film and in the integration of media technology. Lola Dance aims to foster a creative environment that inspires choreography and dancing. The company also organizes educational activities, residences and workshops to stimulate the growth of the artistic community and enrich Vancouver’s cultural heritage. Lola Dance has performed across Canada, including at the Canada Dance Festival and the Festival international de nouvelle danse de Montréal, as well as at the Danceweek Festival in Zagreb, Croatia.

Lola MacLaughlin
Before beginning her career in dance, Lola MacLaughlin majored in biology and psychology; she also studied German at the Freie Universität in Berlin and dabbled in singing with a German rock band. Dance, however, was her calling. She studied dance at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, and continued her training in Toronto and in New York with Merce Cunningham and José Limón. Along the way, she developed a genuine passion for German expressionism, especially that of dance artists such as Mary Wigman and Kurt Joos.

Winner of the Clifford E. Lee Choreography Award at the Banff Centre for the Arts and the Canada Council’s Jacqueline Lemieux Prize, Lola MacLaughlin has written almost forty works. Her emotionally and poetically charged worlds, often pierced by an ironic wit, are meticulously honed: ”I’m always trying to get it just right. I’m looking for the work to sing, always working it. […] The art of it is in the details. So I work really hard to stay true to what’s there, and find the essence of it.” (Hour, Canada)

Before launching her company in 1989, the choreographer performed her work at EDAM (Experimental Dance and Music), the Vancouver collective she co-founded.

April 2005


Photos | David Cooper (Volio) | Daniel Collins (Lola MacLaughlin)