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O Vertigo

étude # 3 pour cordes et poulies
Ginette Laurin

MARCH 8.9.10, 2007
Théâtre Maisonneuve de la Place des Arts

“Inventive in every step, poetic in every motive, tender in every movement, Ginette Laurin’s sensitive dance is a boundless revelation.” (La Voix du Nord, France)

O Vertigo, one of Canada’s foremost dance companies, returns to Danse Danse with étude # 3 pour cordes et poulies, the new work by founder and artistic director Ginette Laurin. The piece, featuring the company’s eight topnotch dancers, portrays bodies both free and shackled, helpless puppets of forces beyond their control, words their only weapon against the torment. The choreographer also called on the talents of dramaturg Stéphanie Jasmin for the piece.

Ginette Laurin
Ginette Laurin trained in gymnastics, modern dance and ballet in Montreal and New York. In the early ‘70s, she joined Groupe Nouvelle Aire, one of Québec’s first companies producing original modern dance works. As a dancer she was much in demand, performing for most Montreal choreographers while developing her choreographer technique on the side.

After creating several works as an independent choreographer, Laurin formed her company, O Vertigo, in 1984 and quickly rose to become one of Montreal’s leading dance figures. She is constantly renewing her approach to movement and the imagery she presents. Her taste for placing bodies in extreme situations has led her to develop a unique and inventive language, bursting with energy yet intensely poetic and emotional, to express her “dance with a soul.” (La Marseillaise, France).

Ginette Laurin also works closely with her dancers, whose personalities and commitment shine through in her works. Her latest piece, ANGELs, which premiered in February 2006 at the Cinquième Salle of Place des Arts, is a prime example. Not only did the dancers participate in the choreography, its theme is their performance fantasies.

Winner of the Jean A. Chalmers National Award for choreography in 1986, Ginette Laurin has choreographed nearly 40 works, including commissions for Introdans (Netherlands), Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal and Ballet Contemporaneo de San Martín (Buenos Aires). Her work La Chambre blanche was awarded the Grand Prix of the Montreal Urban Community Arts Council in 1992 and the Dora Mavor Moore Award in Toronto in 1994. Laurin was also the recipient of a Prix de reconnaissance from the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) in 2002.

Ginette Laurin’s longstanding attention to her work’s visual dimension today translates to a growing use of photography, video and film. To commemorate O Vertigo’s 20th anniversary in fall 2004, the choreographer presented a series of six installations around the themes of traces and the double, incorporating dance, live action, photography and video. She also joined forces in 2005 with filmmaker Oana Suteu to shoot her first feature film, Point de fuite, a TV adaptation of her show Passare.

Her latest installation, Installation chorégraphique #7, draws spectators into the dancers’ private worlds using a projector that juxtaposes real and virtual images. The installation was presented at O Vertigo’s Centre de Création during the all-night Nuit Blanche at the 2006 Montreal High Lights Festival.

Ginette Laurin holds a bachelor of arts in dance from UQAM and regularly teaches dance there as well as at festivals and seminars in Europe.

O Vertigo
Founded in 1984, O Vertigo was a resounding success from its earliest productions, Crash Landing (1984), Up the Wall (1985) and Timber (1986). Through shock sequences in which the body is in continual disequilibrium, Ginette Laurin explores the fear and frenzy brought on by the attraction to the void. The company quickly established an international reputation, presenting Full House (1987), Don Quichotte (1988), Chagall (1989), Train d’enfer (1990), La Chambre blanche (1992), Déluge (1994) and La Bête (1997) in Canada, the United States, Europe, Brazil, Mexico, Israel and Japan. Inspired by the piece Déluge, filmmaker Bernar Hébert directed the film Night of the Flood featuring the dancers of O Vertigo.

On its 15th anniversary in 1999, the company presented La Vie qui bat, a work set to Steve Reich’s famous piece Drumming, played live by the musicians of the Société de musique contemporaine du Québec. The show was restaged outdoors in Central Park in New York during the Summer Stage Festival. Ginette Laurin’s recent works include Luna (2001) and Passare (2004), two works that reveal the body in its slightest quiver.

O Vertigo has been invited to perform at prestigious festivals including New York’s Next Wave Festival, the Festival Internacional Cervantino in Mexico, the Dance Umbrella in London, the Biennale internationale de la danse in Lyon, the Festival de Châteauvallon, the Israel Festival in Jerusalem, Ottawa’s Canada Dance Festival and Montreal’s Festival international de nouvelle danse.

In January 2005, the company broke new ground by opening the Centre de Création O Vertigo at Place des Arts, a brand-new centre with an interdisciplinary approach. The space is intended to be flexible and geared toward research, training and dance creation. A kind of research lab based on mutual exchange, the centre is open to choreographers and other artists from here and around the world. Workshops and master classes are available, and there is an artist-in-residence program.


February 2006

Photos Ginette Laurin
Dancers photo 1 Brianna Lombardo, Robert Meilleur and Jamie Wright . photo 2 Mélanie Demers . photo 3 Marie-Ève Nadeau and Audrey Thibodeau