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Endlessly charming, deliberately nonchalant and technically irreproachable, Les Ballets Jazz de Montréal [bjm_danse] is returning to Danse Danse with a program of works created entirely by its resident choreographer, Aszure Barton. The young New-York-based Canadian artist and protégée of Mikhail Baryshnikov is a rising star on the international dance scene. In addition to rekindling the “infectious energy” of Les Chambres des Jacques, [bjm_danse] will present the Montreal premiere of a new work by Aszure Barton.

“Ballets Jazz gave—yes, I'm going to throw caution to the wind and say it—the best dance performance in San Diego of 2007 […] In “Les Chambres des Jacques” (2006), she's created a sparkling chameleon of a dance, a piece you want to see multiple times because it morphs so quickly from one idea to the next in an exhilarating 40-minute cascade of dance and musical styles.” (San Diego Arts.com)

Les Chambres des Jacques

Created in 2006 in Albany, New York, Les Chambres des Jacques triumphed on both its Canadian and world tours. Montreal audiences will have the chance to rediscover this “sensitive fresco tinged with sweet madness.” (La Presse)

“The work’s wonderful theatricality owes much to […] the fully committed performances by the dancers, who make us feel Ms. Barton’s weird and wonderful world as their own.” (The New York Times)

Les Ballets Jazz de Montréal [bjm_danse]

Known throughout the world, Les Ballets Jazz de Montréal [bjm_danse] was founded in 1972 by Geneviève Salbaing, Eva Von Gencsy and Eddy Toussaint. In 1998, the celebrated dancer Louis Robitaille became the company’s artistic director, re-energizing the troupe and renewing its repertoire through an exploration of new artistic trends. Les Ballets Jazz de Montréal  [bjm_danse] has always shown great respect for its dancers, while encouraging aspiring choreographers. The company’s classically trained dancers work closely with the guest choreographers, helping to establish a unique repertoire that reflects the company’s individuality.

In demand throughout the world, [bjm_danse] owes its success to its high-voltage energy, the strong personalities and technical skills of its dancers, and a new body of works created by such choreographers as Rodrigo Pederneiras, Crystal Pite, Patrick Delcroix, Dominique Dumais, Nicolo Fonte, Shawn Hounsell, Trey McIntyre, Mia Michaels and Edgar Zendejas.

Aszure Barton

“Aszure Barton is a refreshing, electrifying and fascinating choreographer.” (Mikhail Baryshnikov)

Without a doubt, Canadian choreographer Aszure Barton has the wind in her sails. In addition to directing Aszure & Artists, a troupe she founded in 2002, Barton has been busy creating works for numerous artists and companies, including Mikhail Baryshnikov, Benjamin Millepied, the National Ballet of Canada, Sydney Dance, the Julliard School, Hubbard Street Dance, and the Laban Centre in London. Her choreographies have been performed at the Joyce Theatre in New York and at such festivals as Jacob’s Pillow and Spoleto. In 2006, Barton choreographed pieces for a Broadway production of L’Opéra de Quat’sous.

As a choreographer and performer, Aszure Barton has also collaborated on several films, including Daniel Conrad’s Afternoon of the Chimeras and 7 Universal Solvents, produced for CBC Television. She has also worked with such noted directors as Kevin Freeman and John Price. The recipient of numerous international awards and bursaries, Aszure Barton is currently artist-in-residence at the Baryshnikov Arts Center in New York.

Duration: 100 minutes – including the intermission


Les Chambres des Jacques
Choreography: Aszure Barton
Premiere: Albany, New York – October 2006
Assistant to choreographer: Ariel Freedman
Music: Gilles Vigneault, Antonio Vivaldi, Les Yeux Noirs, The Cracow Klezmer Band, Roberto Iglesias
Costume Design: Anne-Marie Veevaete
Costume Production: François DeSerres
Lighting Design: Daniel Ranger
Dancers: [bjm_danse]

New work 2008
Choreography: Aszure Barton
Premiere: Festival Dance Canada - June 2008
Dancers: [bjm_danse]

Photos 1 & 3 (Les chambres de Jacques), photos 2 & 4 (Jack in a Box): Jean Tremblay

March 2008