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A co-presentation with Place des Arts

“The visionary Lock takes classical ballet and gives it a whole new frenetic twist to create choreography that is startling, bewildering and beautiful. This is art.” (Sun Media, Ottawa)

La La La Human Steps is performing Amjad for the last time—in Montreal! Widely regarded as one of Édouard Lock’s most accomplished works, Amjad shines with a new lustre. After a two-year tour of the planet and over one hundred performances, Amjad has a polish and maturity that are simply irresistible. Acclaimed in the world’s major contemporary dance centres, this “masterful deconstruction of Swan Lake and Sleeping Beauty” (Der Standaard, Vienna) will be staged for the last three times at the Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier. An absolute must-see.

“On fidgety points, with windmilling arms, their bodies bristle in the most gruelling of amorous passions: dance […] His use of points, highly erotic, is exceptional […] The humanity staged by Lock aims for ecstasy. Ferociously.”
 (Le Monde, Paris)


Created in collaboration with Gavin Bryars, David Lang and Blake Hargreaves (music), John Munro (lighting), Armand Vaillancourt (set design) and Vandal (costumes), Amjad intoxicates through the sheer force of its images, conveyed by dancers of astounding virtuosity. Since its creation at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa in April 2007, Amjad toured Canada before hitting the major European cultural capitals, including Paris, London, Berlin, Rome, Vienna, Stockholm, Budapest, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Antwerp… In 2008, Amjad will be performed in the United States (Los Angeles, Santa Barbara) and Mexico. The world tour of Amjad also includes New York (Brooklyn Academy of Music) and the Asian capitals.

“Breathtakingly fast, seemingly infinite pirouettes, staccato-like rhythms, criss-crossing movements—everything to mesmerize audiences. With the velocity of a high-speed train, Édouard Lock has radically transformed classical ballet.” (Mannheimer, Düsseldorf)

Édouard Lock

The founding director and choreographer of La La La Human Steps, Édouard Lock began working in dance at the age of 20. Between 1974 and 1979, he created works for Le Groupe Nouvelle Aire, Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts and the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal. In 1980, the year he formed La La La Human Steps, Lock began to focus on the activities of his company, which will celebrate its 30th anniversary in 2010.

In 1990, Lock was the artistic director and co-designer of David Bowie’s Sound and Vision world tour; two years later, he collaborated on The Yellow Shark, a work composed by Frank Zappa for the Ensemble Modern of Germany and performed at the Alte Oper in Frankfurt, the Philharmonic Hall in Berlin and the Konzerthaus in Vienna. At the invitation of the Opéra de Paris, he also choreographed Boréades (2003), performed by La La La Human Steps at the Palais Garnier.

Two films have centered on works by Édouard Lock: Bernar Hébert’s La La La Human Sex duo no 1 (1987), which won six international prizes, and Vélasquez’s Little Museum (1994). In September 1997, the International Film Festival in Toronto presented Inspirations, a documentary by Michael Apted on Édouard Lock and other leading contemporary artists, including painter Roy Liechtenstein and architect Tadao Ando.

A photographer and filmmaker, Édouard Lock directed a film version of Amelia in 2002.Presented at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York, the film was also screened at the Slamdance International Film Festival in Utah and the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival in the Czech Republic. Amelia won almost every prize in its category at such events as the Chicago Film Festival, the Festival Rose d’Or in Switzerland and the International Film Festival in Prague. It received a Special Jury Award for all categories at the Banff World Television Festival, two Gemini Awards for Best Direction and Best Editing in a Performing Arts Program, and two ICE awards from the National Association of Broadcasters in the Best Photography/Videography and Best Editing categories. Amelia was also nominated for an Emmy Award.

A recipient of numerous other prizes, including the Prix Denise-Pelletier (2002), the National Arts Centre Prize in the Governor-General’s Performing Arts Awards, and a Prix Benois de la Danse in 2003 in Moscow, Édouard Lock has received commissions from such renowned companies as the Ballet de l’Opéra in Paris, the Nederlands Dans Theater and the National Ballet of Holland. He was named a Chevalier de l’Ordre du Québec in 2001, an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2002, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 2006.

La La La Human Steps

Founded in Montreal in 1980, La La La Human Steps owes it international reputation to a unique choreographic language developed and constantly reinvented by Édouard Lock. Altered structures of ballet within a complex amalgam of choreography, music and film are the main ingredients of the Locke style. The result is an impression of perpetual distortion and renewal, inciting viewers to see the body in movement in entirely new ways. The company’s dancers, all ballet-trained, are continually forced to question and redefine themselves; their performances range from limit-testing virtuosity to the most exquisite lyricism.

Since Human Sex in 1985, a work that established the company’s name, La La La Human Steps has offered New Demons (1987), Infante, c’est destroy (1991), 2 (1995), Exaucé/Salt (1998) and Amelia (2002). Each work has made a two-year tour of Europe, Asia and North America. For over fifteen years, the works of La La La Human Steps have been co-produced by several prestigious institutions: the Théâtre de la Ville in Paris, deSingel in Antwerp, the Het Muziektheater in Amsterdam, the Festival ImPulsTanz in Vienna, the National Arts Centre in Ottawa, the Festival Montréal en lumière, the LG Arts Centre in Seoul and the Saitama Theatre in Japan.

Duration: 80 minutes without intermission


Composers: Gavin Bryars, David Lang, Blake Hargreaves
Excerpt 1
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To listen to the musical excepts Windows Media Players or Quicktime is required.

: Édouard Lock
Dancers: Andrea Boardman, Xuan Cheng, Talia Evtushenko, Mistaya Hemingway, Keir Knight, Bernard Martin, Dominic Santia, Jason Shipley-Holmes, Zofia Tujaka
Composers: Gavin Bryars, David Lang, Blake Hargreaves
Music Direction and piano: Njo Kong Kie
Musicians: Elisabeth Giroux, Jill Van Gee, Jennifer Thiessen
Set design: Armand Vaillancourt
Lightning: John Munro
Lightning Assistant: Marc Tétrault
Costumes: Vandal

Photos: Édouard Lock

March 2008