José Navas

JAN. 11. 12. 13. 14.
18. 19. 20. 21.
25. 26. 27. 28. 2012 – 8 p.m.

“An evening vibrating with emotion by an artist stripped of all artifice and delivering himself up to his art.” (review of Miniatures in Dance International Magazine, Vancouver)

“He is an engaging performer who wins the audience over not just through his incredible, understated technique, but also through the honest charm with which he lays out his life.”
(Irish Times, Dublin)

Danse Danse and Saison Cinquième Salle will be presenting the latest choreography by José Navas. To the delight of Montreal audiences, the Venezuelan-born Canadian choreographer is offering a gift of a new selection of solos. In the same spirit as Miniatures (2008), Personae is a suite of finely worked pieces enveloped by the heartrending voices of Agustin Lara and Patti Smith, in conjunction with the music of Rachmaninoff, Ravel, Verdi and Vivaldi. Personae will make its début at the Concertgebouw in Bruges in May 2011, and undeniably bears the distinct stamp of latter-day Navas, with its sublime fusion of movement, music and space, presented on a bare stage.

“… a spontaneous communion between an exceptional artist and an attentive audience.”
(review of Miniatures in Voir)



photo © Valerie Simmons.
Dancer: José Navas.


Subtlety and poetry. With this new series of solo pieces, José Navas reveals various facets of his personae, baring his soul as never before. Once again, the choreographer and magnificent dancer presents his art with exquisite simplicity in a succession of unsettling and touching tableaux. The lighting design is by his long-time collaborator Marc Parent, whose has also worked with Théâtre Ubu and is the resident lighting designer for the Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montreal.

In ancient Latin, persona meant mask. Today it usually refers to the social masks that people assume to blend into society. It is the image projected, the impression individuals wish to create, the characteristics of the social personality.


José Navas, Choreographer, Dancer and Artistic Director

Founder and artistic director of Compagnie Flak, José Navas creates abstract group pieces and contemporary Ballet pieces as well as dances in his solo shows, charged with emotion. Choreographer in residence for Ballet BC since the summer of 2010, he successfully delivered his first work on pointe and the creation of a new version of Giselle figures in his upcoming projects. His work has been presented in 40 countries in the Americas, Europe and Asia.

José Navas  

photo © Valerie Simmons.


José Navas began his choreographic career in 1991 and was quickly recognized on the international scene as a talented and charismatic soloist. His first group creations were characterized by their assertive sensuality, bold statements and unexpected universes. These pieces included an element of theatricality that is reflected today only in his solo work. Since 2005, Navas has opted for sobriety and the pursuit of pure movement, giving his artistic approach two distinct directions.

As a dancer, José has devoted himself entirely to his passion for solo work, exploiting the wealth of his maturity to create more personal, sensitive works, with transcendent musicality. As a choreographer of group work, he has an entirely different voice. Fascinated by the resonance of the body in space and by the calligraphy of formal movement, the choreographer shows himself to be an architect in his group pieces. A worthy successor of Cunningham, he constructs abstract pieces geometrically, which are always delivered by virtuoso performers. His choreographic scores, created in a similar manner to a musical composition, fascinate the viewer with the successive structures they reveal in the space. They are characterized by their hypnotic beauty and their meditative character and sometimes by the vivacity and playfulness of the movement that points discreetly behind the sleek lines and technical prowess.

With a beautiful visual aesthetic, creations such as Portable Dances, Anatomies and S (presented by Danse Danse in 2009) reflect his architectural sense of composition while the solos in Miniatures and Personae arouse feelings of a more visceral nature. With more than thirty creations to his credit Sterile Fields (1996), One Night Only 3/3 (1998), Perfume de Gardenias (Danse Danse / Agora de la Danse 2000), Solo with Cello (Danse Danse 2001) and Adela, mi amor (2004) represent landmarks on his choreographic journey.

Lenght 1 h

Choreographer and dancer José Navas • Musics Sergei Rachmaninoff, Antonio Vivaldi, Agustin Lara, Giuseppe Verdi, Patti Smith, Maurice Ravel • Lighting Marc Parent • Costume Design José Navas • Fabrication L’Atelier de Couture Sonya B.

Personae is produced by José Navas/Compagnie Flak in co-production with Danse Danse and Place des Arts. Cinquième Salle at Place des Arts and the Centre Segal for Performing Arts (Montréal) supports the project with artist residencies.

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