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José Navas / Compagnie Flak

José Navas


13. 14 Nov. 2012
Théâtre Maisonneuve

 “S, a delicious show that evokes human nature with great restraint and infinite grace.” (Les Soirées de Paris, France)

“The highlight of the CODA festival was S by Canadian José Navas. One would be obliged to search far and wide to find a more sacred and fascinating production.” (Aftenposten, Oslo, Norway)

Miniatures offers strong, lush images, plus sophistication, contrasts in style and spontaneous communion between an exceptional artist and an attentive audience. All in all, an intimate moment not to be missed.” (Voir, Montreal, Canada)

Ten magnificent dancers, the divine music of J.S. Bach and choreography that is both architectural and organic. The new piece by José Navas, Diptych, is savoured in three stages. The dance opens with a solo performed by José Navas, followed by a double bill danced in perfect harmony to excerpts from Bach’s classic Well-tempered Clavier. The performance then vibrates to the strings of his Suites for Unaccompanied Cello. A delicate and passionate piece in black and white, Diptych was first presented at the Concertgebouw in Bruges in 2011 before embarking on a successful European tour. An example of precision and fluidity, more classical in tone than other works in the company’s repertoire, it is a harmonious dialogue between bodies and music. Velvety movement.

With precision and fluidity and a more classical approach than previous works by the company, Diptych is a harmonious dialogue between bodies and music. The soundtrack consists of the music of Bach, and its two parts involve different instruments, piano and cello. The first is performed to excerpts from the Well-tempered Clavier, while the second unfolds to Bach’s Sonatas andPartitas for solo cello. For José Navas, who has often worked with contemporary composers, this new piece is an opportunity to develop a resonance between his style of dance and classical music, particularly piano and cello, an approach he began exploring in 2001 in Solo with Cello and in 2008 with the ensemble piece S. The piece begins with a solo, danced by José Navas and titled Prélude à Diptych, and presented in world premiere.

With Diptych, José Navas is presenting a twofold point of view as a choreographer and a dancer. The first part is highly structured, densely written, precise and architectural, with the 10 dancers faithfully adhering to the musical structure. In the second part, things are quite different. More fluid and cheerful and leaving room for improvisation, the second part invites the dancers to be fully involved with the music. Compared to previous works in the company’s repertoire, the two parts of Diptych reveal greater classical influence.

Personæ offers the pleasure of rediscovering this unique and extraordinarily fluid dancer, his contagious energy, his impeccable mastery of the architecture of the body and space and his singular universe, unlike any other.” (La Presse, Montreal, Canada)

José Navas
The founder and artistic director of Compagnie Flak, José Navas performs solo pieces charged with emotion, and also creates abstract ensemble works of contemporary dance. Since the summer of 2010 he has been resident choreographer with Ballet BC in Vancouver, where he presented an “en pointe” dance, Bliss, as well as an original, full-length Giselle. His work has been presented in over forty countries in America, Europe and Asia.

José Navas made his début as a choreographer in 1991 and established an international reputation as a soloist renowned for his talent and charisma. His first ensemble pieces impressed audiences and critics with their assertive sensuality, bold statements and stylized settings. Well-considered stage design supported a theatricality seen now only in his solo pieces. Since 2005 José Navas has opted for a spare, stripped-down style and a search for pure movement, giving his artistic approach two distinct orientations.

As a dancer he devotes himself entirely to his passion for the solo, exploiting the wealth of his maturity to create very personal, sensitive works that are highly musical. As a choreographer, his ensemble pieces pursue a different path. Fascinated by the resonance of bodies in space and by the calligraphy of formal movement, he adopts an architectural approach. A worthy successor of Cunningham, he constructs abstract, geometrical pieces performed by virtuoso performers. Structured like musical compositions, his choreography fascinates with its successive structures that unfold and blend together in space. They are characterized by their hypnotic beauty and meditative character, and also by vivacious movement and an impishness that lurks discretely behind pure lines and technical prowess.

Works such as Portable Dances, Anatomies and S reflect his strong sense of aesthetics and architectural sense of composition, while the solos Miniatures and Personæ arouse more visceral emotions. Among the thirty other choreographies by José Navas, Sterile Fields (1996), One Night Only 3/3 (1998), Perfume de Gardenias (2000), Solo with Cello (2001) and Adela, mi amor (2004) are landmark works.
Perfume de Gardenias (co-presented with Agora de la danse), Solo with Cello, S and Personæ were presented by Danse Danse.
Lenght:  1 h 10

Prélude à Diptych
Choreographer and dancer José Navas. Audio montage Alexander MacSween. Rehearsal Director Ami Shulman. Lighting Marc Parent. Technical Director Pierre Lavoie. Costume Design José Navas. Fabrication L'Atelier de Couture Sonya B. Production José Navas/Compagnie Flak. Length 8 minutes.


Choreography José Navas. Dancers Lindsey Renee Derry, Sarah Fregeau, Alexandre Jolicoeur, Cori Kresge, Benjamin Landsberg, Waldean Nelson, Erin Poole, François Richard, Lauren Semeschuk, Jeff Wolfe. Movement vocabulary was made in collaboration with the dancers. Music J.S. Bach – I – Excerpts from The Well-Tempered Clavier BWV 846–869. Performed by Angela Hewitt. Courtesy of Hyperion Records Ltd., London. – II – Excerpts from Cello Suites BWV 1010, 1007. Performed by Walter Haman. Rehearsal Directors Ève Garnier, Ami Shulman. Lighting Marc Parent. Technical Director Pierre Lavoie. Costume Design José Navas. Fabrication L'Atelier de Couture Sonya B. Photos Valerie Simmons. Original cast Douglas Scott Baum, Lindsey Renee Derry, Sarah Fregeau, Alexandre Jolicoeur, François Richard, Lauren Semeschuk, Emilie Tremblay, Maleek Washington. Production José Navas/Compagnie Flak. Co-Production Concertgebouw, Bruges, Belgium. Length 60 minutes. 

José Navas/Compagnie Flak benefits from the generous support of
the Canada Council for the Arts, the Conseil ;des arts et des lettres du Québec and the Conseil des arts de Montréal. The Company also warmly thanks the team of Danse Danse for their invitation, as well as the donors to José Navas/Compagnie Flak's Creation Fund.



2012-2013 SEASON

BJM - Les Ballets Jazz de MontréalHofesh Shechter CompanyFrédérick Gravel / Grouped’ArtGravelArtGroupJosé Navas / Compagnie FlakAszure Barton & ArtistsTAO Danse TheaterLa Otra OrillaCarte BlancheT.r.a.s.h.Fondation de danse Margie GillisMaría Pagés CompañíaSinha Danse / Constantinople