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Cas Public (Québec)
Choreographer: Hélène Blackburn
Presented in association with Agora de la danse and Danse Danse

Courage mon amour
October 9, 10, 11, 12, 16, 17, 18 & 19, 2002
Agora de la danse

Hélène Blackburn’s latest choreography, created for its world première at the Venice Biennale in July 2002, will be presented at l’Agora de la danse as the second program in the 2002-2003 Danse Danse season. Eight performances of the new work, entitled Courage mon amour, are scheduled.

In Courage mon amour, Hélène Blackburn extends her strategy of subversion of the body and its workings to new lengths. For the first time she invites the dancers to speak by asking them a simple, direct, disconcerting question: why dance at all? Carried along by Ana Sokolovic’s music, Courage mon amour consists of variations on a subtle yet impulsive dialogue between six dancers and two violinists. Lighting is by Jean-François Gélinas, stage direction by Mario Huchette, and costumes by Carole Courtois.

Since 1983, Hélène Blackburn has been imagining and shaping the body in space, creating movement, developing and polishing her choreographic language. In 1988 her piece Cathédrale confirmed her audacity and dynamism. The work was a rousing success in Belgium and was selected in Montréal for the Festival international de nouvelle danse in 1989. That same year, she founded her own company, Cas Public, a name that expresses her convictions about collective work. In 1995, working with Cas Public as her base, she created Suites Furieuses, which later toured Canada and several European countries until 1999. “If there exists anywhere on Earth a physical, disciplined dance, a verve-filled dance that has no fear of claiming its piece of space, then it is Québec dance. Hélène Blackburn’s Suites Furieuses (…) provides unmistakable proof.” Le Devoir

It was to be followed by Incarnation, “Tough, rigorous and executed at high speed with razor's-edge precision, it's easy to see why Incarnation has generated so many raves on its world tours.” The Gazette

In 2001, Cas Public ventured into the young people’s field with Nous n’irons plus au bois, a work that won hearts on a ten-city Québec tour.

Winner of the highest choreographic distinctions, Hélène Blackburn has a style all her own, a signature in which the precision and refinement of ballet render admirable service to the complexity and velocity of her vocabulary.

“Blackburn's urban-drenched poetry is impossible to resist. Ruminate over darting eyes, teasing glances, tender and sometime confrontational connections, while sensuous upper torsos curve and buff, and long limbs cut repeatedly, brazenly, through space.” Hour

April 2002

Photo: Rolline Laporte