Les 24 Préludes de Chopin
March 31, April 1-2, 2005
Théâtre Maisonneuve, Place des Arts
“Moments of pure genius.”– La Presse, Montréal
“Each choreography is a small masterwork of precision,
a moment of intelligence
to be savored.”– Danser, Paris
“Marie Chouinard is in full possession
of her art; let us rejoice, for her imagination is as fertile as ever.”– Le Devoir, Montréal
With spring on the way, Danse Danse welcomes
a troupe that could hardly be more seasonal: Compagnie Marie Chouinard.
In celebration of life, desire and the infinite intelligence of the body,
the company will be presenting a program that bubbles with vitality, beginning
with Les 24 Préludes de Chopin, twenty-four exquisite
jewels linked necklace-like by the music of the great Polish composer
interpreted on stage for the delectation of the audience. Brilliant, genial,
serious, and never anything less than virtuoso, each ‘prelude’
forms a part of an “exceptionally successful piece, the product
of a fully matured choreographic imagination,” said New York’s Village Voice. The second half of the program features Chorale,
a work of joyously unfettered imagination, populated by divinities who
call out to one another, frolicking and rollicking, howling at the moon
and sniffing the street in a universe of close-knit voices and movements.
“Chorale (...) is one of Marie Chouinard’s best pieces
ever.” — Ballettanz, Germany
With Cristallisation, her first-ever creation
in 1978, Marie Chouinard marked herself as an artist
driven by an unquenchable thirst for communicative authenticity. A long
solo career ensued, which led her—as choreographer and performer—to
international prominence. Her numerous tours abroad, her residences in
New York, Berlin, Bali and in Nepal, her encounters with other cultures,
techniques and philosophies would come together to create an individual
language whose scope is universal.
In 1990, she hung up her dancing shoes and founded Compagnie
Marie Chouinard. Created in 1991, Les Trous du ciel, the group’s
first ensemble piece, was met with acclaim in Canada, the United States
and Europe. In it, solo intensity was multiplied by the number of performers.
Between 1993 and 2000, the company presented its visceral, shattering
interpretation of Le Sacre du Printemps, to the music of Stravinski, Le Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune, L’Amande et le Diamant, Les Solos 1978-1998, Les 24 Préludes de Chopin and, finally, Des feux dans
la nuit, an hour’s length solo for masculine performer. “(...)
an unforgettable exploration of the masculine psyche, from virility to
fragility.” — Toronto Star
2000 witnessed the birth of Cri du monde, a choreography
for ten dancers, followed in 2001 by Étude no 1, a solo
for female dancer with music by Louis Dufort interpreted in real time.
In 2003, Marie Chouinard produced her first film, Cantique no 1,
which won the prize for best interpretation for Carol Prieur and Benoît
Lachambre at Toronto’s Moving Pictures Festival. Finally, in June
2003, the world première of Chorale was danced during
RED Reggio Emilia Danza, in Italy.
Here is a choreographer who, in the even dozen works created
for her company, has invented formal structures in which a sense of humanity
as profound as it is primordial has been able to wrench itself free, reaching
out to touch the imagination. In her exploration of the intimate intelligence
of the body and the inexhaustible complexity of its articulations, Marie
Chouinard has contrived to make us feel the fragility of beings in the
cosmos, the burning joy of existence in the constantly renewed quest for
truth and beauty.
The catalogue of Marie Chouinard’s work now boasts
more than fifty pieces, including ‘action-performances’, installations,
works for the voice, and a film. Each of them reflects her singular approach
as a choreographer who holds the dance to be a sacred art.
Marie Chouinard’s outstanding contributions to the
dance world and to the arts have been recognized repeatedly. In 2003,
she received the National Arts Center award as part of the Governer General’s
Awards for the arts of the stage, and the Prix Chorégraphie of
the Société des auteurs et des compositeurs dramatiques
of Paris. A Bessie Prize laureat (2ooo), she had earlier been awarded
the Paper Boat Prize in Glasgow for her Sacre du printemps in
1994, the Jean A. Chalmers Prize for choreography in 1987, and the Jacqueline
Lemieux Prize in 1986.
Web Site: www.mariechouinard.com
Photo: Marie Chouinard