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Compagnie Flak, José Navas (Québec)
Choreographer: José Navas

Haman/Navas Project
November 28, 29 & 30, 2002
centre Pierre-Péladeau

Choreographer José Navas returns to the stage with Haman/Navas Project, a piece “full of fiery, instinctive passion (…) a universe of its own, lost in reverie, dark as an enigma, mystical with emotion, vibrating with erotic sacrality.” Ballettanz International

Presented in New York, and in Montréal at the Festival international de nouvelle danse, the work has also toured extensively in Canada and Europe, culminating with the Venice Biennale in May, 2002. A meeing between two extraordinary artists, enthralled by the music of Benjamin Britten and Allan Hovhaness, the Haman/Navas Project is a “brutal, sensual work” (La Presse), an intimate communion, at once spiritual and sensual, between body and music, between the choreographer and the superb California-born cellist Walter Haman.

“It became clear that great dancing was there.” Dance Magazine, New York.

José Navas, gifted choreographer and charismatic interpreter, studied dance in his native Venezuela before continuing his training at the Merce Cunningham Studio in New York. In 1991 he took up residence in Montréal where, in addition to dancing as an interpreter with the most respected troupes, he made his choreographer’s début. In 1995, he founded Compagnie Flak, devoting all his energies to his creative work. Rapidly, thanks to his solo repertoire, Navas became a familiar presence at the most prestigious contemporary dance venues: Holland Dance Festival, Internationale Tanzwochen Wien, Dance Umbrella of London, Springdance Festival of Utrecht and Festival Dance Canada in Ottawa. Everywhere his fantastic, highly formal worlds where emotion is the only guide have won acclaim.

Recognized as one of Canada’s ambassadors of contemporary dance, Compagnie Flak has performed in more than 20 countries and today boasts a repertoire of more than fifteen works. One need only think of the solos Abstraction and Bosquejo, the trio One night Only 3/3, “a succession of tableaux in red and black (…) a daring work halfway between pleasure and deviation, sensual pleasure and provocation” (Le Devoir) or Perfume de Gardenias, “a strange and heady performance – much like the sweet, slightly foul scent of gardenias.” (The Ottawa Citizen).

Winner of a Bessie Award in New York, and ranked Best Outstanding Young Choreographer by Ballettanz International magazine, José Navas is frequently sought after by other companies as a choreographer or an interpreter. He has also worked on occasion in the cinema and the theater (in May 2002 at Montréal’s Théâtre de Quat’sous, Les Fleuves Profonds by José Maria Arguedas). These parallel activities are a perfect match for the spirit that pervades Flak’s work. In his life as an artist, just as within his company, José Navas places the highest premium on encounters, on the confrontation of ideas, on exploration. That which he seeks is cross-fertilization, between cultures, art forms, and generations.

April 2002

Photo: Donald Lee