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Apricot Trees Exist

October 13-16, 20-23, 2004
Studio de l’Agora de la danse
Presented jointly with L’Agora de la danse

“We are breathless spectators at a climactic event, a rebirth of the self (...) made even more striking by [Roger Sinha’s] universe, which evokes in equal portions subtlety and grace, the harmony of the duet and the strength of the athlete, and the tectonic power without which dance cannot exist.”– La Presse, Montreal

A master of cross-cultural experimentation, Roger Sinha promises once again to deliver an inspired blend of modern dance, bharata natyam and martial-arts movement—a seductive mixture that breathes vigor, refinement and sensuality.

Three years after enchanting Danse Danse 2001-2002 season audiences with Loha and Thok, Roger Sinha is back with Apricot Trees Exist, a new creation for six dancers. Inspired by Alphabet, the epic by Danish poet Inger Christensen, Apricot Trees Exist reveals the extraordinary hidden behind the commonplace; in it, Sinha seeks to (re)awaken our vision, which too often cannot appreciate the everyday marvels of growing trees, the gift of fruit, the flight of a bird.

Born in England of Armenian and Indian parents, Roger Sinha has resided in Canada since 1968. On completing his training in contemporary dance at the Toronto Dance Theatre school, he made his debut as an performer in Quebec City, in 1986. After two seasons with that city’s Danse Partout troupe, he moved to Montreal where he worked with several companies, including the Fondation Jean-Pierre Perreault and Sylvain Émard Danse. The drive to create his own works proved unrelenting; his Indian origins were to nourish his imagination, and give shape to his choreographies. These influences were boldly underlined and proudly claimed when, in 1992, he created his first choreography, a solo entitled Burning Skin. Based on a story by Hanif Kureishi and performed by Sinha himself, Burning Skin went on to immediate success, culminating in a tour that took him to Canada, England, Austria and India. The piece was also adapted for Performance, CBC television’s flagship cultural venue.

Now at the head of his own company, Sinha Danse, he has gone on to create several ensemble pieces that have been performed all across Canada: Loud Sounds, Soft Steps and Silent Cries, From a Crack in the Earth..., Light, Au Jardin des vapeurs and most recently, Benches, commissioned by Winnipeg’s Contemporary Dancers. In 1996 he won the Bonnie Bird Award, in the form of a commisssion for Transitions Dance Company of the Laban Centre for Movement and Dance, London, England. Then, in 1997, he returned to the solo form with Chaï, created in Vienna, Austria. The same work was later danced at Lille, in France, as well as at the New York Summer Stage Festival as part of a double program in tandem with Burning Skin. The company’s repertoire also includes Loha, a magnificent duet danced by Sinha and Natasha Bakht, and Thok, a quartet created at the Agora de la danse in February, 2002, in a joint presentation with Danse Danse. Roger Sinha’s most recent work is a solo for Lea Dance, UK, entitled DhIVA! created in London, May 2004.

April 2004

Photo: Rolline Laporte