The Compagnie Marie Chouinard presents masterpieces that have triumphed on the world stage over the past two decades, augmenting their savage power with the accompaniment of musicians from the Orchestre symphonique des jeunes de Montréal. Magnificent.
For more than 20 years, the Compagnie Marie Chouinard has triumphed on the world stage with both the incandescent solo Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune and a very spirited Sacre du printemps. And as if the gift of restaging these masterpieces wasn’t enough, she is augmenting their savage power by presenting them to live accompaniment by some 70 musicians from the Orchestre symphonique des jeunes de Montréal, under the direction of Louis Lavigueur. Magnificent.
Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune (1994, Taipei)
In creating L’Après-midi d’un faune (1987) and giving substance to that mythical beast, Marie Chouinard was inspired by photos of the original presentation choreographed by Nijinsky, which caused a scandal in 1912. She thus imagined a dance with a flattened profile, with the 7 alluring nymphs of the original represented by 7 beams of light. The musical score was composed of sounds activated by trigger mechanisms attached to her body. Then, at the request of the organizers of the Taipei International Festival of the Arts, she transposed this syncopated solo to the music of Debussy, which gave rise to Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune.
Le Sacre du printemps (1993, Ottawa)
It was in Stravinsky’s score that she recognized all the rhythms that inspire her, leading her for the very first time to create choreography set to an existing musical piece, finding in the work the pulse and cadences so characteristic of her dance. She shifted away from the choreography that Nijinsky had presented in 1912, opting instead to simply celebrate first signs of life. She did so with a thrilling composition consisting of a series of solos, duos and trios that are intertwined or presented simultaneously. This third ensemble piece by Marie Chouinard marked her entry into the dance scene in France, and her already spectacular success only increased.
A charismatic dancer and brilliant choreographer, Marie Chouinard presented solo works for 12 years before founding the Compagnie Marie Chouinard in 1990. An audacious explorer of the evocative powers of the body, from the get-go she was perceived as a singular artist, celebrating instinct and the life force in dance that engaged the spinal column, breathing and voice. Her powerful style and the virtuosity of her dancers are recognized the world over. Several pieces from her repertoire have toured simultaneously, and a number of prestigious ballet companies have presented their own versions of some of her work. Also a set designer, lighting designer, photographer, filmmaker and writer, she has created multimedia pieces and films, exhibited her drawings and published an anthology of her poems. Marie Chouinard has received several awards and honorary titles. This presentation marks her sixth appearance at Danse Danse.
Orchestre symphonique des jeunes de Montréal
Founded in 1976, the OSJM is a space for developing the talent of young symphonic music instrumentalists. To date it has contributed to the training of more than 1000 musicians, a good many of whom went on to brilliant professional careers. It has presented more than 350 concerts, toured a dozen times on three continents and created some ten works by Quebec composers. Louis Lavigueur has been the musical director since 1986, and is renowned for a teaching style that has made the troupe one of the best youth orchestras in Canada. The OSJM presents 7 concerts a year, sometimes collaborating with artists and organizations active on the Montreal cultural scene, such as the Compagnie Marie Chouinard.
Photo © Laurence Labat.
Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun
Created at the Taipei Internation Festival, Taïwan, October 21, 1994*
Choreography and Artistic Direction Marie Chouinard. Music Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune, Claude Debussy, 1894. Dancer Carol Prieur. Ligthing Alain Lortie. Costumes Louis Montpetit et Marie Chouinard. Make-up Jacques Lee Pelletier.
*Dancer for the world premiere : Dominique Porte
A COMPAGNIE MARIE CHOUINARD production, co-produced with the National Arts Centre (Ottawa) and the Laidlaw Foundation (Toronto).
Le Sacre du printemps
Ballet in one act.
Created at the National Atrs Center in Ottawa, Canada, June 18th, 1993.
Conception, Artistic Direction and Choreography Marie Chouinard. Musics Signatures sonores, Rober Racine, 1992, 12 minutes. Le Sacre du printemps, Igor Stravinsky, 1913 - with the courtesy of Boosey & Hawkes, Inc., Publisher and copyright holder, 35 minutes. Dancers Sébastien Cossette-Masse, Paige Culley, Valeria Galluccio, Leon Kupferschmid, Lucy M. May, Mariusz Ostrowski, Sacha Ouellette-Deguire, Carol Prieur, James Viveiros, Megan Walbaum. Light Marie Chouinard. Costumes Liz Vandal. Accessories Zaven Paré. Make up Jacques-Lee Pelletier. Hairdressing Daniel Éthier.
*Dancers for the World Première Marie-Josée Paradis, Mathilde Monnard, Daniel Éthier, Dominique Porte, Pamela Newell, José Navas, Jeremy Weichsel.
A production of the COMPAGNIE MARIE CHOUINARD in coproduction with the National Arts Centre (Ottawa, Canada), the Festival international de nouvelle danse (Montréal, Canada) and the Kunstentrum Vooruit (Gand, Belgique).
The COMPAGNIE MARIE CHOUINARD thank the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec, the Canada Council for the Arts, the Arts Council of Montreal.