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April 26, 27, 28, 29 & 30, 2005
Studio de l’Agora de la danse
Presented jointly with L’Agora de la danse

“The work is a spellbinding, insightful tapestry of Chase's human condition, in which Chase's elegantly simple movement functions as a soundtrack, heightening mood without overpowering thought.” – The Globe and Mail, Toronto

Sarah Chase, arguably the country’s most loquatious choreographer, tells us stories with a body that cannot lie, that carries within itself every trace of the past, insignificant events and long-forgotten recollections. Heralded as an “outstanding young choreographer,” she ranked high on German dance magazine Ballettanz’s ‘Critics’ Choice’ honor roll for 2000. Danse Danse is delighted to present Sarah Chase’s new creation, Bird, her third collaboration with composer Bill Brennan, who accompanies her on stage. Bird is a work that promises to make us smile, to surprise us, to move us, to win us over.

“Lots of performers these days talk on stage, but Chase's tales of family ties are by far the most moving dances I have seen, and I truly cannot remember the last time I have been as emotionally involved in a choreographer's work,” says CBC dance critic Philip Szporer. Given her ability to touch the spectator’s emotions, it comes as no surprise that the artist is frequently invited to share her funny stories on stages in Canada and Europe. Sarah Chase is fascinating in her singularity, in the unique way she inhabits her body, weaving together words and movement. Her stories meld the personal into the universal.

Toronto-based Sarah Chase has set tongues wagging in the contemporary dance world in recent years. She has appeared at the Holland Dance Festival, Louvain’s Klapstuk Festival, at Dans in Kortrijk, at the Szene Salzburg Festival in Germany, as well as on several leading Italian stages. In Canada, she has danced at the Canada Dance Festival, Montreal’s Festival international de nouvelle danse, as part of Danceworks at Tangente, and at the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal.

For her, body and memory are a single, indivisible whole. Not only does the body register movement; it stores up feelings, sensations, experiences and places. In her pieces she strives to express that part of memory that resists the power of words. In between her movements, or in synchronization with them, Sarah Chase relates snippets of autobiography, or simple fragments of conversation. “Of course I interpret people’s memories,” she told German daily De Morgen in 2002, “but I invent nothing. I add nothing. In fact, I tell the story as I’ve heard it told to me, but in my own way. Story-telling is gradually disappearing from our lives,” she continued. “Before television, people would get together to trade tales and stories that were transmitted orally from person to person. It’s surprising to see how much of this tradition has been lost over the last century.”

In addition to her creative work, Sarah Chase regularly displays her talents as a performer, dancing for troupes directed by Benoît Lachambre, Belgium’s Alexander Baervoets, and the German Raimund Hoghe.

April 2004

Photo: Tina Van Aerschot