An astonishing piece, created for the Venice Biennale’s International Festival of Contemporary Dance, Italy, 2005 by Canadian dancer, choreographer and dance company director Marie Chouinard, OC (born 14 May 1955). Some excerpts from the performance at Place des Arts, Montreal, 2007:
In this work by Marie Chouinard, the company’s ten dancers execute variations on the exercise of freedom. Often, the dancers appear on points: on one, two, and even four at a time. In a spectroscopy of the gesture, we also see them using different devices – crutches, rope, prostheses, horizontal bars, and harnesses – which at times liberate their movements, at others fetter it, and at still others create it.
This use of accessories gives rise to unusual bodily shapes and gestural dynamics and opens onto a universe of meticulous and playful explorations in which solos, duos, trios and group work, in their labour, pleasure and invention, echo the human condition.
An aesthete beyond norms, Marie Chouinard presents her ideas on the way the indefinableness of the Other and the flagrancy of Beauty brush up against one another through an interpretation of Johann Sebastian Bach’s Goldberg Variations. Subtle and extravagant, sumptuous and wild, the work’s movements plumb the insoluble mystery of the body, of the living being.
Watch the entire performance:
Choreography and Artistic Direction – Marie Chouinard
Dancers at creation – Kirsten Andersen, Mark-Eden Towle, Julio Cesar Hong, Andrea Keevil, Chi Long, Carla Maruca, Lucie Mongrain, Carol Prieur, David Rancourt, James Viveiros
Louis Dufort: Variations on the Variations,
Johann Sebastian Bach: Goldberg Variations,
Variations 5, 6, 8
Vocal Extracts of Glenn Gould
With the permission of the estate of Glenn Gould
and Sony BMG Music (Canada)
Glenn Gould: A State of Wonder: The Complete Goldberg Variations (1955 & 1981)
Lighting, Set Design and Props – Marie Chouinard
Costumes and Hair Stylist – Vandal
Make-up – Jacques-Lee Pelletier
Production Manager – Nadia Bellefeuille
Lighting Creation Assistants – Erwann Bernard, Marc Tétreault
A Compagnie Marie Chouinard production, co-produced with the National Arts Centre (Ottawa), Montreal High Lights Festival, Schlossfestspiele (Ludwigsburg), Théâtre de la Ville (Paris), Venice Biennale, White Bird (Portland), with the support of ImPulsTanz (Vienna)