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La Scena Musicale - Vol. 18, No. 1 September 2012


by Crystal Chan / September 1, 2012

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Summer may be the time for carefree romance, but as the chills set in, so do the complications. Fall is the perfect time, then, to tackle that classic dance genre, the pas de deux, and inject it with a bit of pathos. Take Anne Le Beau’s Ta douleur, an exploration of the darker side of modern coupledom to be staged this September 18 to 29 and danced by Le Beau and Francis Ducharme; the choreography is by theatre veteran Brigette Haentjens. Later in the fall, Danse-Cité stages Nancy Leduc’s Projet Harlequin, which takes a look at romance in its most popular book form, the paperback Harlequin. www.danse-cite.org But the pas de deux’s diversity is most fully explored in Cas Public’s Duels,a series of some fifteen duets dissecting partnerships of all types. It opens Agora’s season.

Agora’s focus this fall, however, is the solo. They’re organizing a roundtable on solo dance as well as staging, among others, solo works by Daniel Léveillé and Anne Plamondon. Two of these solos are inspired by music; Marc Boivin sets music by Ana Sokolović (performed by the Quatuor Bozzini) to dance, and Paul-André Fortier’s Vertiges is performed onstage with violinist Malcolm Goldstein. (www.agoradanse.com) Classical music also shows up in several other programs this fall: José Navas/Compagnie Flak dances to Bach (www.dansedanse.net), Brigitte Nielsen Society and Mathieu Jedrazak’s La jeune fille et la morve is a solo inspired by Schubert and brought to life by Amélie Poirier (www.lachapelle.org), and Marie Chouinard’s Étude no. 1 and Les 24 Préludes de Chopin will tour Quebec (www.mariechouinard.com). Classical theatre inspired Crystal Pite’s The Tempest Replica, playing this fall at Agora as well as in Ottawa at the National Arts Centre. (www.nac-cna.ca)

Of course, it’s not all solos and duos. Another show touring the region—you can catch it presented by Danse Danse in Montreal, the NAC in Ottawa, and the Grand Théâtre in Quebec City (www.grandtheatre.qc.ca)—is Israeli Hofesh Shechter’s first full length work, Political Mother, and it’s an energetic, percussive work for ten dancers. Aszure Barton’s Awàa also features a percussive soundtrack, and will be performed with the Alberta-born choreographer’s Busk, an urban work inspired by street performance. Danse Danse will also premiere Frédérick Gravel’s latest pop culture-infused piece, Usually Beauty Fails,and Danse Cité launches the final part of Charmaine Leblanc’s trilogy on the life of forty-somethings. Over at the Centaur Theatre, the music of Leonard Cohen serves as the springboard to Dance Me to the End ON/OFF Love,a mélange of dance, theatre, visual arts, and live music put together by Denmark’s Granhøj Dans Company. And two of the biggest productions will have an Asian flair: Jirí Kylián’s Kaguyahime, The Moon Princess will be staged by the Grands Ballets and is a modern take on a Japanese tale (www.grandsballets.com); then there’s one of China’s most important modern troupes, Tao Dance Theatre, which will be hosted here by Danse Danse.

There are some anniversary shows, too: Les Ballets Jazz de Montréal, celebrating 40 years, is teaming up with Danse Danse, entering their 15th season, to stage a triple bill of pieces by Benjamin Millepied, Cayetano Soto, and Barak Marshall. (www.bjmdanse.ca) There should also be plenty to check out at the 10th edition of the Quartiers danses festival. (www.quartiersdanses.com) O Vertigo is also celebrating their history; Les petites formes will showcase the development of its founder, choreographer Ginette Laurin, by stitching together pieces from several of her previous productions. Their other production this fall, Khaos, is an electroacoustic piece where the stage and performers will be wired with audio sensors. (www.overtigo.com)

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