The La La La
Years

Louise Lecavalier joined La La La Human Steps in 1981 in its production of Oranges, and brilliantly held the company’s banner high until 1999.

She danced in Businessman in the Process of Becoming an Angel (1983), Human Sex (1985), New Demons (1987), Infante, c’est destroy (1991) and finally, in 2 (1995) and Exaucé/Salt (1998), in which she achieved a rare maturity as a dancer. As the company’s emblem and luminary for nearly two decades, Louise gave herself heart and soul to her art. She embodied dance on the outer edge, performing with passion and unrestrained generosity, dazzling audiences worldwide. She has been described as “the most tragically brilliant dancer alive today.” (Melody Maker, London). “The essence of La La La Human Steps. Often imitated, never equalled. She remains the untamable platinum-blonde rebel, refusing all chains. For her, dance is an act of sharing.” (Le Monde, Paris).

The symbiosis that existed between Louise Lecavalier and Édouard Lock allowed them to pursue an artistic adventure that was exceptional in the world of contemporary dance. In their shared intense search for movement, from one work to the next, the two developed and refined a complex, highly energetic dance idiom.

Human Sex
Louise Lecavalier, Marc Béland, Claude Godin

©La La La Human Steps

New Demons
Marc Béland, Louise Lecavalier

Director: Édouard Lock
©La La La Human Steps

Infante c'est destroy
Excerpt from Vélazquez’s Little Museum (1994)
Louise Lecavalier, Sarah Lawrey, Sarah Williams
Director: Bernar Hébert
Executive Producer: Michel Ouellette
©Cine Qua Non Films

LA LA LA Human Sex Duo No 1
Marc Béland, Louise Lecavalier
Director: Bernar Hébert
Executive Producer : Michel Ouellette
©Cine Qua Non Films

Chute
Excerpt from Infante c'est destroy
Director: Édouard Lock
©La La La Human Steps

2
Excerpt from the film Inspirations
(Michael Apted, 1996)
Louise Lecavalier, Donald Weikert
Choreography: Édouard Lock
©La La La Human Steps

2
Excerpt from the film Inspirations
(Michael Apted,1996)
Louise Lecavalier, Rick Gavin Tjia
Choreography: Édouard Lock
©La La La Human Steps

Major
Collaborations

Louise Lecavalier, David Bowie (1989)
Photo : Anton Corbijn©

Louise Lecavalier participated in important collaborative projects during her career with La La La Human Steps: a duet with David Bowie, choreographed by Édouard Lock, performed at a benefit concert for London’s Institute of Contemporary Arts and presented in Wrap Around the World, an event conceived par Nam June Paik and broadcast simultaneously in several countries; a duet with Carole Laure in the videoclip Danse avant de tomber in 1989; guest artist, with Donald Weikert, in the main legs of the world tour of David Bowie’s Sound and Vision concert in 1990; in The Yellow Shark concert by Frank Zappa and the Ensemble Modern of Germany in Frankfort, Berlin, and Vienna in 1992; participation, with Édouard Lock, in the documentary Inspirations, a Michael Apted film on creation that also featured painter Roy Lichtenstein, singer David Bowie, and architect Tadao Ando; and finally, parallel to her dance career, Louise acted in Strange Days, a film directed by Kathryn Bigelow in Los Angeles in 1994.

In May, 1999, Louise Lecavalier ended her fruitful collaboration with Édouard Lock.

Working
with
Tedd
Robinson

In March, 2003, Louise returned to the stage, performing in Reclusive Conclusions and Other Duets at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa, a program of three duets in which dancers Margie Gillis and Mako Kawano also joined choreographer and dancer Tedd Robinson. Robinson created the duet Lula and the Sailor for Louise and himself, a finely-wrought piece with a live musical score by saxophonist Yannick Rieu that was later integrated into the score for Cobalt rouge.

During the following two years, Louise had a further occasion to collaborate with Tedd Robinson when he created Cobalt rouge for her, a theatrical piece of quick, nervous movements, with music by Yannick Rieu. Says Tedd in a humourous vein:

“To try to define the choreographic work Cobalt rouge, one might say that there are present: bowls, a dress, some coats, a saxophone, a saxophonist, pants, shirts, light, and dancers performing a lot of movements. The narrative evolves through the relationships that develop among these people and these things—a series of moving imagery leading to unanswered questions, or a small incision of the ocular nerve of life, cutting through time, like Virginia Woolf’s Orlando.”

Co-produced by the National Arts Centre (Ottawa), the Venice Biennale, and Théâtre de la Ville (Paris), this work premiered at the National Arts Centre, then was presented at Théâtre Outremont as part of the Montreal HighLights Festival in February 2005, at the Venice Biennale in June of that same year, and on tour in Brazil in March 2006.

Two solos,
one duet

Photo : Angelo Barsetti

In 2006, Louise Lecavalier worked on the creation of the solo “I” Is Memory, choreographed for her by Benoît Lachambre, and the solo Lone Epic, with choreographer Crystal Pite. These two solos, as well as the duet Lula and the Sailor, form a complete program that has since toured Europe, North America, and Japan.

Notable
creations

The duet Is You Me, a repeat collaboration between Louise Lecavalier and Benoît Lachambre, was created in spring 2008 at Festival TransAmériques in Montreal and performed 54 times in international tours until the summer of 2011. The double bill made up of Children, a duet conceived by Nigel Charnock, and A Few Minutes of Lock, three updated duets by Édouard Lock, has been presented 85 times between 2009 and 2013 in North America, Europe, Brazil, and Australia. In 2011-2012, Louise Lecavalier created So Blue, the first work she choreographed entirely herself. This intensely personal, singular, and innovative piece premiered at tanzhaus nrw in Dusseldorf in December, 2012, and was followed by Battleground in 2016.

Lecavalier in
film

Off ground

In 2013, Louise Lecavalier was principal performer in the short film, Off Ground, a poetic, intimate dance between a young boy and his dying mother. Directed by Boudewijn Koole from a Jakop Ahlbom choreography, the film’s numerous prizes included the Audience Award at Festival Cinedans 2013 in Amsterdam and the Award for Creativity at the 32nd Montreal International Festival of Films on Art.

Corps rebelles

Louise Lecavalier stands out in Corps rebelles, an exhibition, presented at Quebec City’s Musée de la Civilisation in 2015-2016 and at Musée des Confluences in Lyons in 2016-2017. In it, she embodies virtuosic dance, her body magnified in all its glory, pushing its limits even as it reveals its fragility and poetry.

Raymond St-Jean's film

Shooting has just ended for a documentary on Louise Lecavalier directed by Raymond St-Jean and produced by Michel Ouellette (producer of two other films spotlighting the dancer, La La La Human Sex duo no 1, 1987, and Velazquez’s Little Museum, 1994). Illustrated by dance scenes recreated especially for the camera, the film is a mosaic-like, close-up portrait of the artist, who mines her own life to nourish her art, through joys, encounters, friendships, and challenges. Scheduled for release in 2017.

Awards and
distinctions

1985

First Canadian to win a Bessie Award in New York

1999

First dancer to win the Jean. A. Chalmers Award (Canada’s highest dance honour)

2003

Career grant from the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec in 2003

2008

Named Officer of the Order of Canada

2011

Named Dance Personality of the Year 2010-2011 by the French Critics’ Union (Paris)

2011

First winner of the Prix de la danse de Montréal

2013

Winner of the Léonide Massine dance prize in the category of “Most Outstanding Female Dancer of the Year on the Contemporary Scene”

2014

Winner of the Governor General Performing Arts Award (GGPAA) for lifetime artistic achievement

2014

Fou glorieux winner of the 29th Grand Prix of the Conseil des arts de Montréal

2015

Named Companion of the Ordre des arts et des lettres du Québec, among 35 personalities honoured for broadening the impact of Quebec’s achievements in arts and culture

2015

Dora Mavor Moore Prize for the performances of So Blue at Luminato Festival 2014 (Toronto)

Mon vidéo