Battleground

Premiere : February 13, 2016, tanzhaus nrw, Düsseldorf, Germany

Two characters fighting nonsensical battles are matched in a strange dance of confrontation, avoidance, and surrender. Their quirky search for the meaning of life is loosely based on the characters in Italo Calvino’s novella, The Non-Existent Knight.

Choreography: Louise Lecavalier

Dancers: Louise Lecavalier, Robert Abubo

Choreography Assistant and Rehearsal director: France Bruyère

Original and Live Music: Antoine Berthiaume

Lighting Design: Alain Lortie

Costume Design: Yso

Production: Fou glorieux

Co-production: tanzhaus nrw ; HELLERAU – European Center for the Arts Dresden ; le CENTQUATRE, Paris ; Festival TransAmériques Montreal ; Usine C, Montreal.

Photos: André Cornellier, Katja Illner

Video: Marlene Millar

Echoes from the press

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“The ‘battleground’ is her body. It’s sixty minutes of dancing against the clock, and it’s extraordinary in the first minutes, when Lecavalier, in black leather pants and a hoodie, keeping her knees pressed together, trips across the stage on demi-pointe like a wind-up ballerina, while her arms recite precise codes to the house and techno beats of DJ Antoine Berthiaume. Lecavalier is a black swan, a cool ghetto kid, a fantastical knight, and a head-bobbing, pale-faced zombie. Amazing.”
- Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger, Cologne

“The battleground is marked out on the stage floor, where the only battle being fought is one with and against the self. The question remains unanswered: does the body control the spirit, or the spirit the body? It takes the presence of a counterpart before the compulsive, almost mechanical movements become more attenuated, softening through the input of contact. The fast-paced, breathless performance drew thunderous applause for Louise Lecavalier and her partner Robert Abubo.”
- Theaterkompass.de

“ An astonishing, non-stop display of physical struggle. […] The fight goes on; the war is never won. What’s left is the thrill of battle, exhilarating and raw.”
- Mark Mann, The Dance Current, Toronto

“Lecavalier is a true star, one of those rare performers able to capture the public’s heart and soul.”
- Philip Szporer, The Dance Current, Toronto

So
Blue

Premiere : December 7, 2012, tanzhaus nrw, Düsseldorf, Germany

Louise Lecavalier and her partner, Frédéric Tavernini, risk all in this intense, rough, obsessive, and mysterious work set to Mercan Dede’s rhythmical, visceral music. As quick as thought, the body dictates its laws and transgresses its limits. “I wanted the body to say everything it wants to say without censuring it, leaving it free to surprise itself by what it reveals, to allow something true and beyond our control to emerge from the profusion of spontaneous movements, divulging something of the meanderings, tumult, excesses, and contradictions that we’re made of: the unbearable lightness of being, and of the soul. ” — Louise Lecavalier

Choreography: Louise Lecavalier

Dancers : Louise Lecavalier, Frédéric Tavernini

Choreography Assistant and Rehearsal director: France Bruyère

Lighting Design : Alain Lortie

Music : Mercan Dede

Additional Music and Remixing Producer : Normand-Pierre Bilodeau, Daft Punk, Meiko Kaji

Costume Design : Yso

Production : Fou glorieux

Co-production : Théâtre de la Ville (Paris) ; HELLERAU – European Center for the Arts Dresden ; National Arts Centre (Ottawa) ; Festival TransAmériques (Montréal) ; Creation Residency and Preview : Szene Salzburg

Photos : André Cornellier, Ursula Kaufmann

Video : Szene Salzburg / Marlene Millar

Echoes from the press

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“…An unfettered yet controlled reflection of the self, a manically controlled distancing of the mind and body, an exploration, transgression and restatement of the limits of human potential. Dare the inconceivable, the ungraspable. And the way Lecavalier does it is thrilling and breathtaking.”
- Kronen Zeitung, Salzburg

“ It was clear from the first second: the next hour would be captivating.”
- Neue Rhein Zeitung, Düsseldorf

“ A tour de force of performance, endurance and dedication.” - Dance Current, Toronto

“It was captivating. Canada’s foremost female contemporary dancer now shows herself to be a formidable choreographer as well. (…) A revelation indeed.”
- The Gazette, Montreal

“A nervous, syncopated dance, charged with electric, even atomic, energy.”
- La Presse, Montreal

“Lecavalier, queen of speed, endurance and innovation. It was her ability to allow her body to speak its truth that overwhelmed.”
- Dance international, Vancouver

“Louise Lecavalier triumphs at the FTA, Montreal. The spirited energy and inventivity of her movements – the result of an entire life spent dancing.”
- Le Téléjournal, Radio-Canada

“ Lecavalier opens up a narrative universe that seems to capture life in all its dimensions.”
- Dresdner Neueste Nachrichten, Dresden

A few minutes
of lock

Premiere : December 4-5, 2009, tanzhaux nrw, Düsseldorf, Germany

More than ten years after leaving La La La Human Steps, Louise Lecavalier is revisiting, alongside dancer Keir Knight, three duets from her final years with the celebrated troupe (excerpts from 2 and Exaucé/Salt).

Choreography: Édouard Lock

Dance re-creation: France Bruyère, Louise Lecavalier

Dancers: Louise Lecavalier, Keir Knight, with the participation of Patrick Lamothe

Lighting: Alain Lortie

Music: Iggy Pop

Remixing producer: Normand-Pierre Bilodeau

Additional electric guitars: Sylvain Provost

Costumes: Vandal

Length: 13 minutes

Production: Fou glorieux

Co-production: Festival Oriente Occidente (Rovereto); tanzhaus nrw (Düsseldorf); Festival TransAmériques (Montréal); l’Usine C (Montréal); Atmo Productions (North Hatley); as well as : the CanDance Network Creation Fund, National Arts Centre (Ottawa), Harbourfront Centre (Toronto), Brian Webb Dance Company (Edmonton), Dance Victoria (Victoria), supported by the Dance Section of the Canada Council for the Arts.

Photos: Massimo Chiaradia, André Cornellier, Gregory Batardon

Video: Marlene Millar

Echoes from the press

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ImPulsTanz: A Dance Icon in Top Form
“ … A concentrated, intense look back at La La La Human Steps works choreographed by Édouard Lock and showcasing Lecavalier. Under high tension, Lecavalier conveys the essence of Lock’s signature, in which an extreme extension of the body gives way to lightning-quick steps, jumps and lifts. Lecavalier still masters her fascinating horizontal barrel jump, which became the La La La Human Steps trademark. ”
- Kurier, Vienna, July 29, 2010

Master Class in Lock craft
“A Few Minutes of Lock was a master class in Lock craft. That’s because Lecavalier doesn’t just feel Lock’s vibe and move the way he wants. Lock is in her DNA. His quirky, quick, demanding dance vocabulary can look forced and unnatural in less capable hands. Lecavalier slipped seamlessly into her Lockself, sculpting each emotion and move and leaving a trail of power and clarity in her wake. A Few Minutes of Lock did not need to mean anything or tell a story. It just was. And with Lecavalier front and centre, that was plenty.”
- The Gazette, Montreal, June 11, 2010

Children

Premiere: September 3-4, 2009, Oriente Occidente Festival, Italy

Children are beautiful, ugly, sweet, annoying, hateful, loving, mad, bad, loud and funny – so is Children, a bitter sweet and sweaty duet which exposes the heaven and hell of a relationship at breaking point. The fine and divine line between love and hate, passion and violence is revealed as two people are plunged into the agony and the ecstasy of trying to stay together for themselves and for their children.

Children is dark, witty, very physical and like a great big grown-up child.

Choreography: Nigel Charnock

Dancers: Louise Lecavalier, Patrick Lamothe

Music: Yasar Akpence, Leonard Cohen, Miles Davis, Billie Holiday, Terry Snyder, Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee, Richard Desjardins, Janis Joplin, Michael Nyman, Puccini (Maria Callas)

Lighting design: Alain Lortie

Costume maker: Carré vert

Sound editing: Nigel Charnock

Rehearsal Mistress: France Bruyère

Length: 50 minutes

Production: Fou glorieux

Co-production : Festival Oriente Occidente (Rovereto) ; tanzhaus nrw (Düsseldorf) ; Festival TransAmériques (Montréal) ; l’Usine C (Montréal) ; Atmo Productions (North Hatley) ; as well as : the CanDance Network Creation Fund, National Arts Centre (Ottawa), Harbourfront Centre (Toronto), Brian Webb Dance Company (Edmonton), Dance Victoria (Victoria), supported by the Dance Section of the Canada Council for the Arts.

Photos: André Cornellier

Vidéo: Marlene Millar

Echoes from the press

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Oriente Occidente. An opening with a choreography co-produced by the Festival itself
All the power of dance in the feminine mode

Louise Lecavalier carries Children in its world premiere

“Louise perfectly exalted the most unpredictable and explosive aspects of Charnock’s sensibility in a dance executed in one seamless sequence with dancer Patrick Lamothe […]. Wholly playing on reckless movements on the ground and ruinous falls, rapid scuttling on all fours, collisions, and moments of tenderness, set to melodious music that is regularly interrupted by a nerve-wracking leitmotiv in the very taut audio backdrop, the work is open to many interpretations. […] One audience member said that the work was a concrete rendering of the range of emotions felt by two parents in the presence of a newborn who upsets the couple’s dynamic. Another spectator saw a kind of return to childhood.”
- Trentino, Rovereto, September 5, 2009

Round Dance of Emotion
“One woman, one man. They approach each other, and yet the moment he reaches a hand out to her, she pushes him away. The game begins. The famous game between the sexes. An endless back and forth, a couple’s heaven and hell. At times alone, at times together, they struggle and search for one another, only to let each other fall one moment and then become gently ensnared again the next. This bittersweet chronicle of unbridled dance energy is a circle dance of emotion. […] Children evokes intense emotion through powerfully dynamic and yet also gently graceful movements.”
- Wiener Zeitung, Vienna, July 29, 2010

“Lecavalier is fabulous in a fierce and touching vulnerable relationship duet with Patrick Lamothe that reveals the expressive depths of humour, poignancy and litheness she possesses in her mature years.”
- The Herald, Glasgow

“A bolt of dance lightning.”
- The Gazette, Montreal

“Lecavalier has the energy level of a five-year-old on a sugar rush”
- The Scotsman, Glasgow

“Intimate, heartfelt, poetic and moving…”
- Kultur Vollzug, Munich

Lone
Epic

Creation : August 18, 2006, Tanz im August, Berlin

“The work is decidedly brief and low-tech in contrast to the large-scale big-budget features that influence it. The conventions of epic cinema serve as an unconventional backdrop for a small story that is personal, intimate and true. Lone Epic looks for the possibility of real human emotion within the facade of presentation, while recognizing that the emotions of love and loss, while intensely personal, are of epic importance. Lone Epic is both humble and grand, real and artificial. A spectacle made of the real-life drama of desire.” — Crystal Pite

Choreography: Crystal Pite

Dancer: Louise Lecavalier

Music: excerpts from Bernard Herrmann’s music for Citizen Kane

Lighting Design: Lucie Bazzo

Costume designed and built by: Anne-Marie Veevaete

Rehearsal Mistress: France Bruyère

Sound engineering: Owen Belton, Diane Labrosse

Length: 16 minutes

Production: Fou glorieux, in co-production with STEPS # 10, Switzerland; Théâtre de la Ville, Paris; Tanz im August – Internationales Tanzfest, Berlin; Aarhus Festuge, Aarhus; National Arts Centre, Ottawa; Usine C, Montreal; in partnership with Quebec presenters.

Echoes from the press

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Discovering herself as a soloist
“Lecavalier incarnates a tragic-comical, almost Chaplinesque character who reflects (through movement and by cardboard signs) on his/her lost love, juggling with emotions like an orchestra director might do with the musical scores.”
- Le Devoir, Montreal, November 4, 2006

“Although the piece might have been humorous on the surface, the slower second part of Lone Epic revealed the character’s underlying pain, desire, and uncertainty. There was no longer an accompanying orchestra; just a lone woman and her emotions. Ms. Lecavalier commanded the space with her fluid movement and strength. She beautifully portrayed both sides of her character― the melodramatic conductor leading the ensemble, and the introspective individual.”
- dancingperfectlyfree, New York, September 2008

“I” Is Memory

Création : 6 mai 2006, Chiasso (Suisse), Cinema Teatro, Steps # 10

“In Benoît Lachambre’s solo “I” Is Memory, the mind no longer directs the body’s movements: movement springs from an inner explosion that radiates throughout the body – in its bones, muscles, organs, and articulations. Disjointed and undulating, the body becomes thought. “I” Is Memory evokes abandonment, the collapse of the mind, the loss of identity when a being is stripped of its habitual references. This quasi meditative dance, performed with extreme slowness in a drastically minimalist mode, is the dance of a creature of the shadows, a being in the process of metamorphosis, a mutant.” — Louise Lecavalier

Choreography: Benoît Lachambre, Louise Lecavalier

Dancer: Louise Lecavalier

Original music: Laurent Maslé

Lighting: Jean Philippe Trépanier

Props: Louis-Philippe Saint-Arnault

Rehearsal Mistress: France Bruyère

Length: 45 minutes

Production: Fou glorieux In co-production with STEPS # 10, Switzerland; Théâtre de la Ville, Paris; Tanz im August – Internationales Tanzfest, Berlin; Aarhus Festuge, Aarhus; National Arts Centre, Ottawa; Usine C, Montreal; in partnership with Quebec presenters.

Echoes from the press

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“Lecavalier pushes herself over the floor of the Podewils stage between a dance barre and a chair, in extraordinary positions that often, and not coincidentally, remind you of hip hop works, but become something entirely different through the slow-moving, incredible flow of power. There’s something somnambulant and ghostly about it all, infused with both fascinating presence and agonizing absence. As though Lecavalier were lost in memory and unexpectedly discovering her new life there.”
- Die Tageszeitung, Berlin, August 21, 2006

“ “I” Is Memory, a fascinatingly strange trip into the world of extreme, cleverly conceived slowness, tailored to her small frame. Enveloped in a foreign skin, Lecavalier—yellow bird of paradise, animated figure, tentacled creature, breakdancer—sets off a fireworks display of crazy positions between chair and barre. Rubber-limbed, her body flows in every direction. Technically, too, a masterpiece.”
- Neues Deutschland, Berlin, August 26, 2006

The fire of a frosty star
“In “I” Is Memory, by Canadian Benoît Lachambre, Louise Lecavalier slides into her hooded tracksuit. In front of the barre that haunts this last piece, she executes a series of prowesses in slow motion as if in the studio, her face hidden, her body both rubberlike and pugilistic, evoking a state of absence. She melts into her movement, ego abolished by breathtaking grands écarts. Every gesture speaks to us of an effort that is voluptuousness, and of Louise, this unknown creature who transfixes us. Art and being.”
- Le Temps, Geneva, September 14 2007

Lula
and
the Sailor

Creation: March 20, 2003, in the program Reclusive Conclusions and Other Duets, National Arts Centre, Ottawa

Duet reprised in Cobalt rouge (2005)

Alternately close or distant, the two performers of Lula and the Sailor are hardly ever physically together and they rarely look at one another. They reveal themselves by the way they move and communicate in duet. “Lula and the Sailor considers the dynamics of a straight line, the clearcut relationship between in and out, and the grey areas of hello and goodbye. A portrait of abundance in an austere frame. A meditation on the activity of simplicity.” ―Tedd Robinson

Choreography: Tedd Robinson

Dancers : Louise Lecavalier, Éric Beauchesne

Original music : Yannick Rieu

Original music : Jean-Philippe Trépanier

Costumes : Yso, Dubuc

Rehearsal Mistress : France Bruyère

Length : 12 minutes

Production : Fou glorieux, Ten Gates Dancing, in co-production with Théâtre de la Ville, Paris; Agora de la danse, Montreal; the Venice Biennale; and the National Arts Centre, Ottawa

Echoes from the press

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Lula and the Sailor by Tedd Robinson continues the reference to the cinema. Here, Lynch and his saturated rebelling couple atmospheres are echoed. The essential, in contrast to the agitation of the savage physical effort and access to the vibrant world of birds, is attained in the shivering calm that grows against a perfect music to associate the saw and the woods.”
- Le Devoir, Montreal, February, 2007

Is You Me

Creation : 23 mai 2008, Usine C, Festival TransAmériques, Montréal

After the solo “I” Is Memory, created by Benoît Lachambre for Louise Lecavalier in 2006, Benoît and Louise finally meet in Is You Me, a piece that crystallizes their desire to dance together, a duet on the theme of identity, fusion, and distance, created in collaboration with visual artist Laurent Goldring, and with live musical accompaniment by composer-performer Hahn Rowe.

A creation by Benoît Lachambre, Louise Lecavalier, Laurent Goldring

Dancers : Benoît Lachambre, Louise Lecavalier

Original music : Hahn Rowe

Sets and lighting : Benoît Lachambre, Louise Lecavalier, Laurent Goldring

Costumes : Lim Seonoc

Video projection : Laurent Goldring

Additional lighting and technical direction : Philippe Dupeyroux

Rehearsal mistress : France Bruyère

Production : par b.l.eux (Montreal) In coproduction with Théâtre de la Ville (Paris); MODAFE 2008 (Seoul); Pact Zollverein (Essen); CDC d’Aquitaine (Artigues-près-Bordeaux); Mercat de les Flors (Barcelona); Festival TransAmériques (Montreal); Fabbrica Europa (Florence); Usine C (Montreal)

Photo : André Cornellier

Echoes from the press

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“Playing on the physical contrasts between them―she fragile and elastic and he more imposing―and often evolving horizontally, they blend together, leave each other, composing a very contemporary dialogue that questions the notions of fusion, loss, and the distance between oneself and the other, as if attempting to quantify what is left of oneself when that self surrenders to the other. In this register, Lecavalier is majestic.”
- Les Inrockuptibles, Paris, June 2008

Is You Me, a work by Canadian choreographer Benoît Lachambre, his compatriot, dancer Louise Lecavalier, and visual artist Laurent Goldring, has everything of an exotic delicacy that we try out like a new kind of candy. An ethereal manga, a graphic improvisation, this piece stands out from current production, slipping between registers to slip through our fingers. […] The false duet (between two dancers) and the true pas de trois (the same two dancers and a visual artist) comment on the question of the tracing of the gesture.”
- Rosita Boisseau, Le Monde, Paris, June 2008

Is You Me is a droll, comic-striplike, and quite simply stunning duet. […] Lachambre and Lecavalier question the notions of identity and otherness. Are you me? Where does your body start and mine end? Who is who? […] Is You Me is flavoured with childhood and Lachambre’s wonderful craziness, into which Lecavalier plunges with delicious pleasure. In the end, ‘me is you and you is me,’ as these two creators are undoubtedly made of the same stuff.”
- La Presse, Montreal, May 25, 2008

Mon vidéo