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Compagnie Marie Chouinard offers a wild and sumptuous feast for the eyes

by on March 15, 2011


Witness a stunning display of modern dance at The Fredericton Playhouse on Thursday, March 31 at 8pm courtesy of Montréal-based Compagnie Marie Chouinard. A choreographer, dancer, performer, and occasional set, costume, sound, and lighting designer, Marie Chouinard has worked since 1978 in building a diverse choreographic corpus that has earned her a place in the contemporary dance and art scene. In 1990, after twelve years as a solo artist performing throughout the world, she founded Compagnie Marie Chouinard, dedicating herself primarily to creating group work.

Truly a national treasure, and a firm fixture on the international dance scene, Chouinard is renowned for her distinctive choreographic style, which explores the poetics of the body in immediate, intelligible, and ever-surprising ways. In bODY_rEMIX/gOLDBERG_ vARIATIONS, ten dancers explore themes of beauty and freedom, often appearing en pointe: on one, two, and even four at a time. Chouinard uses different devices–crutches, rope, horizontal bars, and harnesses–that by turns liberate, restrain, and define the dancers’ movements. This use of accessories gives rise to playful explorations of body shape and gestures, painting a startling metaphor for the human condition.

The dancers also contribute to the soundscape of the piece, supplementing the electro-acoustic, aural experience with a series of moans, shouts, breathing, and other vocalization. Set to a remarkable soundtrack by electro-acoustic musician Louis Dufort, which mixes Johann Sebastian Bach’s Goldberg Variations with vocal extracts of Canadian pianist Glenn Gould, bODY_rEMIX/gOLDBERG_ vARIATIONS is a highly emotive, visually stunning work of stark contrasts; subtle and extravagant, sumptuous and wild.

Among the dancers featured in the piece is Fredericton’s own Lucy May, daughter of local artist Stephen May. Lucy began her training at Dance Fredericton, and completed her professional studies at LADMMI in Montréal and the Rotterdam Dance Academy in the Netherlands. She has danced for DanseKparK, la Compagnie Capriole, Meyer-Chaffaud Dance Company, Lucie Grégoire Danse and Mélissa Raymond, among others.

Don’t miss your chance to join Compagnie Marie Chouinard in a master class workshop at The Fredericton Playhouse on Tuesday, March 29 at 6:30pm. This class offers a rare opportunity to dance with senior company members from Compagnie Marie Chouinard, and will focus on technique and physical skill necessary for success, as well as vocabulary and concepts in contemporary dance. This one hour workshop is open to ages 14 and up, and participants must have basic contemporary dance experience. The workshop fee is $20 ($10 for Spotlight members) and registration is required by contacting Education and Outreach Director Amani Wassef at 459.6212 or amani@theplayhouse.ca.

Patrons are invited to join some of the dancers after the show on March 31 for the next installment of our In Conversation Series post-show talks at the Beaverbrook Art Gallery.  Hosted by Julie Scriver, mother of Lucy May and art director for Goose Lane Editions, this forum gives fans the opportunity to talk with dancers Lucy May and Carol Prieur about their artistic careers, inspiration, and their experience with Compagnie Marie Chouinard. Tickets for the post-show talk, available through the Fredericton Playhouse box office in limited number, are complimentary, and include a free glass of wine.

Tickets for Compagnie Marie Chouinard’s performance on March 31 at 8pm are available at the Fredericton Playhouse box office 1-866-884-5800, or online at www.theplayhouse.ca.

Advisory: Contains nudity.

Visit artist website: www.mariechouinard.com

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