Magazine article Dance Magazine

Quebec Dance Transcends (Most) Borders. (Reviews: New York)

Magazine article Dance Magazine

Quebec Dance Transcends (Most) Borders. (Reviews: New York)

Article excerpt

QUEBEC PRESENTS VARIOUS VENUES NEW YORK, NEW YORK SEPTEMBER 28-OCTOBER 7, 2001

The acts of terrorism on September 11 brought the New York dance and theater community to a numbing halt during a month that usually ushers in a host of artistic activity. Much of Quebec Presents, a monthlong New York City festival honoring arts organizations from Quebec, was curtailed, partly because it was impossible to get scenery, costumes, and dancers across the heavily patrolled Canadian-U.S. border in time for performances. Although two performances scheduled for mid-September, Compagnie Marie Chouinard and Benoit Lachambre of Compagnie par b.l.eux, were forced to cancel, four other companies were fortunately able to perform. O Vertigo, Coleman & Lemieux, Dominique Porte/Systeme D, and Jose Navas's Compagnie Flak were warmly welcomed to Manhattan, despite the unsettling mood of a world unhinged by terrorism. But just as Londoners dutifully attended the theater during the Blitz of World War II, New Yorkers turned out to see dance.

An appropriately stark tone colored Laurence Lemieux's Novembre, giving it the look of a black-and-white French film shot through a snowy windowpane. Dressed in thick sweaters, the four dancers, including Lemieux and her husband, Bill Coleman, danced with admirable weight and balance. Pianist Anthony de Mare skillfully played the intricate contemporary score by Christopher Butterfield as the dancers matched the melancholic adagio sections with slow-motion choreography and faster segments with briskness.

On the same evening at St. Mark's Church Danspace in the East Village, Dominique Porte/Systeme D presented Retard probable 5 mn. Whimsy ruled in Porte's absurdist landscape, where sound effects popped and crackled as the four dancers zigzagged through a maze of spastic, sometimes frantic choreography. Dressed in a sarong, the twiggy Fabrice Merlen resembled a skittish spider as he rushed around the stage. When linked in chains, the performers appeared to be human synapses or computer bytes powered by electrical impulses. Enormous wooden blocks made humorous footwear for the dancers, then were discarded. Don't ask why. In this piece, understanding seemed to be the booby prize.

Choreographer Ginette Laurin and her company O Vertigo have long been noted for their unbridled experimentation. Luna, which the troupe performed at the Joyce Theater the first week of October, showed Laurin testing the combination of stage technology with her characteristically physical choreography. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.