BATH HOUSE + CHEREPAKA
Andréane Leclerc / Nadère arts vivants
Bath House explores imprisonment and the invasion of a particular territory: that of the body. Bearing witness, the audience frames the stage and creates walls. They observe passively from above, the bodies struggling to escape.
Laurence Racine, Genevieve Gauthier, Maude Parent
This piece has been made possible thanks to the support of CALQ and La Métive.
Having begun its creation process at Piss in the Pool at Bain St-Michel in 2013, Bath House was inspired by the power of ocean water enclosed in a pool. Through this image it explores, territories, control and repression, whether in the context of the human being toward nature, the government toward its people, a mother toward her daughter, or our consciousness toward ourselves. Though it is empty, the pool is now filled with dense and lively energy like the steam of public baths. A space of meditation and encounters, of rejuvenation and decision making, an internal strength pushes us forward to renegotiate power, in the search of freedom.
Andréane Leclerc started her contortion career at the age of 9, when she joined the National Circus School of Montreal. At 17 years old, she toured with different companies like the Cirque Éloïze, Pomp Duck and Circumstance, Circus Quantenschaum, and Tiger Lillies Circus et Freakshow, always searching for purpose within her art form. After 7 years on the road, this quest brought her back to Montréal where she explored performance (Studio 303), musical theatre (The Unsettlers, Bad Uncle), and burlesque (Grand Burlesque Show), all while making a living from live modelling for several painters, sculptors, and illustrators. Driven by a continual desire to harness the technique of contortion and to push the boundaries of the body and how we conceive of it, she has begun creating her own experimental pieces with her new company, Nadere performing art. Since 2006, she has directed and performed Et pourquoi pas !, Di(x)parue, Cherepaka and InSuccube, simultaneously working on new works Mange-Moi and Whore of Babylone, a co-creation with Martyn Jacques from the Tiger Lillies. In 2013, Andréane completed her master’s at the University du Québec à Montréal in the theatre department. She continues collaborating as a contortionist with director Angela Konrad and choreographer and Dave St-Pierre.
Maude Parent was born in Quebec in 1991. At the age of seven she began artistic gymnastics, however, her increasing passion for the performancing arts led her to the circus. In 2007, she began her training at l’École de cirque de Verdun, subsequently joining National Circus School of Montreal in 2009. It is here that she developed her own artistic approach to contorsion : a body language composed of bones, flesh, muscles and sensations. Her growing passion for the arts has led her in many different directions, all of which have nourished her contortion practice.
Laurence Racine started performing in 1990 at the age of 11. She traveled the world with Cirque Du Soleil’s Nouvelle-Expérience, Fascination and Saltimbanco, in a contortion quartet that included 7 Finger co-founder Isabelle Chassé. This famous quartet received a gold medal at Paris’s Festival Mondial du Cirque de l’Avenir in 1990, and a Gold Clown at the Monte-Carlo Circus Festival in 1993. In 1998, she broke off from Cirque du Soleil, but continued her collaboration with the company’s renowned choreographer Debra Brown. Together, along with other artists, they created 3 distinct shows, C.O.K.E., On Air and Line 1, in which she performed as a dancer/multi-disciplinary circus artist. She also worked as assistant choreographer to Brown in such projects as the movies Cat Woman and Van Helsing, as well as Cirque du Soleil’s productions Zumanity, O, and Zarkana and Michael Jackson’s Immortal tour. Laurence has performed in many special events including shows with the 7 Fingers, such as La vie and Projet Fibonnaci, among other cabaret, circus and theatre companies, touring Canada, the United States and Mexico.
A graduate of the National Circus School of Montréal in 1999, Genevieve Gauthier specialised in aerial hoop and contortion. She started her career with Cirque du Soleil’s Quidam. In 2001, she joined the Cirque Éloïze to participate in the creation of Cirque Orchestra and Nomade with which she toured for three years. Later, she relocated to Sweden for two years, where she joined the company Circus Cirkör – 99% Unknown. In 2005, with the Cirque du Soleil, Genevieve travelled throughout the Caribbean on the Celebrity Cruise cruiseship. In 2006, Genevieve founded the Cirque Alfonse and participated in collectively creating the show La Brunnante. Gauthier has collaborated with the Copenhagen Royal Opera on their production Maskarade. In 2009, she returned to Cirque du Soleil for the Dralion tour with her own solo.
Andréane Leclerc / Nadère arts vivants
Cherepaka represents the death of a Turtle. Composed of a shell and flesh, the Turtle carries with it the duality of the eternity of its shell through time and death of his flesh that breaks down over time. Cherepaka also represents the tension between living human beings quests for eternity (an immortal shell) and the death of his animal flesh. The being is corrupt from the moment he tries to build a shell (power, domination, control), which is meant to make it invincible to others and to death. It, therefore, kills the fragile beauty of human existence.
Conception and performance
Light and sound design
Anne Sara Gendron
Production and technical director
Thought as a scenic picture, this performed essay seeks to deconstruct the spectacle side of contortion to transform the acrobatic language in a body language, a substance to representation, a scenic writing. The approach was inspired by paintings of Francis Bacon, to work the “logic of sensation” (Deleuze). Cherepaka seeks to stimulate the imagination of the viewer through a scenic writing based on a reinterpretation of the art of contortion.
Andreane Leclerc started her contortion career at the age of nine as she joined the National Circus School of Montreal. At seventeen, she toured with different companies like the Cirque Éloïze, Pomp Duck and Circumstance, Circus Quantenschaum, Tiger Lillies Circus et Freakshow, always looking for a reason to be around this form of art. After 7 years on the road, her quest brought her back to Montréal where she explored performing arts (Studio 303), music (The Unsettlers, Bad Uncle), burlesque scene (Grand Burlesque Show), and lived of being a live model for several painters, sculptors, and illustrators. Driven by a perpetual desire to harness contortion techniques and to push limits of the body as well as the conception we have of it, she now creates her own experimental pieces with her new company, Nadere performing art. Since 2006, she has directed and performed Et pourquoi pas ! ; Di(x)parue ; Cherepaka ; InSuccube. She is now working on her new pièces Mange-Moi and Whore of Babylon, a co-creation with Martyn Jacques from the Tiger Lillies. In 2013, Andréane have completed her Master’s Degree at the University du Québec à Montréal in the Theater Department and keeps on collaborating as a contortionist with the director Angela Konrad and the choreographer and Dave St-Pierre.
Alexis Bowles is born in Montréal, Canada in 1980. At a very young age he follows his father, traveling the world with Cirque du Soleil. Being part of the new generation of designers, Alexis masters two atmospheric domains: lighting design and music production, a symbiosis of ambiance, texture, rhythm, and perfect timing. Always in research of new mediums and technologies, his ranges of productions are very wide. Working with Cirque Éloize, Teatro Sunil and Daniele Finzi Pasca since 2003, as a Lighting Director for Typo, Rain and Nebbia. He has also collaborated on major ballets such as Le Sacre du Printemps and L’Homme de bois at the Copenhagen Opera and Sleeping Beauty at the National Opera and Ballet of Finland. In 2008 he collaborated on the creation of Orphée et Eurydice and designed in 2010 Le Nombre d’or (Llive) for the Canadian based famous modern dance company Compagnie Marie Chouinard. He is now the Technical Director and Co-Lighting Designer for the Compagnia Finzi Pasca. His limitless style demonstrates a modern sensitivity, influenced by human nature and the desire of freedom.
Marilène Bastien studied scenography at the Cégep de Saint-Hyacinthe and earned a degree in interdisciplinary studies from Concordia University in Montreal. She has designed sets, costumes and accessories in the fields of theatre, circus and dance. Her path as a designer in the dance world has led to collaborations with Chantal Caron, Tony Chong, Marie Chouinard, Estelle Clareton, Lynda Gaudreau, Annie Gagnon, Ginette Laurin, , Marie-Claude Rodrigue and Manuel Roque. Marilène Bastien has also worked as a costume breakdown artist on such films as 300 (Zack Snyder), Magique! (Philippe Muyl), Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor (Rob Cohen), Mr. Nobody (Jaco Van Dormael) and Polytechnique (Denis Villeneuve). She designed the sets and costumes for Ginette Laurin’s version of Le Sacre du printemps for the CCN – Ballet de Lorraine (France) as well as for KHAOS, the last creation of Ginette Laurin’s company, O Vertigo. In 2012, Marilène joined the Montréal Complètement Cirque festival as the costume designer for Les Minutes, directed by Anthony Venisse. That same year, Marilène and six colleagues founded Mouvement7, a new multidisciplinary artistic group.