The powerful vulnerability of a new mother. An embodied resilience that takes root and grows. What emerges when the body performs through the flood of challenges of motherhood? Sarah looks at her changing creative instrument and practice with fresh eyes. This work transcends the act of surpassing oneself daily and bears witness to the solitude experienced within a proliferation of life. Here is the birthing ritual of a Black Mixed-Race African Immigrant Woman, Mother, and Dance Artist.
Original idea, creation, performance, production and artistic direction Sarah Elola
Artistic advice and co-creation Jeimy Oviedo
Directing Susanne Serres
Cinematography and colour grading Sébastien Miron
Sound recording Elena Stoodley
Artistic advice Marie-Hélène Touzin
Music Djely Tapa Diarra (griotte singer), Djoufo Traoré (flute)
Photos Mascha Tielemans
Music and sound production Parker Mah
Editing Élizabeth Carignan
Acting Oyele Kaïan E.M, Anaïs Damphousse Joly, Isma Myriam Gauthier, Lila Elachqar, Maycie-Ann Saint-Louis, Nadine Jean, Rolande N’dollo
Building on the themes of resistance in her first solo and resilience in her second, Sarah Elola pushes her study of transcendence and the body – particularly the female body – with her third creation, permeated with the theme of maternity. Drawing as always from the African art of living, she grounds herself in the conviction that we can and must create from nothing and from everything, starting with what we are in the here and now. In this way, she approaches her new reality as a mother, taking back this inner revolution to make it her new living and creative laboratory of observation, training, and archiving. The process is staggering but also extremely constraining, organic and contemplative, and engages every dimension of her being. She aims to capture a sample of the multitude of thoughts, reflections, sensations, emotions, and movements that fuse within herself and with her daughter. It’s with these raw materials and her own body in metamorphosis that she composes Ça prend un village.
Recipient of the CALQ Vivacité Grant and of the CAM-MAI mentorship for emerging choreographers (for her second solo La Pileuse), Sarah Elola casts her first 15 years in kaleidoscopic African tones both rural and urban. It was in Burkina Faso and Ivory Coast that she soaked up this organic integration of rhythm, dance, song, and music in her daily life. She would continue to strengthen her choreographic practice and reflection at Nyata Nyata, where she was accepted in 2014. She later joined the company as a dancer in Mozongi, Nyata Nyata’s flagship work, which won the 30th Grand Prix du Conseil des arts de Montréal. She presented her first solo piece, Dans le ventre de l’éléphant marron (In the belly of the brown elephant), for Eclectik 2016 at the MAI, and then at the 2016 World Social Forum and at the FIDO (Festival International de Danses de Ouagadougou) in 2017. Ça prend un village is her third solo creation.
In a society where individualism prevails, much time is spent in solitude. But are we truly alone? Or does our imagination abound with images and desires contrived by an invisible Other? Between control and tension, fall and recovery, a b-girl tries to find the origin of the light that pushes us on. In the dark, her outfit sparkles with sequins. A nod to femininity with a touch of sacrificial bling. In this minimalist offering, Bérénice grazes the floor as a contemporary body language anchored in urban dances unfolds.
Choreography and performance Bérénice Dupuis
Music Samuel «Sungprod» Nadaï
Lighting design Benoit Larivière
Outside eye Victoria «Vic Versa» Mackenzie
What is hidden in the body of a b-girl? What traces does footwork leave behind? There are things only the body can express and it is with the will to let it speak and build from what emerges spontaneously that Bérénice Dupuis has embarked on the creation of instruMENTAL. Along the way, she saw links emerge between the postures of the afflicted body and the posture of individuals crushed by the weight of loneliness that a certain ideal of modernity puts on them. Using a vocabulary largely derived from urban dance, the choreographer uses the expressive and dramaturgical potential of breakdance to narrate, in a refined way, the physical and existential void of a body losing its bearings, hungry for bonds and stability.
Born in Ottawa to a Québecois father and a French mother, choreographer and performer Bérénice «B-Nice» Dupuis defines herself through the layering of languages, practices, and borders. Trained in theatre, she graduated from La Sorbonne and taught philosophy while pursuing her passion for breakdance, notably with the Montréal-based «Legendary Crew». To be able to freely explore the dramatic qualities of urban dance, she cofounded «Circul’R» with David «Laos» Phiphak in 2013, a company that made a name for itself on the international scene before relocating to Montréal in 2018. With her solo instruMENTAL, Bérénice Dupuis invites the body to reflect on individualism in our contemporary societies.
Benoit Larivière has created lighting designs for many theatrical and musical productions but specializes in dance. Some of his main achievements include multiple contracts with Tentacle Tribe, 100Lux, Helen Simard, Ebnfloh, Ford, Monstapop, Claudia Chan Tak, and Nasim Lootij, as well as with theatre companies Multisens, Les Exclamateurs, and Les Écorchés vifs. He approaches lighting in a collaborative spirit with the choreographer/director, drawing his inspiration from their creative universe, always placing great importance on their creative vision. Darkness is central to his work as he searches for ways to create images that are independent of the space where the creation takes place or that modify it.