Guest curator Jade Marquis poses the question : “Within contemporary québécois society, what form does female empowerment assume when driven by a sexualized body in performance?” Two diverse visions, four round table debates.
Looking for empowerment, a dancer is testing her possibilities. Wellknown paths will lead the way, and convenient props might help. But really, it’s about the urge to feel and to communicate this, after all, private experience.
‘cause deep down in my heart I got the power to make it all happen’
“Girl power”, The Cheetah Girls (2007)
Creation, concept and research : Jade Marquis
Creation, performance (on March 20, 21) : Joannie Douville
Performance (on March 22, 23) : Karenne Gravel
External eye and rehearsal director : Sophie Michaud
Music composer : Hugues Clément
Lighting designer : Karine Gauthier
– First : being upset –
Considering the actual social context, I think that the idea of a feminine empowerment provided by the sexualisation of the female body is exasperating. First, how is it that seduction would be a « power » exclusive to women? And then, how could empowerment (seen as a private experience) be achieved following a standardize strategy?
You know this trick about making someone believe that the idea is his to make sure he’ll join the project? All these pictures of sexy, adventurous and confident young women used to sell a brand looks like a good example of this strategy to me. As a contemporary dancer, I think I have unconsciously invested in my art in search of an empowerment experience. So when the picture of nympho-gullibel described above is repeatedly associated with dance in the mainstream, joinging a mass audience, it matters to me.
– Then : investigate –
I am interest by what the body can do, more then where it stands or with whom. And because it is about dance and feminine empowerment, a female soloist is hosting the scene. The dancing starts by exploring stereotypes : eventually, the rules will be bent, to try to make something more exciting out of the welknown recipe.
After graduating from a contemporary dance degree at UQAM (2008), Jade continue her training at Dance New Amsterdam center (NYC). As a dancer, she worked with Émilie Poirier, Lucie Grégoire and Normand Marcy. Since 2010, she collaborates with the research creation project L’Abécédaire du corps dansant (Andrée Martin), and with Ballet de ru[elles] collective (2010-2012). Her first piece, La séduction? has been presented at Danse Buissonnières 2011, Émergences chorégraphiques 2011 and at OFFTA 2012. An extended version of the piece was also presented at Zone Homa 2012. Jade is now a master student, interested in the way dance is presented in popular culture regarding sexualisation. In 2011, her academic subject brought her to go to Los Angeles to train with the actual dancers and choreographers of the american popular music industry.
Joannie Douville finished her training in dance at l’Université du Québec à Montréal in 2009 after also completing a certificate in psychology focused in developmental psychology. The year she graduated, Joannie became more interested in psychological intervention and among other things she accompanied a group of adolescents to Morocco in the context of a pilot scheme of adventure therapy. In 2010, she joined the Dave St-Pierre Company for the creation of Foudres, the third piece of the trilogy. She is also an interpreter in Un peu de tendresse bordel de merde et La pornographie des âmes. Collabarating to the work of the choreographers Sarah-Ève Grant et Geneviève C.Ferron, she will be part of and has been an interpreter in many pieces presented in Montreal. Additionally, she will sign collectives pieces with her Compagnie Je suis Julio of whom she is co-founder. In the last year, she started two personals creations: one titled Mechanical resonance of lions, a response to Le cerf ou moi qui cede à l’espace of Ariane Boulet, and the other a trio of voice and dance called N’arrête jamais d’inventer l’espace où je me trouve. She will also take part to Our last picture of Andréa de Keijzer, also member of Compagnie Je suis Julio, that will be presented at HATCH in Toronto. Those piece have been presented in Chile, Bolivia, Colombia, Italia, France and Montreal.
(English version still to come) Karenne Gravel est bachelière en interprétation de la danse (UQAM-2011). Elle s’intéresse au rapport entre le temps et la valeur qu’on porte aux choses ainsi qu’à la relation qui s’établit entre l’art vivant et le public. Dès la fin de ses études, elle a l’occasion de performer dans plusieurs événements in situ pour Lynda Gaudreault, Katya Montaignac et le collectif Bal[let] de rue, elles. En 2012, elle devient interprète pour la compagnie Manon fait de la danse dans le cadre d’Où est Blanche-Neige? Puis, c’est comme chorégraphe que Karenne s’associe à Emmalie Ruest, en 2009, pour former ce qui deviendra le collectif Dans son salon. Leurs projets s’orientent autour de la création de vidéo-danses à partir de leur univers kitsch et décalé. En tant qu’interprète elle travaille également pour différents créateurs de la relève tels que Lilianne Moussa, Jade Marquis et Félix-Antoine Boutin.
For more than 20 years, Sophie Michaud used her expert eyes to help different creative processes in contemporary dance. A UQAM graduate, it is by combining graduate studies and practical work that she developed an astute reflection on the role she could play with contemporary dancers and choreographers. A very engaged artist, she works with emerging choreographers, but also with established artists as a head of repetition, assistant choreographer, artistic counsellor and mentor. Fascinated by perception and the beholder’s experience in dance, she pursues her researches and invests herself for the public recognition on her profession and its knowledge.
Audiovisual artist Hugues Clément’s approach stems from experimentation and a hybridization of art forms. Since 2009 he’s been exploring the relationship between media and movement alongside contemporary dancer/choreographer, Corinne Crane. He recently participated in Hub Session, a collective interdisciplinary residence that took place in Belgium and China. His film, Réfraction, was a contender in the 13th Festival of Different and Experimental Cinema in Paris. Clément is also a student of electro-acoustic composition at Université de Montréal.
Andréane Leclerc / Nadère
Reflections of a contortionist on a practice that has been subtly eating away at her soul. This circus tradition has, for her, been tainted by naiveté, unbridled prowess and suggestive imagery. Eat me fully “undresses her ‘contortion body’ ”, awakening self-consciousness – for the performer and the spectator – of its fragility, sexuality and inner power.
Concept : Andréane Leclerc
Performers : Andréane Leclerc, Marie-Ève Bélanger
Music composer and performer : Luce Bélanger
Lightning designer : Karine Gauthier
Eat me is a thought on the art of contortion which is often dedicated to young girls as well of a reflection on the sexual image that could be projected into the audience’s eyes. This piece is an opening to a consciousness toward this eye on her body, an object of contortion. Through the body objectification, we want to feel and touch an inner fragility: the women strength. The body that Eat me shows questions the nudity as when is he really being naked, or nude.
Andréane Leclerc / Nadère
This art as a contortionist is one she learnt in the “National Circus School of Montreal”, where Andréane began her career at 9 years of age. Since then, she has worked with a various circuses and cabarets throughout the world including, “Cirque Éloize “, “Pomp Duck and Circumstance”, “The Bremer Shakespeare Company” and joined “Tiger Lillies Circus” and recently “Tiger Lillies Freakshow”. Returning to Montreal in 2006, Andréane has been performing in the alternative theatre scenes, exploring the limits of the body, the perception of the body and the fantasies surrounding the body. In 2009, Andréane joined the Montrealer band “The Unsettlers ” and, with her art as a contortionist, played along with them their funeral dirges for the living. Fascinated by the human race, Andreane loves more and more to observe the society and to reinterpret reality through her art of contortion. She has yet directed and performed Et pourquoi pas – Di(x)parue – Cherepaka and InSuccube while she finished a master degree on the dramaturgy of the “prouesse” of contortion in the Theatre department at the “Université du Québec à Montréal”.
After graduating from Concordia University’s theatre department in 2011 with four lighting design credits to his name – including Nathalie Claude’s interpretation of Dr. Faustus Lights the Lights – Christopher began working as a lighting designer and assistant lighting designer. He assisted Alexis Bowles on Andreane Leclerc’s two recent creations: Cherepaka (UQAM) and Di(x)parue (Tangente). He also assisted Benjamin Williams on the world premier of Burgess Clarke’s Reflections of a Rock Lobster at the Boston Centre for the Arts. Back home in Montreal, Christopher was appointed the resident lighting designer at Studio 303, a dance company that fosters the development of new works. He has designed lights for local bands at a variety of venues, and most recently for the 20th anniversary of Edgy Women’s festival.