Les Strange strangers
Audrée invites us to a singular, intuitive meeting between dance and animism. Objects inhabited by souls fill the stage. They are apt to affect our senses even as we interact with them, making strange the familiarity of our environment. Onstage together with dancer Nathan Yaffe and composer Michel F. Côté, she explores through self-hypnosis and with characteristic wit, the experience of strangeness and the possibilities of altering the senses. Les Strange strangers draws from Lewis Carroll’s tale, Alice in Wonderland and is deeply rooted in the philosophy of perception. Movements make visible the subtleties of somatic awareness. This performance allows us, along with the performers, to reverse our sensitive relationship to our environment and to feel the matter around us becoming animate.
Choreographer and performer Audrée Juteau
Performer Nathan Yaffe
Composer Michel F Côté
Lighting designer Karine Gauthier
Outside eye Ginelle Chagnon
Costumes Natasha Thomas
Les Strange strangers has benefited from creation residencies at Studio 303, Vermont Performance Lab, Centre de création O Vertigo, Maison de la culture du Plateau Mont-Royal, Département de danse de l’UQAM, Danse à la Carte, and from financial support of Studio 303, CALQ and Fondation David Kilburn.
Within a practice of auto-hypnosis, we explored the idea of animism, our relationship to the “other”, the object and to our environment. With “self-suggestions” that we established as part of our hypnotic text (for example: that the objects are alive, or that we are melting objects), we explored different realities which altered our senses. We tried to dilate our “senses” in order to open a space where possible new “sense” could emerge. From these explorations, we gathered materiel that led to the creation of Les Strange strangers. As a starting point for the research, we worked with a large piece of fabric as matter to animate. This fabric also became a matrix able to inhabit different fleeting identities.
Montreal based dance artist Audrée Juteau has collaborated on numerous projects with independent choreographers and dance companies including: Sonya Biernath, Jordi Ventura, Dean Makarenko, Caroline Laurin-Beaucage, Bouge de là, Aurélie Pedron, Katie Ward, The Jean-Pierre Perreault Foundation, and more than 13 years with Trial and Eros directed by Deborah Dunn… Fascinated by the creative flux in encountering others and in going beyond the individual experience, her first choreographic projects were collective creations with the group The Choreographers. With her pieces Poisson and Sam affecte, she delved into a research on presence, working with a dog (Sam) and developing a singular choreographic work that led to the creation of the film My dog in a parallel universe, a collaboration with the film maker Robin Gould which was presented in première at Parrallel Live in Oslo. Audrée graduated from Ladmmi in 2003. She was the recipient of the Impulstanz Danceweb 2010 grant given by Jardin d’Europe, the David Kilburn prize (2016) and has just completed her MA at the Université du Québec à Montréal.
Nathan Yaffe is a Montreal-based contemporary dance and video artist. Nathan’s work for stage has been presented in New York, Ottawa, and Montreal, and has collaborated with artists across Canada and the United States. the_johnsons 00:11:56, a dance-film, was shown in the Cinedans festival in Amsterdam, and in film festivals across Canada. the_johnsons 00:21:51, a video-dance installation, was presented in Montreal at the Darling Foundry, Eastern Bloc and Monument National As a performer, he earned a Helen Hayes award nomination for Best Supporting Actor for the role he created in Molly Maxner’s play Occupied Territories (2015).
A storyteller and sporadic musician, Michel F Côté was born in Montreal, the year the submarine USS Nautilus made history by travelling under the North Pole’s ice cap. Since 1990, he has recorded and played with some of the most renowned musical creators in the world : Hilton Cravis III, Rev. Trevor Doldinger Jr, Béatrice “Bébé” Berlegot, and Solidman Baktouf, to name a few. His concerts and recordings have received praise locally and abroad. He is associated with the defunct collective Ambiances Magnétiques, on top of being the co-founder of the label &records. He has partnered up with Catherine Tardif as co-artistic directors for the dance company Et Marianne et Simon (6,3 évanouissements (2014), Salle de montre, bientôt, près de chez-vous). He is also dreaming up schemes with Catherine Lavoie-Marcus : together, they collaborate on the magazine esse. He keeps coming up with new tricks to trip up the bankers of this world.
Ginelle Chagnon started her professional dance career in 1971 with Montreal’s Les Grands Ballets Canadiens. In the ’80’s she reached towards contemporary dance and also began to teach and play the role of rehearsal director. Collaborating in many creative processes and understanding the insider’s point of view (the dancer’s) as well as the outsider’s perspective (the choreographer’s and the spectator’s) prepared her way to assist performers in their tasks as well as to support and assist the creative process of different choreographers, such as Jean-Pierre Perreault from 1993 and Paul-André Fortier since 1996. For more than thirty years she taught contemporary technique in the professional and educational milieu in Canada and abroad. She is a part time faculty alumni of Concordia University’s Contemporary Dance Department and as a board member of the Fondation Jean-Pierre Perreault, between 2003 and 2014, she helped define new ways of caring and understanding the legacy of Quebec’s contemporary dance repertoire as this organism was redefining its mandate into a contemporary dance institute. At the moment, she still assists performers and creators in their creative process and performance projects, she takes an active interest in documenting, conserving and promoting the contemporary dance repertoire. She is interested in sharing this dance patrimony and created workshops that promote dance and creativity for all.
With a passion for light, Karine Gauthier designed the lighting for several choreographers including Dana Michel, Nicolas Cantin, Gerard Reyes, Sasha Kleinplatz, Sasha Ivanochko, Véronica Mélis, Florence Figols, Érin Flynn, Marie-Claude Rodrigue, José Gagnon, Maria Kefirova, Emmanuelle Calvé, Suzanne Miller & Allan Paivio, Blanca Arrietta, BBT Company, The Choregraphers, Frédéric Marrier, George Stamos, Caroline Laurin Beaucage and Martin Messier. She has also collaborates in the field of music in Quebec, and put in light artists such as Elsianne, Cheak, Émile Proulx Cloutier, and Marco Calliari for more than 10 years. In love with the world of children, Karine also had the chance to be invited to create a show for toddlers with the NEF. She has more to turn with the artists Richard Séguin and Jorane. Karine Gauthier has collaborated on several projects in various countries. She has assumed and continue to, the technical direction of George Stamos, Clara Furey, Estelle Clareton, Suzanne Miller & Allan Paivio, Jean Sebastien Lourdais, Sylvain Émard Danse, Par b.l.eux and also the company Montréal Danse. Karine would like to continue for a long time in this luminous way…
Ché pas kess tu c (Dunno Wat U Kno)
In a space filled with inflatables and fantastically deformed dancers, Nathan investigates the body in the alternative reality of cyberspace. Enveloped in this virtual world, he sets us down in the company of avatar-performers, with heads pitched forward and physical contours distorted, winding their way through a bouncy obstacle course. At the heart of this dance composition, at once droll and strange, there lies a physical exploration of metaphysical questions: What are the limits of knowledge and bodily intelligence? What is our relationship to virtual environments? This is a perfect occasion for you to experiment with an “out-of-body” experience through the proxy of avatars.
Choreographer Nathan Yaffe (in collaboration with the performers)
Performers Angie Cheng, Audrée Juteau, Sonya Stefan
Artistic advisor and costumes Thierry Huard
Sound designer Patrick Conan
Rehearsal director Corinne Crane-Desmarais
Lighting design and set design advisor Paul Chambers
Ché pas kess tu c has benefited from creation residency at Montréal, arts interculturels, at Centre de création O Vertigo, and at Maison de la culture du Plateau Mont-Royal as well as the support of the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec.
A creative project begins with a question, a conflict, a paradox that is unable to be described in words, but requires a physical and human expression to be communicated. I work in collaboration with my dancers to first research how to explore this conflict with the body and what images will best illustrate our line of questioning. During the creation period, I notice every thing that grabs my interest whether in art or in daily life. I believe that the mind is only really interested in one thing at a time, so anything that catches my attention must be related in some way, and could tie into the piece. It’s a way of harnessing the power of free association and subconscious connections that we humans are so good at. While sorting through the different images and actions that come out of our research, I combine and reduce to find the most efficient way to show the heart of the work.
Born and raised in Massachusetts, Nathan Yaffe has established an extensive artistic presence in Canada. His choreography has been presented in New York, Los Angeles, Ottawa and Montreal. His last work, The Johnsons, was presented by Tangente as part of Danses Buissonières_Classe 2014. The_Johnsons 00:11:56, a short dance-film he created in LA was presented at Cinedans in Amsterdam, FIFA in Montreal, and Dancemakers Film Festival in Toronto. The_Johnsons 00:21:51, an interactive video-dance installation was presented in 2016 at the Darling Foundry, Eastern Bloc and Monument National. His choreography was recently featured in the short film, Welcome Back. Nathan continues to perform with dance and theatre artists on both sides of the border, collaborating closely with Peter Boneham (Le Groupe Dance Lab), Hélène Langevin (Bouge de Là), Katie Ward, Sasha Kleinplatz, Peter Trosztmer, Audrée Juteau, Dorian Nuskind-Oder, Sonya Stefan, and Mollye Maxner. He was nominated for a Best Supporting Actor award for the role he created in Mollye Maxner’s play Occupied Territories (2015). Nathan received his BFA in Dance from Purchase College in New York. During that time, he also trained at Codarts in Rotterdam.
Originally from Ottawa, Angie Cheng studied dance at Canturbury Arts High school and graduated from the Dance Department at Concordia University. She has been an active member of the Montreal dance community for the past 12 years. She has collaborated and worked with David Pressault Danse, MAYDAY/Melanie Demers, Wants and Needs Danse/Sasha Kleinplatz, Lara Kramer Danse, Thierry Huard, Tedd Robinson, and Nathan Yaffe. Aside from dance she has also worked in theatre with Hanna Abdel Nour from Quebec City. She is always looking for new challenges in dance and performance always willing to venture in to new territories. She has upcoming co-choreographic adventures with Ame Henderson and Thierry Huard. She is currently in research for her own choreographic work.
Montreal based dancer and choreographer Audrée Juteau has collaborated on numerous projects as an interpreter with different choreographers and dance companies including: Sonya Biernath, Jordi Ventura, Dean Makarenko, Caroline Laurin-Beaucage, Bouge de là, Aurélie Pedron, Katie Ward, The Jean-Pierre Perreault Foundation, and more than 13 years with Trial and Eros directed by Deborah Dunn… Fascinated by the creative flux resulting from encountering others and going beyond the individual experience, her first choreographic projects have been collective creations with the group The Choreographers. With her pieces Poisson and Sam affecte, she delve into a research on presence by working with a dog (Sam) and develop a singular choreographic work that leaded to the film My dog in a parallel univers, a collaboration with the film maker Robin Gould presented in première at the performance Parrallel Live in Oslo. Audrée graduated from Ladmmi in 2003. She was the recipient of the Impulstanz Danceweb 2010 grant given by Jardin d’Europe, of the price David Kilburn 2016 and just completed her MA at the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM).
Sonya Stefan is a media artist who creates hybrid work using electronic glitchery as raw material. She is co-founder of groop*index, a Montreal-based visual arts collective that explores expanded cinema and as well as co-curator of Ibrida*Pluri, an Eastern Bloc co-production that pairs dance, visual and sound artists together under the same platform. She researches the performative and collective relationship of the Internet via lo-fi experimental video works and has a visual art practice creating co-authored AV Performances. She has performed her work at Musee d’art contemporain de Montreal within the electronic music festival MUTEK (CA) and has screened at Festival Oodaaq (FR), Bucharest International Dance Film Festival (RO), Musee de beaux-arts de Rennes (FR) and many other festivals across Europe and Canada. For over twenty years, Sonya has also been a professional contemporary dancer working with various artists such as Dana Gingras, Jean-Pierre Perreault, Peter Trosztmer, Montreal Danse and many others, continuing to combine her media works with her dance practice. She is presently in-creation for the National Gallery of Iceland, fusing 16mm film and a pixel-sorting disintegration method with long-time collaborators Guillaume Vallée and Black Givre as well as preparing for performances at Schmiede16 in Aussnahmezustand and Vienna Austria.
A multidisciplinary artist, Thierry Huard actively works as a designer, visual artist and choreographer. He designs and constructs costumes and jewelry through his company HUARDetASSOCIES, with clients across Canada and abroad. His crocheted textile sculptures feature prominently in his portraiture, as well as in his latest choreography, GENESIS, where the soft-sculpture made of yarn envelops the audience and dancers alike. A graduate of EDCM in 2008, Thierry Huard’s own choreography stands out for its distinct artistic vision. Upon entering the professional world, he was involved in many local events and has presented his work many times at various venues in the city. His repertoire includes a dozen choreographic work, including his most recent, GENESIS, acclaimed by audiences and critics.
Patrick Conan, a graduate of Vanier College with a DEC in Percussion, is a drummer and percussionist who has been playing music professionally for the last 15 years. He has played in numerous projects and toured Canada, the United States, and Europe. Notable acts include Tricky Woo, Sackville, and The Carnations. Current projects include Sam Shalabi’s Land of Kush, Molly Sweeney and Traces. Patrick also composes his own music, working with MaxMSP, field recordings, and found sounds. He composed music for Vivarium, an ongoing collaborative project with Lucy May which was performed at Les Salons de L’est in 2014. He has composed for contemporary dance works since 2013, presented at Short&Sweet and for The Johnsons which was presented at Tangente in 2014.
After graduating from L’École de danse contemporaine de Montréal in 2009, Corinne Crane-Desmarais began her career as a dancer by participating in numerous projects with young choreographers. Not long after, she worked with Mélanie Demers, Lynda Gaudreau and Marie Béland, during which time she met Caroline Dusseault with whom she is still collaborating. As Corinne continued her path as a dancer, she started teaching at L’École de danse contemporaine de Montréal in 2011. Since 2013, she also developed an interest in rehearsal directing and started working in this capacity for artists in various mediums including film, music groups, choirs and choreography. Corinne is continuing to pursue her career in all three roles and is currently part of the AEC formateur en danse program as well as the sole participant in a Canada Council funded mentorship program she initiated and developed with Sophie Michaud.
Paul Chambers is a Montréal based set & lighting designer. Collaborating on new dance works has always been a priority for him. Teaching workshops has also been an important part of his development as an artist and mentor. At Studio 303 he teaches a yearly lighting design workshop for artists, in addition to teaching aspects of production in dance at Concordia University. From 2008 until 2013 Paul was Technical Director at Tangente: Laboratoire de Mouvement Contemporains. In 2013 along with fellow designer & educator David-Alexandre Chabot, they inaugurate CHA a design collective aimed at creating & sharring design based works with artists from different disciplines. Recent design credits include work with Public Recordings, 10 Gates Dancing, Audrey Bergeron, Dorian Nuskind-Oder, Benjamin Kamino, Dany Desjardins, Katie Ward, Susanna Hood, Sasha Kleinplatz, Antonija Livingstone, Adam Kinner, Maria Kefirova & Hanako Hashimi Caines, Thierry Huard, Parts & Labour Dance, Lara Kramer Dance, & Destins Croisés