Isabelle Boulanger / La Grande Fente
Def: To act in a way knowing that the totality of one’s actions and their effects are exempt from regret or censure.
A group of women are thrown into a world where each of them radically conforms only to their own identities. Liberated from any external gaze and free of inhibitions, they abide by the principle of absolute personal integrity. They form a girl gang, in which each is distinct and represents something specific, as the Spice Girls did before. Together, they comprise a balanced whole entity, which supports them, mediating their judgement lapses and individual incongruities. Can we be too firm in ourselves or too integrated in a group?
But what exactly do we have to obey? Whether for better or worse, the dancers evolve, through their desires and consciences. As a group, they are redoubtable. Ye on their own they weaken, which might explain certain warped behaviours or flights of identity. They are flawed, however, entirely enmeshed, they are rendered perfect. Some will have to negotiate their convictions, and will be profoundly lost. They will make mistakes, and might appear weak or ugly, but that is where they’ll find they triumphs.
Unpredictability, absurdity, ambiguity, femininity.
Joanie Deschatelets, Noémie Dufour-Campeau, Anabel Gagnon, Kim Henry, Alexia Martel, Audrey Rochette
Directrice des répétitions
Hubert De Roy
My artistic identity is tied to a creative methodology defined by collegiality with my dancers, who have also been my classmates. Together, we form a core in which we foster boldness, energy, dynamism and madness, and wherein cohesion is the guiding principle, in our ways of making dance and in what we want to translate on stage.
As a caricaturist, I am interested in the physicality and personality of the dancers and I take pleasure in redrawing their profile. This process is a part of the creation of each of my pieces and serves as my main source of inspiration. To set these characters in motion, we draw on the idea of the execution of tasks, as individuals and as a group. These tasks are subsequently placed in a more general context, aiming to establish a mutual teleology for the group and to implement a linguistic identity. To this end, I use various strategies in connection with space and the time, which imbue my piece with a rhythm. In the end, characters are exacerbated where the intersections of contrasting and complementary identities deconstruct the world of my pieces, and strategies in my approach to dealing with space and time, work to provoke a reaction in the audience.
It is important for me to nourish my diverse strategies for stoking these reactions. I make use of pop cultural codes, and reflect on my affinity for fashion. These vocabularies are evidenced not only in my musical, costume, lighting, and set choices, but also in the themes I approach. All these elements remain accessible to the public, as they are popular references, located within the quotidian.
Montrealer Isabelle Boulanger graduated from L’École de danse contemporaine de Montreal (LADMMI) in May 2011. Wishing to create dance that addresses itself to as wide a public as possible, Isabelle discusses her dance with humor, levity, and derision. In the fall of 2011, she presented her first piece Une grande fente pour dire « allô » in Tangente’s Danses Buissonnières. Thanks to “a crystalline choreographic style, which is quite surprising for a young choreographer” (Dena Davida), she was programmed in Tangente’s 2012-2013 season, where she presented her new creation Fente-toi! In 2012, Isabelle was invited to present her works in various contexts (secondary schools, MétroArt Festival Chateauguay, OFFTA ) to engage the public to with contemporary dance. In spring 2013, La Grande Fente was invited to present their show Fentes 1 à 3 in the Festival Vue Sur la Relève. Isabelle was awarded three prizes: the stand out dance show, a pass for Parcours Danses 2013 and a grant from the Cirque du Soleil.
A graduate of L’École de danse contemporaine de Montréal, Joanie Deschatelets loves mixing different art forms, including video, animation and drawing. She performed as a soloist for the short film Inside Out, directed by Pascal Laquerre, which was selected to screen at the Hiroshima Festival of Animated Film. She took part in Les Jeux de la Francophonie in Nice in 2013 as a dancer in Marie Béland’s Vie et Mort de l’élégance (2012). She has also participated in the projects of La Grande Fente, led by Isabelle Boulanger, since June 2011.
Noémie Dufour-Campeau completed her professional training at LADMMI, l’École de danse contemporaine de Montreal. Subsequently, she was recruited to dance in the video clip Sprawl II by Canadian music group Arcade Fire, choreographed by Dana Gingras. She also took part in the 2nd edition of Fly Project with Toronto choreographer Sasha Ivanochko. She collaborated in the creative process for Cake by Audrey Rochette, presented at Tangente’s Danses Buissonnières in 2012. Noémie has participated in Isabelle Boulanger’s projects with La Grande Fente since November 2010.
Following her graduation from EDCMTL (2012), Anabel Gagnon participated in the Deltebre Dansa festival in Spain, encountering different masters of Belgian dance. Subsequently, she worked with Victor Quijada on a short dance film to be presented at Les Rendez-vous du cinéma Québécois. She has also worked with the company maribe – sors de ce corps, taking part in the VII Francophone Games in Nice, France. Gagnon has received two scholarships; on from the CALQ (Conseil des Arts et des Lettres du Québec) and the Sofia Borella scholarship to facilitate a two month training period in Brussels in the spring of 2014. Recently she joined the company Le Carré des Lombes for the piece Dévorer le ciel, presented at the International Dance Festival Guangdong, China. She joined La Grande Fente for the company’s most recent creation, Sans Lactose, in 2014.
Alexia Martel completed her training at l’École de danse contemporaine de Montreal (EDCMTL) in May 2012. Upon graduation, she joined Isabelle Boulanger’s company, La Grande Fe(i)nte, to create Fente-toi! presented at Tangente. Later, she discovered the world of Patricia Gagnon and participated in two of her works. Alexia has also worked with Marie Béland (mariebé- sors de ce corps) for the piece Vie et mort de l’élégance and Figures de silence. She is currently taking part in La Grande Fente’s newest work, and recently joined the For Body and Light company.
Since graduating from the EDCMTL in 2011, Kim Henry has participated in over thirty productions and creations in Quebec, Canada and the United States. She has collaborated with Montreal Danse, Mélanie Demers (Fly), Willi Dorner (FTA), River Dance Space, Dynamo Theatre, Théâtre de la Dame de Coeur, Tapis Rouge Cirque du Soleil and many others. She has performed with Isabelle Boulanger’s company La Grande Fe(i)nte since 2011.
Since her graduation in 2011 from L’École de danse contemporaine de Montreal (LADMMI), Audrey Rochette has danced for Lucie Grégoire, Isabelle Boulanger, Rosie Contant, Bruno Dufort and Genevieve Caron-Ferron. She has also participated in the filming of SIX MIL ANTENNAS by Johnny Ranger and So certain I was, I was a horse by Émilie Serri. She is currently working on the newest creation from the company La Grande Fente.
In May 2011, Montrealer Marie-Eve Archambault graduated from L’École de danse contemporain de Montréal (LADMMI). With a distinct aptitude for pedagogy, she has taught dance in various forms since 2000, while discovering her passion for rehearsal direction. In addition to her work as a rehearsal director for young choreographers (Isabelle Boulanger/La Grande Fente, Geneviève-Ferron, and Rosie Contant), she works notably with comedians in training, and with directors as a body and movement specialist. Simultaneously, Archambault has pursued a career as a dancer via diverse collaborations. In addition to acting as Rehearsal Director for Boulanger, she also fills the roles of Soloist, Artistic Advisor, and General Director for her company, La Grande Fente.