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Louise Lecavalier | Fou Glorieux

October 9, 2014
Photograph by André Cornellier

Photograph by André Cornellier

So Blue

Reviewed October 8, 2014

NAC Theatre, Ottawa

(Repeat performance October 9, 7:30 p.m.)

Louise Lecavalier, an enduring icon of contemporary dance, set the theatre ablaze Wednesday night to start off the 2014-15 dance season at the National Arts Centre, bringing a full house to its feet after one hour of barely non-stop frenzied movement.

You’d be hard pressed to find a more powerful dancer to grace Canadian stages for as long as Lecavalier has. At 56, she appears to maintain full control of her body, which she uses as a liberal artist might play unreservedly with a box of paints.

Every colour and any imaginable mixture of tint find their way on to her imaginative canvas. An eclectic mix of music that ranges from driven to haunted is her muse as she faces full on the challenge of creating a self-portrait with her first ever dance choreography (2012), So Blue.

As long as Lecavalier has been dabbling in the paint box, the pigments remain brilliant and intense. Nearly four decades of daring and frenetic showmanship hasn’t calmed Lecavalier’s physicality. In So Blue, she dances for several minutes upside down on her head. You have to see it to believe it.

The entertainment value is in witnessing the process, but at the end of her 60-minute work, one is left with a unique, albeit puzzling, abstract image.

Alain Lortie’s lighting design is elegant and understated: a series of geometric shapes on the floor, mainly shades of grey, but later pulsing into a brilliant blue and fading into a soft pink for a duet with the independent Montreal dancer and choreographer Frédéric Tavernini.

When Tavernini first joins Lecavalier on the stage, although they stand side by side on a sharp white rectangle of light centre stage, the two performers explore their individual visions. They later dance a somewhat odd duet, which has Lecavalier “stuck” to the towering quiet strength of Tavernini in an endearing way. He is the calm still water to her whitewater torrent.

A native of Montreal, Lecavalier began her professional dancing career with Édouard Lock’s company La La La Human Steps. She formed her company Fou glorieux in 2006 and won the prestigious Grand Prix due Conseil des arts de Montreal as well as the 2014 Governor General’s Performing Arts Award for a lifetime of artistic achievement. She was awarded the Order of Canada in 2010.

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From → Contemporary

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