Marie Chouinard Company

CONTENT Photography and essay
DATE 2010
ISBN 9782922892390
FORMAT 31.5 x 27.5 cm
PAGES 176
LANGUAGE French, English
PRICE $59.95
In bookstores

Marie_Chouinard_Company is an event in itself - the first bilingual monograph ever to be written on a Canadian contemporary dance company. This exceptional book revisits Marie Chouinard's career, from her debut solos to the launch of her company in 1990 as well as all her own choreographies. Readers are invited to explore each and every one of the company's performances as well as its more intimate side. The book boasts with numerous color photographs, a great number of them being original material. With writings from the choreographer herself and testimonials from the company's dancers and close contributors, the book is not only a behind-the-scenes look at the company, but readers are immersed in an unusual creative universe. 

Authors

Performer, dancer and choreographer Marie Chouinard has been a major figure of the contemporary dance world for the past 30 years. The artist, known throughout the world for her 50 choreographies, solos, action-performances, vocal works, installations and films, launched the MARIE CHOUINARD COMPANY in 1990. To this day, the company has given more than 1,000 performances on stages around the world at the most prestigious international festivals and theatres. In 2003, Marie Chouinard received the Governor General’s Performing Arts Award, and in 2007, she was named Officier de l’ordre du Québec. The choreographer saw her name enter the French Petit Larousse illustré 2011 dictionary. In addition, the MARIE CHOUINARD COMPANY is a recipient of the Imperial Tobacco Foundation 2010 Arts Achievement Award.

Several authors and dance specialists from around the world address her work’s impact in Canada and worldwide: Rober Racine (artist, composer and writer), Chantal Pontbriand (art critic and Tate Modern commissioner), Rosita Boisseau (critic for Le Monde and Télérama), Elisa Guzzo Vaccarino (Italian critic), Andrée Martin (UQAM professor), Tatsuro Ishii (Japanese dance critic), Michael Crabb (Toronto dance critic) and Philippe Noisette (French cultural journalist).

Extracts

What is more extraordinary has been Chouinard’s willingness to pass on her own personal solo repertoire to a new generation of dancers, knowing that if the work lived on, it would also subtly change. This decision concealed unforeseen potential. Few contemporary dance companies can be in two places at once, simultaneously touring a group work and a program of solos! Most extraordinary of all has been Chouinard’s ability to communicate her artistic ethos to the dancers she has successively chosen to work with. Performing her choreography—and I can only speak as an observer—seems to demand far more than the ability to execute the particular articulations, isolations, and distortions demanded of the gestural score. Chouinard’s dancers must not only be completely open to her sometimes unconventional expectations, but they must also be willing to inhabit the spirit of each creation, embrace her vision of what it means to be an artist, and share her sometimes tortured but ultimately heroic vision of humanity.

Michael Crabb

Marie occupies a unique position in the world of dance. Since her first solos, she has marked her territory, making the body the centre of a quest which aims at exposing it from every angle. Choosing to attack the question of gravity is to make the body a place of exploration of that which is carnal, earthly and present. Marie moves, twists and turns, squats, urinates, shouts, and pants; her long hair dances as well, following the momentum of her body and the multiple directions generated by this intense search. Dance unfurls from the body; movement flows from an invisible, unknown source, always in motion, like something found but just as quickly lost: a perpetual slipping away.

Chantal Pontbriand

Before embarking on the creation of a new work, I always try to experience a profound transformation of my being to be certain that the work will be truly “new.” In 1992, while fasting, I had an hallucinatory experience: I hear Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring. Several weeks later, fascinated by this hallucination, I buy a recording of The Rite. It’s a revelation. As though I were hearing in this music all the rhythms that have resided within me for years, I choreograph The Rite of Spring! This is a first for me, who for sixteen years had never worked with pre-existing music. I listen to the music from my spinal column; my spine is on fire with it, and my arms and legs reverberate its waves.

Before embarking on the creation of a new work, I always try to experience a profound transformation of my being to be certain that the work will be truly “new.” In 1992, while fasting, I had an hallucinatory experience: I hear Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring. Several weeks later, fascinated by this hallucination, I buy a recording of The Rite. It’s a revelation. As though I were hearing in this music all the rhythms that have resided within me for years, I choreograph The Rite of Spring! This is a first for me, who for sixteen years had never worked with pre-existing music. I listen to the music from my spinal column; my spine is on fire with it, and my arms and legs reverberate its waves.

Marie Chouinard  

REVIEWS

“The book’s format calls to mind the setting of a stage. When we open it, it’s as if we were on a theatre stage and Marie Chouinard’s entire work and talent would unfold. Cleverly done, art at its best, creation at its best… What a wonderful book!”

Jean Fugère, Samedi et rien d'autre, Radio-Canada

“Splendid!”

Michel Désautels, Désautels, Radio-Canada