Suite canadienne, une démonstration

Suite canadienne, une démonstration

Exhibition and performance at the Musée d’art de Joliette
February 2 to May 5, 2019. Performance February 2 at 16h.

performance photos: Romain Guilbault
dancers: Justin de Luna, Hanako Hoshimi-Caines, Kelly Keenan, Adam Kinner, Louise Michel Jackson, Mulu Tesfu
A group of dancers works to re-make a ballet from the 1950s. Coming from different training backgrounds, they must continually re-negotiate their relationship to the historical ballet they are ostensibly performing. In returning to this history, they each elaborate their own nuanced relationship with the work—a relationship of both mastery and shame, cold alienation and strange belonging, regal sovereignty and radical joy. They work together, creating an ensemble that can hold their differences. In the process, they suggest other, radical uses of history, insisting on their own agency as dancers sent by history.

Suite canadienne, une démonstration is a group re-staging of a 1957 ballet piece originally created by Ludmilla Chiriaeff, the founder of Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, called Suite canadienne. The social and performative re-make of this piece entails exploding the original and interrogating its political and cultural genesis. Re-visiting the piece with a group of dancers, we work together to take apart history and repose it in the present tense.

Presented at the Musée d’art de Joliette and curated by Anne-Marie St Jean Aubre, the performance was accompanied by an exhibition which drew on archival materials that pertains to a project that Ludmilla Chiriaeff organized in the 1960s to train orphan boys to dance ballet. It includes photographs, interviews, video, and writing.


Melanie Carpentier’s article in le Devoir [in french]

Annie-Claude Coutu Geoffroy’s reflection on the performance on the Regroupement de la danse blog.

Text [pdf] that was included in the exhibition.

Initiated by Adam Kinner based on a choreography by Ludmilla Chiriaeff
Danced alongside and in collaboration with Justin de Luna, Hanako Hoshimi-Caines, Louise Michel Jackson, Kelly Keenan & Mulu Tesfu | with the dramaturgy of Aisha Sasha John | with the music of Philippe Melanson, composed after the original score of Michel Perrault | with the stylings of C.T. Thorne, designed after the uniforms worn by the boys in Gilles Castonguay’s dance classes in Black Lake, QC | with the advice of Lara Kramer & Luis Jacob | curated by Anne-Marie St-Jean Aubre | hypnotized by Marine Chavet | filmed by Ralitsa Doncheva | with gratitude for Gilles Castonguay and the Chiriaeff family | with appreciation for Vincent Bonin, Simon Portigal & Noémie Solomon | with the financial support of the Canada Council for the Arts, Théâtre Hector-Charland & Ville de Notre-Dame-Des-Prairies

exhibition photos by Paul Litherland