Catherine Gaudet (Canada) – THE PRETTY THINGS
Duration: 55 min.
Adapting to the contradictory pulse of her era, Gaudet surrounds herself with loyal collaborators in order to investigate the sham show business apparatus. It’s a show, that really went through several stages. “My observation is that we are really stuck in a machine, in the sense that we started with three or four very simple movements that became in a way our alphabet with which we composed the whole piece.”
At the beginning, we wanted to go to the heart of the movement, that its simplicity evokes the essential in something very minimalist, and finally, it changed a little without our knowledge. We still build from these movements, but everything has finally developed into a huge machine where the bodies are almost mechanized. The dancers are sucked inside this enormous machine that makes them move at a constant synchronized rhythm, very demanding for the mental, the psychic and the physical.
Five bodies move to the rhythm of a metronome. Their mechanical gestures are endlessly reprised, the machine runs wild and demands their absolute compliance. With her ripened artistic language, choreographer Catherine Gaudet seeks a space within bodies where desires can be reborn despite the burden of constriction.
This seemingly harmless collective score, with its orderly routes, gives off a scent of cheap veneer that will soon end up cracking. Attuned to the conflicting throbbing of her era, Gaudet surrounds herself with her loyal collaborators to explore the false pretences of the show business apparatus. After a while, repetition reveals itself to be the troublemaker among the dancers-turned-instrumentalists. It pushes open the whistling valve to release the excess vapour of salted bodies. Indeed, de-pressure is the flip side of grandiosity. Here, the risk of tastelessness is all too real, but necessary in order to maintain balance.
Catherine Gaudet is interested by the body’s subtle transformations occasioned by the ambiguity that underlies our existence. She approaches her choreographic work as a study on the unconscious and elusive aspect of human being, hoping to reveal that which it seeks to conceal. She develops a physicality whereby the body becomes a place of resonance for complex and contradictory sensations percolating beneath the surface. Her choreographic language is interwoven with subtle changes in muscular tension revealing overlapping states, ideas and impulses. In her choreographic writing, the body is the receiver and transmitter of invisible forces, a witness to an existential history at once personal and universal.
A Creation by Catherine Gaudet
Performers at Creation: Francis Ducharme, Caroline Gravel, Leïla Mailly, Scott Mccabe, James Phillips
Music: Antoine Berthiaume
Assistant Dramaturge and Rehearsal Director: Sophie Michaud
Lighting Design: Hugo Dalphond
Costume Design: Marilène Bastien
Substitute Interpreter for the first broadcast: Lauren Semescuk
Production Compagnie: Catherine Gaudet
Co-Production: Festival TransAmériques + Agora de la danse + Centre Chorégraphique National de Caen + Réseau Can Dance (Toronto) + Centre National des Arts (Ottawa) + Harbourfront Center (Toronto) + DLD-Daniel Léveillé Danse
Creative Residencies: DLD – Daniel Léveillé Danse + Agora de la danse
Development DLD: Daniel Léveillé Danse
Catherine Gaudet is a member of Circuit-Est center de chorégraphie (Montreal)
Photo: Mathieu Doyon, Julie Artacho