For nearly 30 years, Marie Chouinard’s reputation has soared with dance and performance works that shock and amaze. Looking at photos of her choreography, if perhaps you have never seen the staged dance work, it’s possible to have the impression that you are looking at sculptures, at a kind of crystallization of the gestures.
“Crystallization” also happens to be the title of Chouinard’s first dance creation (with Rober Racine), and it’s a word and a concept that characterizes the essence of what she creates, and what she says and has others say with their bodies.
The concerns of this expressive artist include her belief that her work, as stated in her company’s website, “consists of capturing (a) primordial wavelength, of ‘tuning‘ it to a sense, and of arranging it in space and time with a structure and form proper to it.” In her dance there is a desire to embrace life more fully, at least embrace dancing more fully. It is unsentimental, unself-conscious.
Sitting on mats on the floor of her Montréal studio, on a warm September afternoon, we talk about the notion of dance as a sacred art and her approach to movement as linked to a respect for the body. She cares deeply about her ...