After about 30 years in the dance world, I am at a stage, temporally and physically, where I have a desire to work with other artists whose professional experience is just as vast. My wish was to calloborate with mature and generous artists who would want to share their experience and their wisdom. But first and foremost, I must say that these people, opened to new adventures in their real life and in their artistic fields, inspire me.
I was both surprised and grateful that Ginette, Marc, Louise, Pierre-Paul and Lin all spontaneously and happily accepted this challenge. Their haste confirmed that they were more than ready to plunge into uncertain waters and live this unique stage experimentation through the art of spontaneity with me. It requires a good dose of courage and a lot of mutual confidence. I want to thank them. I also wanted to work with talented musicians who are not only partners in music but partners in life, too: Jean and Joanne, Pierre and Diane, Jean-Denis and Kristin, Christian and Chantal, Jean and Christine. Last but not least, the video and lighting technicians: Jonathan and Lee. You are magicians.
This work is freely inspired by the five elements and the notion of duality, the yin and the yang, that are at the center of the Chinese Taoist philosophy. In consequence, the notion of couple is at the forefront of each show: two dancers, two musicians and two visual artists. The scenography and visual work show out each of the five elements: wood, fire, earth, metal and water. Each is incarnated by a couple of dancers as they feel it. The five elements – or five movements – combine and recombine in many different ways to express life, the existence in all its forms.
We decided simplicity would be best so to bring the raw material of each improviser and, just like the system of the five elements, the emphasis was put on the energy and the transformation rather than on the form and the content. The dancers and I met about four times to get to know each other better and establish a definitive complicity. We ended up rehearsing only once.
This work does not pretend to illustrate the whole Taoist philosophy of the five elements. Rather, it will be the primary source and thus the starting point of the improvisations. The rest is left to the imagination of the artists involved.