Preludes to Rhapsodie
A tribute to dance as a liberating force.
The impetus for the preludes was Rhapsodie, a choreography by Sylvain Émard for 20 dancers to be presented as part of the Danse Danse program in November 2020, but reported. Inspired by the ritual aspect of dance, Rhapsodie celebrates the visceral, instinctive parts of our nature, capturing the driving force of life and the sometimes subversive abandon of bodies in movement.
In response to the pandemic the choreographer conceived of the Preludes as performance event, harmonized overtures that announce the piece about to be presented, using current constraints to explore the very essence of the piece, now deeply shaken. The 20 intertwined, dancing bodies of Rhapsodie, often clutched in an embrace, now avoid coming into physical contact. Like a sudden, unexpected change of course, the Preludes to Rhapsodie have propelled the choreography into new territories.
Prelude #1: The Circle
The dancers' movements unfold in ambulatory fashion on the public space before concentrating around a small circle of spectators. The circle represents the cycles of nature. It evokes ritual, a spirit of communion, unity. Prelude #1 reconsiders the notion of ritual in a context where the very idea of people gathering together is being called into question.
Prelude #2: The Square
A symbol of a fixed, balanced world, the square is a human invention, an attempt at stabilization echoing the urban world around us, where the right angle reigns unopposed. The square suggests more regulated, more orderly behavior than the circle, even if the two forms are, in a way, complementary. With Prelude #2, the quadrilateral comes to life, pulsating in the heart of the townscape.