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 postponed to February 2022. 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 have propelled the choreography into new territories.
Prelude #1 – The Circle
The dancers form a big circle on the public space. 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.
Captured on film by director Sandrick Mathurin, Prelude #1 – The Circle was part of the 39th International Festival of Films on Art (FIFA) and Light Moves Festival 2021(Ireland). Prelude #2 – The Square, meanwhile, joined the first film at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2021, before being presented at the InShadow Festival Lisboa (Portugal) and at the Athens Video Dance Project (Greece).
25 minutes / Prelude
CHOREOGRAPHY Sylvain Émard
DANCERS* Rodrigo Alvarenga, Sophie Breton, Charles Cardin-Bourbeau, Luis Cabanzo, Karina Champoux, Matéo Chauchat, Félix Cossette, Dylan Crossman, Marilyne Cyr, Marie-Michelle Darveau, Aurélie Figaro, Janelle Hacault, Mathieu Hérard, Kyra Jean Green, Christopher LaPlante, Nikita Perruzini, James Phillips, Matthew Quigley, Cara Roy, Marie-Philippe Santerre, Camille Trudel-Vigeant
APPRENTICES Aurélie Figaro, Nikita Perruzini
REHEARSAL COACH Daniel Villeneuve
ORIGINAL SCORE Poirier and Martin Tétreault
COSTUMES Marilène Bastien
TECHNICAL DIRECTOR François Marceau
* Kimberley De Jong, Sara Hanley, Jee Lam, Alexandre Morin, Erin O'Loughlin, Nicolas Patry and François Richard were part of the original cast.
"Émard’s choreography involves a lot of naturalistic-feeling movements. Watching, it feels as though the dancers are speaking a universal language of physical expression. It’s a nice reminder of dance’s ability to communicate cross-culturally, even when the dancers themselves can’t travel." The Stage, London, August 2021
"Both pieces are hypnotic to watch, and the dancers' technical mastery is tremendous, keeping subtle unity against a fluid, repeating soundtrack. Even as the choreography becomes more curved and intricate, they maintain the crispness of their formation. It creates the effect of a society, individually human, but moving as one." The List, Edinburgh, August 2021
September 29, 2022, 18h – Preludes, Esplanade de l'Amphithéâtre COGECO, Trois-Rivières, Canada
December 21, 2021 – Prelude #2 – The Square the film, Athens Video Dance Project (Greece), Cinema Trianon
December 2-18, 2021 – Prelude #2 – The Square the film, InShadow Festival Lisboa (Portugal), Galeria de Arquitectura
October 2021 – Preludes, plaza of the Théâtre Gilles-Vigneault, Saint-Jérôme, Canada
October 2021 – Preludes, Esplanade, Place des Arts, Danse Danse Hors les murs, Montréal, Canada
September 2021 – Prelude #1 – The Circle the film, Light Moves Festival's official selection (Ireland), online
September 2021 – Preludes, plaza of the Théâtre Alphonse-Desjardins, Repentigny, Canada
August 2021 – Preludes the films, Edinburgh Festival Fringe, online
March 2021 – Prelude #1 – The Circle the film, 39th International Festival of Films on Art (FIFA)'s official selection, online
This creation was made possible thanks to the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec.