Cycling in to work this morning I was trying to remember the first time I saw O Vertigo founder Ginette Laurin”s choreography. After much wrestling into the murky depths of my grey matter I am convinced the answer goes back to 1988 when I was studying dance at Simon Fraser University and saw Full House (at the Cultch or the Firehall!!??). Curious to refresh those synapses, I googled Laurin Full House and, if I may digress, two sites of interest popped up: The first was connected to the Government of Saskatchewan”s Grade 6 Arts Education curriculum – Model Unit for Teaching Dance, Lesson 4: Looking at a Choreographer”s work. Holy…! Kids in Saskatchewan are studying Ginette Laurin”s 1987 work Full House! That is SO cool! Here is an excerpt: Explain that sometimes choreographers observe movements seen in daily life and change or abstract the movements for their dances. Discuss what abstraction means to students. Show examples or have students think of examples best online casino bonus they have seen in visual art or cartoons. Discuss ways every-day movements could be abstracted (for example, by modifying the elements of dance). Make connections between abstracted every-day or environmental movements and movements seen in the dances of various cultures. For example, the grass dance is inspired by the movement of prairie grass.
The second site was for a series of dance films by Moze Mossanen – The Dancemakers. There”s a short promo clip that contains a great excerpt of Ginette Laurin dancing back in the 80″s (check out the duet about a minute or two in). Wow! I”m assuming the choreography is hers (it shows the partnering that has largely come to symbolise her work) and is really interesting to see in context of other work being made at that time.
I don”t pretend to be a dance historian, but the “80”s were a heady time for dance in Montreal: Jean-Pierre Perreault, Édouard Lock, Marie Chouinard, Paul-André Fortier, and Ginette Laurin were at the forefront of a movement revolution that was defining Montreal as THE global dance capital. Interesting looking at those names and imagining their individual styles… What I witnessed in 1988 was a full speed charge of gloriously muscular bodies engaged in wild duets where push and pull were fueled by big energy. Lyrical? Yes, but these bodies were not so much about technical prowess as they were about resilient strength and physical passion. For me, as a young student, O Vertigo was unlike anything I had seen up until then – bold, unabashed, and a little in your face – and was one of the reasons I moved to Montreal a year later.
Over the years, Ginette Laurin has mastered the art of framing her dance within visual surroundings that heighten the themes she addresses. This is perhaps best illustrated by La Chambre Blanche”s superb decor, but truly every one of her works contains visual elements that lend a distinct tone, and Onde de choc is no different: it”s sound and light boxes permit an unprecedented interactivity that are splendid to witness.
Twenty-five years and counting – Halifax is finally going to get a taste of O Vertigo!