DanceWorks’ 2015-2016 Mainstage performances explore diverse themes – from allegiances to the state of solitude, social power and transformation, the works highlight personal interactions.

Here, DanceWorks’ Curator, Mimi Beck, shares her thoughts about our upcoming show, Solitudes Solo, performed by Daniel Léveillé Danse.

In Solitudes Solo, choreographer Daniel Léveillé works with excellent dancers to create shape and meaning onstage. The set and costumes are minimal, and the lighting design, simply masterful. As the dancers embody the broad, painterly strokes of Léveillé’s choreography, their bodies are stunningly revealed and intensified. The solo format provides an opportunity for us to know and be with each of them as they extend, jump, turn, fall, or rest in stillness.

The work is challenging, raw and purposeful. Bach’s sonatas and partitas for solo violin heighten the emotional impact of the choreography. Whether calm, feral, or self-reflective, it is the dancers and not the music, driving the movement.

Léveillé strives for clarity through repetition, sometimes assigning the same phrase to different dancers. While working in the studio, he often initiates movement, poses physical questions, and trusts the dancers to imbue each phrase with an individual signature. Dancing these devilishly difficult movement phrases is the joy and the struggle of their solitary journeys.

When Solitudes Solo was awarded the Prix du CALQ (Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec) for the best choreographic work of the 2012/13 season, an emotional Léveillé thanked his performers, saying: A choreography is literally built upon the dancers’ backs, their shoulders, abdominals, quadriceps, knees, and with their souls, moods, temperament, doubts, intelligence, courage, and generosity. (The Dance Current online, posted November 29, 2013)

– Mimi Beck

DanceWorks presents Solitudes Solo on October 23 and 24, at the Harbourfront Centre Theatre. Purchase tickets to Daniel Léveillé Danse here.

FYI: Next up on the Mainstage Series – three outstanding programs. Toronto choreographer Julia Sasso will remount Sporting Life, a seminal piece presented by DanceWorks in 1997 that continues to address current social concerns; choreographer DA Hoskins, with Danielle Baskerville in the role of producer and dancer will premiere a trio Jackie Burroughs is Dead (and what are you going to do about it?); and Vancouver’s 605 Collective will appear in Vital Few during its Canadian Tour.

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