The entire FTA team wishes to pay tribute to the choreographer Alain Platel, who received the 2015 GRAND PRIX de la danse de Montréal for his acclaimed performances of tauberbach at the FTA last May, a work presented in collaboration with Hydro-Québec. The jury emphasized “his considerable influence on contemporary dance and the persistent relevance of his work.” Jury members also noted “the quality of his artistic work as well as his commitment to art and to Les ballets C de la B, a remarkable incubator of talent in Belgium. His great compassion and his openness to the world make him a unique artist.

Placing his works in a specific social context, the director-choreographer puts the spotlight on the excluded, people on the fringes of society, using physical handicaps and mental illness for example, to express through the body incarnations of feelings and anxieties that are too vast for words, states of being such as fear, suffering and compassion. The Flemish director’s work is disturbing and moving as he creates off-kilter, extravagant worlds. Many of his pieces have been seen in Montreal, beginning with Bonjour Madame…, presented at FIND in 1995, and Moeder en Kind at the Coups de theatre in 1996. Under artistic director Marie-Hélène Falcon the company came to the FTA to present Iets op Bach in 1999, Allemaal Indiaan in 2001 and Gardenia in 2011. Martin Faucher then invited them to present tauberbach in 2015 as part of his first program as new artistic director of the Festival. Once again, Platel has proved that he knows how to exalt a beauty found where least expected.

After Louise Lecavalier, Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker, Benoît Lachambre and Meg Stuart, Alain Platel is the latest in a line of major choreographers to have received this distinction, one of the most important in the world of dance. It is accompanied by a prize of $22,500 offered by the City of Montreal and Québecor.

Our sincere congratulations to Alain Platel, and also to the other winners: Zab Maboungou and her Award for Cultural Diversity in Dance, Mélanie Demers who received the CALQ Award for Best Choreography for Would, and Aurélie Pedron, winner of the Dance Discovery Prize. In addition, the Performance Prize was awarded to the fabulous dancer Lucie Vigneault, who performed in the shows Phos by Stéphane Gladyszewski and Data by Manuel Roque, presented at this year’s FTA.

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