Les jolies choses
Intake of Air
Five bodies move to the rhythm of a metronome. Their mechanical gestures are endlessly reprised, the machine runs wild and demands their absolute compliance. With her ripened artistic language, choreographer Catherine Gaudet seeks a space within bodies where desires can be reborn despite the burden of constriction.
This seemingly harmless collective score, with its orderly routes, gives off a scent of cheap veneer that will soon end up cracking. Attuned to the conflicting throbbing of her era, Gaudet surrounds herself with her loyal collaborators to explore the false pretenses of the show business apparatus. After a while, repetition reveals itself to be the troublemaker among the dancers-turned-instrumentalists. It pushes open the whistling valve to release the excess vapour of salted bodies. Indeed, de-pressure is the flip side of grandiosity. Here, the risk of tastelessness is all too real, but necessary in order to maintain balance.
Produced by Compagnie Catherine Gaudet
Choreographed by Catherine Gaudet
Performed by Francis Ducharme + Caroline Gravel + James Phillips + Scott McCabe + Lauren Semeschuk
Music Antoine Berthiaume
Performed by Vagelis Karipis (voice) + Eirini Tornesaki (voice) + Roman Zavada (piano) + Skar (voice and bass) + Manuel di Camillo (drums) + Antoine Berthiaume (guitars)
Lighting Design Hugo Dalphond
Costume Design Marilène Bastien
Rehearsal Sophie Michaud
Production and Technical Director François Marceau
Co-produced by Festival TransAmériques + Agora de la danse + Centre Chorégraphique National de Caen + Réseau CanDance (Toronto) + Centre national des Arts (Ottawa) + Harbourfront Center (Toronto) + DLD-Daniel Léveillé Danse
Presented by ARTV
In association with Fonds GB
Catherine Gaudet is a member of Circuit-Est centre chorégraphique, an associate artist at DLD-Daniel Léveillé Danse and at Agora de la danse.
Premiered at Festival TransAmériques, Montreal, on May 28, 2022
Written by Myriam Perraton-Lambert
Translated by Luba Markovskaia
About the artist
Catherine Gaudet (Montreal) Compagnie Catherine Gaudet
On Catherine Gaudet’s stage, social masks come off to the rhythm of bodies exulting. After surveying the troubling truths and irreverent underground pathways of our humanity with Au sein des plus raides vertus (FTA, 2014) and Tout ce qui va revient (2018), Gaudet is back at FTA with a whole new piece, Les jolies choses. This time, she steps away from the theatrical aspects of her earlier works, all the while maintaining her subversive powers.
One of the leading artists of her generation, Gaudet has never stopped exploring the tremors of the choreographic form by working with its raw physicality, in constant tension with the emotional bodies swarming under its flesh. She excels at creating waves of intensity that powerfully stir the audience’s empathy. Les jolies choses is part of a new choreographic cycle—a more minimalistic and contemplative one, which she initiated with L’affadissement du merveilleux (FTA, 2019) and Se dissoudre (2021). In this endeavour, she explores our perception of time, as part of a quest combining the ontology of movement and its underlying currents.
Gaudet’s reputation is very well established. Her impact on the artistic ecosystem and her influence on contemporary dance research are indisputable. In addition to her regular teaching as an adjunct and as a visiting professor at the Département de danse at UQAM in 2018–2019, she is executive director of the Compagnie Catherine Gaudet, a member of Circuit-Est centre chorégraphique, and an associate artist at DLD-Daniel Léveillé Danse and l’Agora de la danse.