Legend of Dance: Louise Lecavalier
Legendary Canadian dancer Louise Lecavalier is making her first solo visit to Australia in the 2013 Festival.
Louise Lecavalier met the extraordinary choreographer Édouard Lock in 1976, when she was just eighteen years old. She went on to join his trailblazing company La La La Human Steps, and together they created many iconic dance works. Since 1998 she has pursued her own interests. “I was performing in Berlin,” Louise says, “and I was thinking about projects for the future, and so I asked around and I started to hear about this man named Nigel Charnock. I’d seen some video of some of his work. I remember it was a terrible picture, taken from a long way back in the audience, but it really stayed in my mind. The dance seemed to me to speak of a rare talent and a strange energy that was unique. Then one day I found out that he wanted to work with me. It took us a year to organise being in the same place at the same time, but the process of creating Children was one of the great experiences of my life.
Charnock’s Children has been the subject of furious debate in the dance community. Ostensibly about a couple spiraling down to a break-up, its physicality has for many crossed the line between reality and make-believe. But we are speaking of the co-founder with Lloyd Newsome of DV8. “It’s an incredibly physical work,” she admits, “I’m on my own for a lot of the time, but I also dance with Patrick Lamothe, who was with me from the start of the process. We hadn’t met before that, but we clicked straight away and when we were alone we found that we were able to make Nigel’s choreography really work on ourselves. You don’t do that lightly, thinking about adapting another choreographer’s work, but Nigel was absolutely fine with it, and we all think it’s a better piece for it.” Her performances in Adelaide will be tinged with a poignant overlay, following Charnock’s sudden death late last year. “I miss him very much,” she says, “so it will be a tribute to him.”
She also pays homage to Lock.”They are short extracts from pieces that came at a time he was changing,” she explains, “They’re a hybrid style between his contemporary time and his move into classical ballet. I couldn’t stand on pointe so it had to be revised for me! It was fascinating to come back to these pieces after many years. In fact it was Édouard’s suggestion, and I’m dancing with one of the guys I knew from La La La, Keir Knight, which has been great. It was great to be dancing with him again, a lot of happy memories.”
Louise Lecavalier plays to 9 March in the Space Theatre. Book at Bass.