So Blue: Louise Lecavalier’s highly anticipated choreographic debut – A Curatorial Statement by DanceHouse Producer Jim Smith
January 06, 2015
It was 1990 when I first met Louise Lecavalier. I was at the start of my career in dance with my first job in Montreal at La La La Human Steps.
Louise’s image was the signature of the company; recognizable by her shock of white hair, her mastery of the full-body barrel jump (which looks like a horizontal pirouette), her androgynous aesthetic, and her extreme fierceness as a performer. It was awe-inspiring to see her on stage.
I will never forget the first time we met in person. I was taken aback by how diminutive she was, and how shy and mild mannered she appeared relative to the extreme La La La performer I had first encountered on the stage.
Since 1990, Louise’s career has flourished. She continued with La La La for a number of productions, the last one being Salt in 1998. She also participated in each of La La La’s major collaborations, including David Bowie’s Sound+Vision Tour in 1990, and The Yellow Shark concerts, performed by Frank Zappa and Germany’s Ensemble Modern in Frankfurt, Berlin and Vienna in 1992.
Life after La La La saw Lecavalier breaking away as a solo performer, commissioning works from a wide range of choreographers including Benoit Lachambre, Crystal Pite and Tedd Robinson. On December 7, 2012, she premiered So Blue in Düsseldorf. It is her first dance choreography.
She has been recognized for her tremendous contribution to the form of dance. In 1985 Louise Lecavalier became the first Canadian to win a Bessie Award in New York. In 1999 she was awarded the Jean A. Chambers National Award, one of Canada’s most distinguished awards for dance. She was made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2008 and then awarded the Order of Canada in 2010. In May 2014, Lecavalier received the Governor General’s Performing Arts Award for Lifetime Artistic Achievement in dance. The award is Canada’s highest honour in the performing arts.
To an observer of dance, as I am, Louise Lecavalier is a stand-out in so many ways. Her artistic dedication to the form is exemplary and her range of accomplishment is so impressive. She truly is one of Canada’s icons of dance, and how lucky we are here in Vancouver to have the opportunity to experience So Blue.
Don’t miss Louise Lacavalier in So Blue at the Fei & Milton Wong Experimental Theatre, SFU’s Goldcorp Centre for the Arts, January 20–21, 2015. Catch the post-performance PuSh Conversation talk after the January 21 performance. Book your tickets to So Blue on your PuSh Pass, Youth Passport or buy single tickets via DanceHouse online.