Canadian choreographer adds unexpected details to dance

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Canadian choreographer adds unexpected details to dance

Full of sleek, sensuous and erotic dances, a performance by Marie Chouinard’s dance company from Canada in Seoul includes creative use of rope, prosthetics, crutches and harnesses ― all to the music of Bach.
It’s the Montreal choreographer’s most recent work “bODY rEMIX” (not a misprint, this is how she spells it), utilizing her well-known comical responses to classical ballet.
As Bach’s Goldenberg Variations by Glenn Gould rolls, so do the dancers on stage. But their movements are limited as they are confined in the fantastical props and other distorting prosthetic devices. Instead of the usual graceful moves of a classical ballet, they move their arms like windmills and stretch their vibrating fingers to the rhythm. They hang from the ceiling on aerial strings wearing nothing but tiny plastic sheaths. Among the wittiest moments are en-pointe ballet shoes worn on the hands, and sometimes only on one foot with the other foot bare.

Their stiff movements are almost animal-like and their limbs shift in dramatic action. What you see gets more agitated as the near-naked performers make breathy sighs, orgasmic gasps and squeals.
“I was inspired to use the prosthetic devices when I started imagining the world before vertebrate animals came into existence,” said Chouinard in an interview with the performance monthly “Mome.” “Imagine how an organism might have felt when bones started growing inside its soft body. To find food, or to find love, these creatures must have tried to get adjusted to the use of bones.”
“In the performance, these prosthetic devices are like the new bones to the performers,” she says.
This is Chouinard’s second visit to Korea, as she came here for the International Modern Dance Festival in 2003 in Seoul. Her newest work, “bODY rEMIX,” was well-received at the Venice Biennale last year.

by Lee Min-a

“bODY rEMIX” by Compagnie Marie Chouinard is on next week at the LG Arts Center at 8 p.m. on June 23 and 4 p.m. June 24. Tickets are from 30,000 won ($31) to 70,000 won. For more information, call (02) 2005-0114.
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