DanceWorks Hosts Compagnie Flak's Toronto Debuts of VILLANELLE and S, Now thru 4/20


DanceWorks, Toronto's longest-running contemporary dance series, presents the Toronto premiere of Villanelle and S, from Montreal's renowned Compagnie Flak, choreographed by Artistic Director José Navas. This acclaimed double bill runs two nights only - tonight, April 19 and Saturday, April 20 - at Fleck Dance Theatre, part of Harbourfront Centre's NextSteps.

Villanelle (2009) is a short, meditative solo that opens the evening, performed by Alexandre Jolicoeur to Antonio Vivaldi's Cum dederit delectis suis Somnum: Andante. Navas revisits the fixed verse form of a villanelle, a poem with a distinctive pattern of rhyme and repetition, after being inspired by Dylan Thomas' "Do not go gentle into that good night." Villanelle premiered at the MilanOltre Festival in Milan, Italy.

S (2008), performed by eight dancers, stunning in their presence and vulnerability, evokes human nature through the expression of pure movement. Navas structures S like a musical score and likens the dancers to instruments crafted by Stradivarius, satisfying the highest technical demands and making the most formal movement personal and dramatic. An abstract and organic work with the precision and energy of calligraphy, the piece inhabits the music of Erik Satie (Gymnopédies and Gnossiennes). An encounter with grace.

S, which premiered at the Concertgebouw Brugge in Bruges, Belgium as part of the December Dance 08 Festival, has also been performed to critical acclaim in Quebec, Denmark, France, Italy, the Netherlands and Norway.

Venezuelan-born and Montréal-based José Navas studied in Caracas and at the Merce Cunningham Studio in New York City, before moving to Canada in 1991. He founded Compagnie Flak in 1995 and has since choreographed over 30 pieces for both stage and film, touring his works extensively across the Americas, Europe and Asia. Among the landmark group pieces on his choreographic journey are One Night Only 3/3 (1998), Perfume de Gardenias (2000), Adela, mi amor (2003), Portable Dances (2005), Anatomies (2006) and Diptych (2011). His aesthetically beautiful solos include Sterile Fields (1996), Solo with Cello (2001), Miniatures (2008) and Personæ (2011). Choreographer-in-residence for Ballet BC since the summer of 2010, Navas created Bliss (2012), and premieres a new version of Giselle for them, April 25-27. He is also preparing a new creation for the National Ballet of Canada's Innovation series for 2013-14. Navas premieres his solo The Rite of Spring this coming May for the Concertgebouw, Brugge, accompanied by the Brussels Philharmonic Orchestra.