Daniel Leveille Danse Presents Toronto Premiere of THUS SPOKE... as Part of SummerWorks, Now thru Aug 16
Montreal's Daniel Leveillé danse presents the Toronto premiere of Thus Spoke... as part of the National Series at theSummerWorks Performance Festival. Thus Spoke explodes the codes and conventions of theatre and dance as it bodily takes hold of our era to disrupt the established order. Together, the brilliant writer Étienne Lepage and the wild choreographer Frédérick Gravel have concocted an unclassifiable pop piece that is cheeky and devilishly sexy, combining speech and movement that shifts from Nietzsche to Hendrix, from scathing tirade to rock-and-roll show, from electrifying rant to laid-back rhythmics. Thus Spoke... runs today, August 9-16 at The Theatre Centre Mainspace, the primary venue for SummerWorks.
Co-directed by Lepage and Gravel, Thus Spoke... is a theatre of combat based on the collision of their respective practices - a combination of speech and movement. First, defiant words. Words that are spit out, that bewitch, that say too much or not enough. And then, a few gestures, lazy approximations that recall call slouching on a sofa. Lepage and Gravel subvert established norms of performance, striking a provocative smack in the face to conformism as four performers - Gravel, Frédéric Lavallée, Marilyn Perreault and Anne Thériault - grapple with the contradictions of society, their movements on stage in perpetual counterpoint to the offhand, impudent dialogue of these disruptive freethinkers.
Conceived as a result of research conducted by Lepage and Gravel on the possible combination of speech and movement that invites the body to move within the script itself, Thus Spoke... creates a universe based on the collision of their respective practices for the presentation of a new performance genre - an entanglement of forms, a fusion of energies. Thus Spoke is provocative, reckless - and constructive; a bold and unique antidote to gloom and apathy.
The French-language version, Ainsi parlait, premiered last summer at Montreal's Festival TransAmériques - see an excerpt here: http://vimeo.com/72378550- and subsequently toured internationally, including to the Théâtre de la Bastille in Paris.
Frédérick Gravel is a choreographer, dancer, musician and lighting designer who has been active in Montreal for a dozen years. He is known for turning the structures of choreography upside down, incorporating diverse elements linked to rock and performance art. In 2009, his Gravel Works was presented at the Festival TransAmériques (FTA) and was later invited to the Rencontres Chorégraphiques Internationales de Seine-Saint-Denis in France. In 2010, Gravel returned to the FTA with Tout se pète la gueule, chérie. His Usually Beauty Fails was presented in November 2012 in Montréal and has since been on tour across Europe and North America.
Étienne Lepage is a playwright and translator who has earned a prominent place in Montreal's cultural scene, known for his incisive, forceful language that gives voice to a distraught generation with characters who are lost, unsettled and terribly human. Rouge Gueule (2009) marked his impressive debut; since then, several of his plays have been brought to the stage and translated into many languages. A versatile artist, he co-wrote Éclats et autres libertés, a play for young audiences that won the Louise Lahaye Award in 2010. His play Histoires pour faire des cauchemars was presented by Théâtre Barakha in Brussels. In 2012, Lepage received the "Best Original Script" award from the Association québécoise des critiques de théâtre for L'Enclos de l'éléphant (and was a finalist for the 2011 Governor General Award). After Toronto, Thus Spoke... tours to Théâtre La Bastille, Paris (France, October 13-18); Musis Sacrum Schouwbourg, Arhnem (The Netherlands, October 22); and Maison de la culture Frontenac, Montréal (Québec, November 17). Thus Spoke... is presented with the support of Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec and Canada Council for the Arts. Co-producer: Automne en Normandie and Festival TransAmériques. Creative Residences: Maison de la culture Frontenac, Agora de la Danse.