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.

S is a co-production with Concertgebouw Brugge (Belgium), The CanDance Network Creation Fund, Danse Danse (Montreal), The Canada Dance Festival (Ottawa), The National Arts Centre (Ottawa) and The Centennial Theatre (Sherbrooke). It is supported by the Dance Section of the Canada Council for the Arts.

DanceWorks presents Compagnie Flak in Villanelle and S, part of Harbourfront Centre's NextSteps. Choreographer: José Navas. Dancers: Sarah Fregeau, Alexandre Jolicoeur, Cori Kresge, Benjamin Landsberg, Waldean Nelson, Erin Poole, Lauren Semeschuk, Jeff Wolfe. Lighting: Marc Parent. Costumes: José Navas/Compagnie Flak.

Performances run tonight, April 19 to Saturday, April 20, 2013, 8PM at Harbourfront Centre's Fleck Dance Theatre, 207 Queens Quay West. Tickets: $19.50-$34 (including applicable taxes & services charges). Harbourfront Centre Box Office: 416-973-4000 OR online at

DanceWorks presents Toronto's longest running contemporary dance series, highlighting professional dance artists whose work originates from diverse sources and who are making a significant contribution to the field. The dances are playful, provocative and percussive: an array of artistic voices selected to refresh, inspire and invigorate. The 2012-13 season offers high-calibre dancing, strong production values and well-crafted choreography from acclaimed touring companies and local artists at an affordable price.

Harbourfront Centre is passionate about dance. NextSteps, Harbourfront Centre's national dance series, brings the very best in Canadian dance to Toronto audiences, showcasing the depth, energy and diversity of established and emerging choreographers and companies. The 2012/13 season, running September to May, offers an incredible spectrum of dance. Harbourfront Centre supports Canada's I Love Dance manifesto.

Harbourfront Centre is a Canadian charity operating the 10 prime acres of Toronto's central waterfront as a free and open public site. We celebrate the multiplicities of cultures that comprise Canada and enliven the city through the creative imaginations of artists from across the country and around the globe.