This week, it’s my privilege to write about a very special and unprecedented event coming to Los Angeles’ Royce Hall, via UCLA’s Center for the Art of Performance (CAP UCLA): “So Blue,” the first company work created by Louise Lecavalier Fou Glorieux.
I was first introduced to the work of Louise Lecavalier at the Sundance Dance/Film Lab in the late 80’s. Lecavalier, an award-winning dancer (amongst others she has received the Governor General’s Performing Arts Award for Lifetime Artistic Achievement in dance, Canada’s highest honor in the performing arts) had only relatively recently emerged onto the scene as the muse of Edouard Locke, Artistic Director and Choreographer for the great Montreal based company, La La La Human Steps.
My first glimpse of Louise was of her in Locke’s monumental short, “Human Sex” (featured below). If Pina Bausch had burst open the stage and claimed it as a vehicle for all aspects of life in dance, then La La La Human Steps – and Louise in particular – seemed to burst open the body both in terms of reconstituting speed and defying gravity. With her wild mane of platinum dreadlocks, her muscular arms, the “off axis” barrel turns in which she catapulted her body to spin horizontally through space, her seemingly effortless lifts of male partners and completely anarchical movement laced with references to classical ballet, she defied every norm associated with women in dance. In addition to her phenomenal speed, strength, and physicality, she seemed able to instill the smallest movements with an unspeakable tenderness and humanity.
She was simply a rock star.
So long a muse for Locke and others and frequently unsung for her contributions, Louise Lecavalier – now in her 50’s – continues to stun as a dancer, working with top Canadian choreographers including Crystal Pite. And seemingly more unstoppable than ever, she has formed her own company Fou Glorieux, and is finally realizing her own choreographic vision. Kristy Edmunds, CAP UCLA’s visionary executive and artistic director felt it was important to bring this first work, “So Blue,” which premiered in Düsseldorf in December of 2012, to Los Angeles. Edmunds calls Lecavalier “a force of nature and an utterly unique presence in contemporary dance”.
If you are in or close to L.A., walk, run, spin, fly to see Louise Lecavalier Fou Glorieux at UCLA’s Royce Hall this Friday, January 16 @ 8 pm. For tickets and info go to: http://cap.ucla.edu/calendar/details/louise_lecavalier.
And be sure to check out “Human Sex,” one of my all time favorite dance shorts, recorded from a 1985 PBS broadcast of Alive From Off Center. The camera work is beautiful, the production and concept design are stellar, and Louise is beyond phenomenal.