Friday, March 10, 2017

Dance: An Interview With Laurence Lemieux On James Kudelka's Love Sex & Brahms March 16-19 2017

An interview with Laurence Lemieux

Choreographer James Kudelka premieres #lovesexbrahms – the expanded version
Presented by Coleman Lemieux & Compagnie (CLC)
and featuring Evelyn Hart
March 16 – 19 2017 
at the Betty Oliphant Theatre, Toronto

Get Tix For The Show

From March 16 to 19, legendary Canadian choreographer James Kudelka will be presenting a piece that first made a splash on local stages a couple of years ago. The piece is an expansion on a shorter piece of the same name that was originally commissioned in 2015 by Andrew Barashko's Art of Time Ensemble, involving 13 of Brahms' Intermezzi for piano. The performances netted a Dora Mavor Moore Award for Best Choreography for James Kudelka and Best Lighting Design in Dance for Simon Rossiter. The new, expanded piece includes all 18 short Intermezzi, some of the last pieces for solo piano that Brahms ever wrote.
Bill Coleman, Evelyn Hart, Luke Garwood, Ryan Boorne - Image by Jeremy Mimnagh

Along with 60 year old dance icon Evelyn Hart, the work will feature ten dancers from the CLC company and live piano by Andrew Barashko. Laurence Lemieux is both dancer and choreographer, but she takes the former role in this piece. "It's a really fascinating work," she says. "It feels more lilke a play."

The music is rich and dimensional, and lends itself to interpretation. "It's actually a series of Intermezzi composed by Johannes Brahms," she explains, "like little jewels." Along with marrying contemporary dance to European classical music, the work is a dramatic one that follows intrigues and tensions in the relationships between the dancers as characters, along with Sarkis, the puppet who acts as a host. "They're like little stories, each one."

"James is a choreographer, but he's directing it more like  play." The scenes are set in a vintage, Victorian world – appropriate to the work of Brahms, after all, who lived from 1833 to 1897. It allows for some elegant costuming. "I'm approaching it as an actress."
Evelyn Hart & Tyler Gledhill - Image by Jeremy Mimnagh

What's it like to work with one of Canada's true dance legends, Evelyn Hart? "She's amazing - dedicated, passionate, smart - great to work with."

Laurence is also excited by the prospect of dancing to live music by Andrew Barashko. "He's such a beautiful pianist," she says.

The work comes in contrast to her next project, a short work she's taking to France for the commemoration of the Battle of Vimy Ridge - an outdoor work. "It's an uncontrolled environment," she says. "It's like night and day."
Andrew McCormack & Bill Coleman - Image by Jeremy Mimnagh

But first, Kudelka and Brahms.

Love, Sex & Brahms showcases costumes by Hoax Couture, lighting design by Simon Rossiter, with puppet design by Nell Coleman. An ensemble of 10 CLC company artists will be joined onstage by Evelyn Hart, including: Laurence Lemieux, Bill Coleman, Danielle Baskerville, Luke Garwood, Tyler Gledhill, Louis Laberge-Côté, Andrew McCormack, Victoria  Mehaffey, Ryan Boorne and Daniel McArthur.

Join Coleman Lemieux & Compagnie for a special pre-show, Opening Night Gala celebration on March 16 at 7pm, hosted by CLC Board Chair Stephen Delaney, with a special introduction by choreographer James Kudelka.

Rehearsal clip from the 2015 production:

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