A Mesmerizing Maze of Memory Awaits in ELLE-MOI. D’un bout du monde à l’autre

Photos by Nicolas Ruel 

Production KATIA GAGNÉ / Les Créations Ozar et Danse Cité
February 22, 23 & 24 2018 / 7:30 pm
ODD BOX Studio, Arts Court


As it is in the oasis of the mindscape where memories weave and intertwine around reality, so too does the hypnotic ELLE-MOI. D’un bout du monde à l’autre. Celebrating the 30th production of SERIES DANCE 10, the Ottawa Dance Directive brings multidisciplinary artist and choreographer Katia Gagné’s mesmerizing work to Arts Court’s Ottawa Dance Directive next week.

The piece takes the audience on a meditative journey via Gagné’s train travels in a blend of lively dance and video that often borders on dark humour. Here the dance lies in the grey area between memory and instinct. A haunted figure holds your gaze as she moves between the motions of daily life, solitude and the transient meetings that punctuate the journey.

Gagné has become known for her multi-media meldings. In 2012, she directed the staging, choreographies, videos and editing of excerpts from the works of Alfred de Musset. Always seeking alternative ways to present her living art, her last solo, Soeur d’une autre mer, was presented at the opening of the La Nouvelle Scène Gilles Desjardins here in Ottawa introducing a new audience to her dynamic approach.

“I like fusing choreographic writing with body percussions, pulsations and pounding. My personal training also incorporates vocal explorations that involve sound work and rhythm,” says Gagné.

“I like developing a set of concrete tools that foster body awareness to release tensions, the presence of meridians and energy channels that run through the body and breathing, which allow to push physical and mental boundaries.”

With ELLE-MOI. D’un bout du monde à l’autre, Gagné proposes a dance that softly shakes the real into a raw, energetic work. Lead by soloist Ève Garnier, the artist brings her choreographic process to another level. It is all driven by a powerful soundtrack of original music by Dino Giacola. Sounds mingle in their own dances. The rumbling of a train, electric tones and other aural snippets bring you deeper into the maze that is human memory.

These memories can be vivid but the work asks you to question them. Are they real? Are they empty? Are they imaginary stolen patchworks from other places? Along with Garnier, Ottawa established artists Yvonne Coutts, Lana Morton, Siôned Watkins and Anne-Marie White follow this memory labyrinth through untamed and imposing body language.

"Something that should not go unmentioned is the successful integration of mediums — dance, text and video,” praised writer Julie Tymchuk. “Katia Gagné offers up a work of dance theatre in which these components are balanced."

Tickets are available now.