Les précédents (2008)

An architectural and choreographic project

Born from collaboration between the Théâtre de Verdure of Montreal and choreographer Marie Béland, architectural and choreographic project Les Précédents was first created for the Parc La Fontaine. The performance integrates dancers into the landscape of a public area and into the actions of passers-by. Inspired by the moveable and immobile, by permanence and the ephemeral, the interpreters help us to see the space of this bustling public park with new perspective.

Les Précédents is a performance of variable duration suitable for any outdoor context. Built as a circuit, the piece was designed to blend into chaotic urban environments. By its contemplative character, it acts as a lull in the heart of the incessant whirlwind of human activity.

We are using the term “choreographic architecture” to describe this work. Marie Béland redevelops Les Précédents in total intimacy with the place that receives it. The dancers embrace the space or work in counterpoint with the landscape (street lines, tree positions, use of paths, stairs, etc.). They also integrate the movement of passers-by into the choreography, tracing the movements and pathways of bodies. People who cross the performance space at that time, without necessarily realizing it, become dancers for a few seconds. These different data constitute «precedents» or starting-points from which the dancers react to their environment. The same instruction informs the sound score. The musician-performer uses a megaphone to reproduce a mixture of sound fragments heard around him and sound references that evoke other places familiar to us (the intercom of a grocery store, or the subway, or the music of an elevator, etc.).

Les Précédents is therefore a series of games on the notion of daily space.

The experience can be continued with workshops open to the public where all can take part in Les Précédents by performing the piece in the company of the dancers.

Since its creation, the project has been presented over 40 times.

Conception : Marie Béland
Interpreters in 2021 : in rotation Rodrigo Alvarenga, Zoey Gauld, Simon-Xavier Lefebvre, Alexia Martel, Abe Simon Mijnheer, Marilyne St-Sauveur, Anne Thériault, Andrew Turner
Interpreters for the creative process : Isabelle Arcand, Amélie Bédard-Gagnon, Geneviève Gauvreau, Hugo Gravel, Simon-Xavier Lefebvre, Anne Thériault.
Artistic advisor for the creative process : Katya Montaignac
Booking : Art Circulation
Premiere : July 9th, 2008, Théâtre de verdure, Parc Lafontaine, Montréal


2021 edition at Parc Jean-Duceppe, Montréal (Photos © Dimitri Haddad)


2020 edition at Faubourg Boisbriand, Ville de Boisbriand (Photos © Claudia Chan Tak)

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2009 edition at Parc LaFontaine (Théâtre de Verdure)

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Large audience workshop given during the shows (2009)

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2008 edition at l’Esplanade de la Place-des-Arts (in the context of The Art (prononcez dehors) from La 2e Porte à Gauche)

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2008 edition at Parc LaFontaine (Théâtre de Verdure)

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Rodrigo Alvarenga / performer and collabotator

Rodrigo Alvarenga-Bonilla was introduced to dance from the age of five through his participation in a Salvadoran folk dance troupe. Then, he initiated himself into hip-hop, popping and breaking in youth homes. He began classes at Studio Party Time in Quebec City in 2010 and joined PNT dance company in 2012. In 2013, he formed the group MARVL, with which he has recently toured with the show JAM across Quebec. After graduating from the École de danse contemporaine de Montréal, Rodrigo continues to develop his personal style by mixing hip-hop, contemporary and acrobatics. He collaborates with various choreographers and contemporary dance companies such as, Sylvain Émard, Marie Béland and Tentacle Tribe. He also works on some projects with Cirque du Soleil.

Photo: Julie Artacho

Zoey Gauld / performer and collaborator

Initiated into modern dance in London (Ontario), N. Zoey Gauld pursuited professional training at LADMMI in Tiohtià:ke/ Montréal (Québec). Zoey is a white Anglo-Canadian woman who lives, works and studies in the unceded territory of Kanien’kehá:ka. In parallel with the pursuit of her master’s degree in dance at the Université du Québec à Montréal, Zoey is currently collaborating with Audrée Juteau, Ellen Furey and Catherine Lavoie-Marcus/L’Annexe-A, Sasha Kleinplatz, Créations Estelle Clareton and Marie Béland/maribé – sors de ce corps, and co-produced with Emmanuelle Bourassa Beaudoin a series of videos documenting Angélique Willkie’s teaching practice. Over the past fifteen years, Zoey has worked with artists Marie Béland, Allie Blakley, Johanna Bundon, Estelle Clareton, Manon De Pauw, Paula De Vasconcelos, Deborah Dunn, Thierry Huard, Laurel Koop, Dean Makarenko, Pierre-Marc Ouellet, Bee Pallomina, Dominique Porte, Jacques Poulin-Denis, Harold Rhéaume, Michèle Rioux, Paul-Antoine Taillefer, Andrew Tay, Ashlea Watkin, Nate Yaffe. Zoey studied choreography with kg Guttman at Concordia University. She creates solos and dances in private, in public and on the Internet.

Photo : Hilary Gauld

Simon-Xavier Lefebvre / performer and collaborator

Simon-Xavier Lefebvre has always been prone to sports hyperactivity and developed an interest in movement and space from his first contact with martial arts. In his early twenties, when he was completing his undergraduate degree in biology, his thoughts were still rooted in the rehearsal studio. He decided to turn definitively towards dance following a meeting with Daniel Léveillé. After a year of study at the École de danse contemporaine de Montréal, he was invited into the creative process of Un peu de tendresse, bordel de merde by Dave St-Pierre. To date, there have been numerous collaborations: Marie Béland, Andrew Turner, Anne Thériault, Virginie Brunelle, Sasha Kleinplatz, Estelle Clareton, Pierre Lecours, Hélène Blackburn, Estelle Clareton, Martin Messier, Milan Gervais, Frédérick Gravel and Parts & Labour. Simon-Xavier has also appeared on stage for some theatre projects, notably with Éric Jean, Mani Soleymanlou and Jérémie Niel. In 2020, Simon-Xavier participated in the revival of La vie attend (Parts and Labour), and was part of the touring team for Some Hope for the Bastards (DLD/Frédérick Gravel).

Photo : Christel Bourque

Marilyne St-Sauveur / performer and collaborator

A graduated of the Cégep de Saint-Laurent and Université du Québec à Montréal, Marilyne St-Sauveur danced in the works of Marie-Julie Asselin, Marie Béland, Lynda Gaudreau, Frédérick Gravel, Emmanuel Jouthe, OSEZ! /Karine Ledoyen, Dean Makarenko, Andrew Tay and Katie Ward. These projects have taken her everywhere on the Quebec and Canadian stages, but also in the United States, France, England and Belgium. Marilyne has taught dance at UQAM, Collège Montmorency and has taught at the Dance Department of Cégep de Saint-Laurent since 2004. She also works as rehearsal coach in dance and theatre. Thanks to her Ageless Grace certification, she shares her dance with seniors with the company Danse Carpe Diem.

Photo : Martin Flamand

Anne Thériault / performer and collaborator

A singular creator and performer, Anne Thériault has been weaving collaborations with artists from multiple backgrounds for more than ten years: with composer Martin Messier, she co-created Derrière le rideau, il fait peut-être nuit (FTA 2011) and Con grazia (FTA 2016) ; the performance Doux  (Actoral 2016) with visual artist Julie Favreau, and with the company BOP, Quatuor pour la fin du temps (OFFTA 2017) alongside Karina Champoux, Frédéric Tavernini and Dave St-Pierre. In particular, she approached the theatre on the occasion of Ainsi parlait… by Frédérick Gravel & Étienne Lepage, and La Fureur de ce que je pense by Marie Brassard. She is a founding member of Lorganisme, a structure for choreographers. She is also an associate artist at Usine C, where she recently presented her latest opus: Récital (FTA 2018). Currently, Anne Thériault is working on new research projects, collaborating with several artists as an artistic advisor and is invited to curate the COMPAGNONNAGE 21 event by Danièle Desnoyers/Le Carré des Lombes, which takes place in winter 2021. The artist is invited for a period of 3 years, as a researcher at L’L, an experimental research structure in the living arts, located in Brussels.

Photo : Lucie Rocher

Andrew Turner / performer and collaborator

Leaving studies in history and philosophy behind him, Andrew Turner was inexplicably accepted to Concordia University’s Dance Program in 2001. He has since performed extensively both in Montreal and abroad, with such companies as Par B.L.eux, O Vertigo, Human Playground, PPS Danse, Trial and Eros, Pigeons International, maribé – sors de ce corps, Bouge De Là, Cie La Tourmente, and others.  As a choreographer, with seven works under his belt, he has received several awards (including Prix OQAJ, Prix OQWBJ among others), as well as creation residencies in Switzerland, Sweden, and at the Banff Art Center.  He has presented his works in three languages in Europe, Mexico, the United States, and over 20 Canadian cities.  He received a Master’s Degree in Dance, with distinction, at Université du Québec à Montréal in 2020.

Photo : Justin Desforges

Katya Montaignac
Katya Montaignac / dramaturge

From 1995 to 2002, KATYA MONTAIGNAC danced in Paris for the company La Gorgone directed by Vincent Lahache. Since 1998, she has contributed as a dance critic to several publications, including the journal JEU. In 2001, in Paris, she conceived the project Raymond, a solo for n interpreters that has brought together around fifty individuals, dancers or not. This project has been presented in France and Quebec more than thirty times. Member of La 2e Porte à Gauche since 2006, she regularly signs the artistic direction of her productions (Blind date, 9 ½ apart., the pARTy, 4quART, Danse à 10, Rendez-vous à l’hôtel and Pluton). Since 2007, Katya has created «Unidentified Dancing Objects» (Danses invisibles in 2007, Corps anonymes in 2009). As dance doctor, she treats the ailments of choreographers as a dramaturge, notably with Marie Béland, Frédérick Gravel, Milan Gervais and Isabel Mohn. She teaches in the dance department of UQAM and is also involved as a curator, notably for the OFFTA during 7 years.

Photo : Julie Artacho

Alexia Martel
Alexia Martel / interprète collaboratrice

ALEXIA MARTEL a complété sa formation à L’École de danse contemporaine de Montréal (EDCMTL) en mai 2012. Par l’entremise de l’École, Alexia a pu plonger dans différents univers chorégraphiques de créateurs d’ici et d’ailleurs dont Marie Béland, Marie Chouinard, Daniel Léveillé et Lise Vachon qui influenceront particulièrement sa vision de la danse. En parallèle à sa formation, Alexia s’intéresse au théâtre et à la façon dont le théâtre et la danse entre en symbiose. À titre d’interprète, Alexia travaille actuellement auprès d’Isabelle Boulanger (La grande fente) et Patricia Gagnon.

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