Dancer-choreographer Anne Plamondon finally has the stage to herself in 'Les mêmes yeux que toi'
Yes. Enfin. An entire show where dancer-choreographer Anne Plamondon has the stage to herself. Anyone into the Montreal dance scene has surely witnessed Plamondon’s precise, light, graceful strength with her hybrid classical dance/hip hop RUBBERBANDance Group, where she shares artistic direction with Victor Quijada, or performing with Vancouver choreographer Crystal Pite’s in-demand company, Kidd Pivot.
Since the age of 14, after seeing a solo performed by Margie Gillis, Plamondon has wanted to take to the stage alone at some point. With her busy international performing and touring schedule, however, Plamondon didn’t have the time, until she put her mind to it three years ago.
(c) Michael Slobodian
Although a seasoned performer, Plamondon reveals she is both excited and terrified about her solo debut, Les mêmes yeux que toi, which is set to music by composer-pianist Njo Kong Kie, the man behind such memorable scores as that of Édouard Lock’s La La La Human Steps. “When you decide to do a solo, you are affirming your identity and point of view. You take full responsibility. If it’s good, it’s great. If it’s not…” her voice trails off. “You are so exposed,” she continues, laughing nervously. “And because I’m signing the work, there’s an extra level of exposure.”
The work touches upon a subject that’s both difficult and personal. “As human beings, we are all so fragile. The line between stability and instability is quite thin. Things happen and we can lose it at some point.” Using the story of her father, who was diagnosed with schizophrenia, as a starting point, Plamondon explores the many spheres of mental illness.
Marie Brassard and Anne Plamondon / (c) Michael Slobodian
Collaborating with theatre director, actress, and writer Marie Brassard for the work, Plamondon did initial research by interviewing people affected with mental illness, who described the feelings they experience during a psychosis. “I was blown away by the lucidity with which they were talking about their condition. It was very touching.”
Instead of reappropriating these stories literally, her choreographic path involved a more abstract technique. “I started with a state and let my body speak that state.” For the piece, Plamondon embodies three characters: a man, a woman, and a witness. “These three elements, energies, or characters pass through me at different times. I love to dance duet work and feed off the movement and energy. Now I have to invent conversations in other ways — like trying to create a conversation between these three characters.”
Les mêmes yeux que toi
Nov. 7—9, 8 p.m.
Artist talk post-show on Nov. 8
Agora de la Danse | 840 Cherrier | agoradanse.com