<B>GINETTE LAURIN: THE HUMAN DIMENSION</B><P>WHO: O VERTIGO<BR>WHEN: TUE 23 - WED 24 OCT<BR>WHERE: QUEEN ELIZABETH HALL<BR>TICKETS: 020 7960 4242<P>In Luna, Ginette Laurin's latest adventure with her Montreal-based company O Vertigo, nine dancers orbit round in a dreamy, subtly sensual galaxy of gently explosive colours, whispered breaths, eclectic burbling sounds, hymn-like chanting, string suites and spoken scientific text. Their movements are tender and swinging, languid and pulsatingly athletic. They gesture and signal, taking each other's measurement and drawing lines with the limbs. Some stand behind magnifiying glasses which enlarge and distort faces and bodies, while others sweep round in billowing hoop skirts upon which their own images are projected.<P>Laurin trained as a gymnast before studying modern and classical dance in Montreal and New York. She founded her company in 1984, since when it has gained an itnernational reputation for the exhilarating, reflective quality of her kinetic explorations.<P>Donald Hutera: Tell me about the origins of the piece. What sort of research<BR>was involved, either within the studio or outside it?<P><B>Ginette Laurin:</B> My concern was to get closer to the body in movement, to be<BR>able to show the tiniest details and focus attention on specific segments. I<BR>used large magnifying glasses to blow up hand movement, arms and facial<BR>expressions. I was allowed into the dancers' intimate space, and discovered<BR>it was possible to read the choreography in a totally different way without<BR>losing the human dimension. My wish with this exploration was to play with<BR>the spectator's perception and, in some way, show the hidden side of dance.<P>Donald Hutera: What was the dancers' contribution?<P><B>Ginette Laurin:</B> I am very directive regarding movements, and also very precise in all<BR>that surrounds the choreographic discourse and concepts. The dancers can<BR>greatly influence the process through their interpretation or translation of<BR>the choreographic material. Some sequence were transmitted verbally, without<BR>me demonstrating, and each dancer was free concerning his or her way of<BR>carrying out the movement while respecting the rhythmical score.<P>Donald Hutera: What does the moon symbolise for you?<P><B>Ginette Laurin:</B> The closer I was getting to the body of the dancers, and the more I was<BR>approaching the infinitely small, the more the infinitely grand would impose<BR>itself. The roundness of the objects that were used (such as the magnifying<BR>glasses) referred to images all related to planets, to the universe and to<BR>the moon for all the mysteries and poetry that's in it.<P>Donald Hutera: What's the appeal of living in Montreal as artist/human being?<P><B>Ginette Laurin:</B> It's a very dynamic city for dance because we do not really have a dance<BR>tradition and there is no such thing as a 'dominating school.' That's why<BR>choreographers here feel so free to create our own language. Within this, my<BR>roots and preoccupations, my observations about my own society and the world<BR>in general are being forged with my creations.<P>Donald Hutera: In what ways is Luna a departure for you?<P><B>Ginette Laurin:</B> I have used live videography for the time. My idea was for the coherent<BR>and harmonious integration of this medium into my work. Luna is also a<BR>meeting between science and art, as I called upon an astrophysicist during<BR>our explorations of the infintely small and large.<P>Donald Hutera: Who do you make your performances for?<P><B>Ginette Laurin:</B> I am speaking to those who want to take part in a sensorial experience<BR>rather than an intellectual one.<P>Donald Hutera: Why do you dance, and make dances, and what keeps you going?<P><B>Ginette Laurin:</B> I don't dance any more, but my experience as a dancer is still very<BR>useful. The human body fascinates me. I believe that it is still the most<BR>extraordinary machine that exists. I have always loved to move and make the<BR>body speak. This is my place. The more I go on, the more I discover new<BR>fields to explore. I sincerely love what I do.<P>Donald Hutera: Anything you think the audience should keep in mind when they come to see Luna?<P><B>Ginette Laurin:</B> They have to appropriate dance with their stomachs, hearts and muscles,<BR>not with their heads!<P>
This interview was posted by Stuart Sweeney on behalf of Donald Hutera and first appeared in Dance Umbrella News.
Donald Hutera writes regularly on dance and arts for The Times, Evening Standard, Time Out, Dance Europe, Dance Magazine (US) and Dance Now. He is co-author, with Allen Robertson, of The Dance Handbook.
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