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 Post subject: Compagnie Flak - 'Perfume de Gardenias'
PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2001 2:36 pm 
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Image <P><B>Compagnie Flak - 'Perfume de Gardenias'</B><P>Here are the calendar details from the <A HREF="http://www.danceumbrella.co.uk/menu.htm" TARGET=_blank><B>Dance Umbrella website</B></A>. Click on the coloured dates for programme information and on the venue name for theatre details. <P>Here is our existing thread on <A HREF="http://www.criticaldance.com/ubb/Forum5/HTML/000246.html" TARGET=_blank><B>'Perfume de Gardenias'</B></A><P>Here is the <A HREF="http://www.flak.org/version4/english/index.html" TARGET=_blank><B>Company website</B></A><BR>


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 Post subject: Re: Compagnie Flak - 'Perfume de Gardenias'
PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2001 2:03 am 
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Joined: Tue Oct 02, 2001 11:01 pm
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<B>JOSE NAVAS: WRITING WITH MOVEMENT</B><P>WHO: COMPAGNIE FLAK<BR>WHEN: FRI 19 - SAT 20 OCT<BR>WHERE: THE PLACE ROBIN HOWARD DANCE THEATRE<BR>TICKETS: 020 7387 0031<P><BR>In Perfume de Gardenias, for Canada's Compagnie Flak, artistic director and choreographer Jose Navas seeks to re-create, in his words, "a world of nostalgic, long-distance connection, love, passion and true communication" that he associates with the first song her ever learned. "My father sang it to me. He still whistles it." It, too is called Perfume de Gardenias.<P>The Venezuela-born Navas himself is one of six dancers in a piece which he calls "a journey of memories. We worked very much with the idea of postcards." These symbols of travel are apt, given that the score was created by four composers working long-distance in San Francisco, Vienna, Belgium and Canada, and the movement was likewise developed in various global locations.<P>The result is a corporeal spectacle, less than an hour long, composed of strong yet seductive images (including an opaque wall behind which the dancers often appear naked in silhouette), shifting lighting and mesmerising, fluidly sculptural rhythms of motion. Navas plays throughout with pace, gliding from sharp, springy sections of dance to moments of physical stasis and literal exposure. The nudity is intermittent. "I keep thinking it's not such a big thing today," Navas remarks, "but in some places people became upset because they were not told about it in advance." He doesn't anticipate this problem in London. "I think the audience there would be surprised if in a contemporary dance show people are wearing costumes!"<P>At least one of the composers, Bob Ostertag, subscribes to the notion that one of the more effective ways to express something is through the use of its opposite. Here, Navas says, it's the concept of love, protection and comfort that gets the reversal. Apparently Ostertag asked a drag queen to create a bad-tempered, even sleazy-sounding monologue to accompany one section of dance. "It wasn't an easy way out," says Navas. "In the first instance it is so violent. It's outrageous how this female/male voice talks to a baby. But it made me think about what maternal love is. So you have this very irritating background contrasted with the beautiful lines of the dancers' bodies, their elegant and formal dance vocabulary, and the aesthetic mise en scene with the lights, costumes and set."<P>Following in the footsteps of fellow countryman (and Umbrella alumnus) Javier De Frutos, Navas left Venezuela for North America. After five years in New York he settled, a decade ago, in Canada, where he has acquired citizenship. The move to Montreal, specifically, also marked the beginning of a choreographic career that goes from strength to strength. Navas has studied with Merce Cunningham and either danced with, or in pieces by, Michael Clark (also in Umbrella 2001), Stephen Petronio, Lucinda Childs and Bill T Jones. "Dance is my first connection to the physical world," he says. "Even after twenty years it's a necessity for me, to feel alive and present. I always wanted to write with movement. It's such a mysterious way to tell stories and give your point of view about life. It's humbling to do it every day, to have to face your limitations and awkwardness." And the reasons behind the company moniker? "Flak is not just a dance company. We also produce contemporary music and cultural events in Montreal. I thought this was a useful, neutral name - easy to remember, and it can be pronounced in any language." Clever man - good-looking and talented as well. See for yourself.<P> <P><BR><P>------------------<BR>This interview was posted by Stuart Sweeney on behalf of Donald Hutera.<P>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.<P>This interview first appeared in either the Spring or Autumn 2001 editions of Dance Umbrella News. <BR> <BR>Join Dance Umbrella's mailing list to receive future editions of Dance Umbrella News. <BR>Call: 020 8741 5881 <BR>Email: mail@danceumbrella.co.uk <BR>Web: <A HREF="http://www.danceumbrella.co.uk" TARGET=_blank>www.danceumbrella.co.uk</A>

_________________
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.

Join Dance Umbrella's mailing list to receive future editions of Dance Umbrella News.
Call: 020 8741 5881
Email: mail@danceumbrella.co.uk
Web: www.danceumbrella.co.uk


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