In 2023, Dance Reflections by Van Cleef & Arpels is supporting Chaillot – Théâtre Nationale de la Danse for the presentation of Les jolies choses by Catherine Gaudet as part of Chaillot Expérience Transatlantique.
Five bodies move to the rhythm of a metronome. Their mechanical gestures are endlessly reprised, the machine runs wild and demands their absolute compliance. Catherine Gaudet seeks a space within the body where desires can be reborn and delivers a tour de force in which energy never subsides.
A leading figure in the new wave of Canadian dance, Catherine Gaudet “tracks down the jolts of the unconscious and the micro-movements in the body that betray the emotions and sensations that we try to conceal.” From Berlin to Montreal, the choreographer leaves her mark through a series of remarkable pieces. The titles of her creations themselves speak volumes about her artistic intentions: Grosse fatigue, Sourire forcé and L’affadissement du merveilleux. In her latest choreography, Les jolies choses, Catherine Gaudet brings together a quintet of virtuoso performers. Before our eyes, bodies move to “the rhythm of the metronome.” Their mechanical gestures are endlessly reprised, the machine runs wild and demands their absolute compliance. For Catherine Gaudet, “There is a fruitful rage fueling the piece, a moment of adolescent-like rebellion —the expression of a desire to reclaim creative autonomy and freedom.” The final soundtrack highlights once again the urgency to be on stage. Les Jolies choses is a standout.
Text: © Philippe Noisette
Photo: © Matthieu Doyon
About the Artist
With Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in contemporary dance from UQAM, Catherine Gaudet has established herself as a choreographer with a strong and unique style. Scratching beneath the facade of social convention, she tracks down the jolts of the unconscious and the micro-movements in the body that betray the emotions and sensations that we try to conceal. Obsessed with the pursuit of existential truth, she delves into the meandering intricacies of the psyche, searching for beauty in contradiction. Her stentorian dance emerges from forces that oppose, constrain and control characters with tormented appearances. Its raw and precise physicality intertwines with a theatricality that subtly combines dramatic tension, absurdity and dark humor.
She presents her first choreography in 2004, making her mark over the next two years with Grosse fatigue (2005), winner of the Arhus International Choreography Competition in Denmark, and L’arnaque (2006).
In 2021, she premieres the solo piece, Se dissoudre, which explores the illusory nature of our perception of time, and presents Les jolies choses, her latest creation for five dancers, at the 2022 FTAs (Festival TransAmériques).
Catherine is now the artistic and general director of Compagnie Catherine Gaudet, a member of the Circuit-Est centre choréographique, an associated artist at DLD - Daniel Léveillé Danse and an associated artist at Agora de la danse.
Photo : © Julie Artacho