February 28, 2015

DanceWorks Sylvain Émard Danse

DW209, Ce n'est pas la fin du monde



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“Sylvain Emard returns to Harbourfront Centre with a new work for seven male dancers. I’m always amazed as to how the masculine energy of the work is expressed onstage and how that energy reaches the audiences. See what the Montreal-based internationally acclaimed artist has in store with his new creation.”

— Lynanne Sparrow, Artistic Associate – Dance

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An award-winning choreographer from Québec, Sylvain Émard of Sylvain Émard Danse presents the critically acclaimed Ce n’est pas la fin du monde (It’s not the end of the world), featuring seven male dancers in a ritual of resistance and adaptation to the passing of time.

The piece tells stories of men coming to terms with the world, and of being transformed. Driven by doubt and a lust for life, they are searching for their place, sketching the contours of multiple identities. Carried away by their instincts and the power of the group, their only language is subtle, energetic movement; the music of bodies electrified by a shared feeling of urgency.

In this poignant ritual of resistance and adaptation to the passing of time, dance seems to be the best means of coming to terms with the world, a method to blend in and be transformed. This vibrant piece conveys all the complexity and beauty of men coming to grips with the world they inhabit.

DanceWorks began in 1977 as a collective of independent dance artists. It has grown to become Toronto’s leading presenter of independent dance. With a strong belief that dance has the power to illuminate, engage and transform all who participate, DanceWorks offers season after season of eclectic, exhilarating choreography programmed to intrigue, challenge and enthrall. DanceWorks adds to the theatrical experience with Carol’s Dance Notes and post-performance conversations with artists. DanceWorks is the administrator of the CanDance Network and Dance Ontario Association.

Sylvain Émard founded Sylvain Émard Danse, in 1987. He first concentrated on highly theatrical pieces before moving on to a more formal dance style. An artist who has won the admiration of audiences at home and abroad, his choreographic works reveal a creator in full command of his talent.

His repertoire of more than 30 unique pieces has been praised for its diversity, exposing a vocabulary that swings between extremes of generous fluidity and taut control. Renowned for his refined style and precise movement, presenting Le Grand Continental at the 2009 Festival TransAmériques must have come to some as a surprise. This unique piece, inspired by line dancing, has featured 1,000 non-dancers from across Canada, the United States and Mexico, and has been performed for about 70,000 spectators.

Émard has collaborated as a guest choreographer in theatre, opera and cinema. He joined forces with Robert Lepage to work on the opera 1984 (2005) by Lorin Maazel, presented in London and Milan. Émard has received numerous prestigious awards, such as the Jean A. Chalmers Award for Great Choreographic Distinction (1996). In 2011, La Presse/Radio-Canada named him Personality of the week for the concept, Le Grand Continental. Émard is also co-founder and vice president of Circuit-Est centre chorégraphique.