Marie Chouinard appointed director of the Dance section
07 | 13 | 2016
appointed for the four-year term 2017-2020
The Board of Directors of the Biennale di Venezia, chaired by Paolo Baratta, having expressed the full gratitude of the Biennale (and the city of Venice) to Virgilio Sieni for all he has accomplished during his four-year term, has appointed Marie Chouinard as Director of the Dance Section for the four-year term 2017-2020.
"Marie Chouinard has enthusiastically agreed to join the project that unites the Festival and College as coordinated events; both may rely on the extraordinary quality and artistic sensibility of Marie Chouinard and her passion for teaching", commented President Baratta on her appointment.
A Canadian choreographer renowned around the world for her greatly experimental approach, Marie Chouinard has been at the Biennale di Venezia many times. In 1999, she participated in the first edition of the Dance Biennale, invited by Carolyn Carlson, with Les Solos 1978-1998, an anthology of the solo pieces that made her famous; in 2001 she presented two group works created for her company: Les 24 Préludes de Chopin - in which she addresses a classic musical structure - and Le Cri du Monde - which arises from the observation of the architecture of the body; in 2005 she presented the world premiere of Body Remix / Goldberg Variations; and finally returned to Venice in 2010 with the European premiere of Le nombre d'or (Live) and the solo piece Gloires du matin which marked her return, after twenty years, to the stage.
"At the Biennale - stated the new Director Marie Chouinard - I will have the opportunity to present physical practices, teachers, works and artists I believe in, who open our patterns of thought and perception to other dimensions, forcing dialogue between our habits and ourselves, between our mental structures and our freedom, towards renewed beauty, towards invigorated inclusion, towards expanded love. So I will have the opportunity to present my vision and my joy in ways other than simply through my own works, works that I will continuously create, ardently". And adds: "Do we really have more than five senses? Yes of course. Life is always amazing and Venice always sings".
A dancer and choreographer who uses a primitive yet highly refined glossary, and considers dance a sacred art to practice with absolute rigour, Marie Chouinard (Québec City - Canada, 1955) pursued a complex avant-garde solo career for over a decade before founding her own group, the Compagnie Marie Chouinard, in 1990. Her debut work, Cristallisation (1978) instantly captured public attention for the originality of her expressive experimentation. Her later creations (such as the masterpiece S.T.A.B. in 1986, in which she danced the transformation into a woman of a creature shocked by an instinctive movement, or the provocative all-female Après Midi d'un Faune in 1987) confirm her inclination to explore new paths in choreography, artistic performance and conceptual creation. Over the course of her own career, Marie Chouinard has produced more than 40 choreographies, for individual or group performances, often contributing to the ideation of the musical score, the costumes and the lighting for her own productions.
Many of her works are included in the repertoire of important companies: Les 24 Préludes de Chopin at the National Ballet of Canada, Après Midi d’un Faune at the São Paulo Companhia de Dança, bODY_rEMIX / les_vARIATIONS_gOLDBERG, Act 1 at the Ballets de Monte-Carlo and the Göteborgs Operan in Sweden.
She has won many awards including the Prix Jacqueline-Lemieux (1986), the Bessie Award in New York for the entire corpus of her choreographic works (2000), the prize for choreography from the Société des auteurs et compositeurs dramatiques (SACD) in Paris, the Order of Canada (2007), the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (France, 2009), the Performing Arts Award for Lifetime Artistic Achievment of the General Governor (Canada, 2016).
In 2011 Marie Chouinard created Le Prix de la danse de Montréal to pay tribute to the best works in the field of dance.