Montreal Troupe Dances to Live Steve Reich Score at Jacob’s Pillow

La Vie que Bat(BECKET, Mass.) – O Vertigo Danse and members of the Québec Contemporary Music Society bring La Vie Qui Bat (The Beat of Life), a powerful multi-disciplinary work, to the Ted Shawn Theatre at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, from Wednesday, August 7 through Sunday, August 11, 2013. Founded by renowned choreographer Ginette Laurin in 1984, O Vertigo Danse has been a dynamic force in the dance world for over 25 years. Known for their expressive power, the company will dance to composer Steve Reich’s masterpiece Drumming, as performed live by members of the Québec Contemporary Music Society.

La Vie Qui Bat (The Beat of Life) not only offers a new way to view Steve Reich’s music, but also provides an opportunity to delve into Laurin’s most conceptual work. Created in 1999, as the result of a challenge from Walter Boudreau, artistic director of the Québec Contemporary Music Society, this was Laurin’s first project made specifically to accompany a musical composition.

With an extremely diverse movement vocabulary – abstract and minimalist at times, yet full-out and vigorous at others – the dancers bring the stage to life in a play of opposites. Laurin develops both subtle nuances and exciting partnering, echoing the dynamic musical score of Reich.

Based in Montréal, O Vertigo Danse is renowned on both the Canadian and international dance scenes, with a company of 11 dancers from all over Canada, France, and the United States. Each dancer brings a unique collection of experiences, including Cirque du Soleil’s production of Love, to the ensemble’s celebrated finesse. The company performs alongside the Québec Contemporary Music Society, a contemporary classical music organization also based in Montréal. This percussive ensemble, typically ranging from five to 45 individuals, brings 12 performers to the Pillow, including two vocalists and one flutist. Six of the musicians are also members of Ensemble Sixtrum, a collaborative group of percussionists, focused on creating multidisciplinary art.

Drumming, by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Steve Reich, is a four-part composition for four pairs of tuned bongo drums, three marimbas, three glockenspiels, two female voices, whistling, and piccolo. Reich created Drumming in 1971.

In addition to these six performances at the Pillow, Ginette Laurin and Walter Boudreau will participate in a PillowTalk, “Dancing to Steve Reich,” in Blake’s Barn on Saturday, August 10 at 4pm. Laurin will discuss her creative process for this particular work using Steve Reich’s composition, as well as her experience screening other examples throughout the course of this project.

O Vertigo Danse was founded in 1984 by Ginette Laurin, a trained modern and classical ballet dancer from Montréal, Canada. The company is dedicated to creating, performing, and developing Laurin’s repertory. With more than 50 choreographic works to her credit, Laurin’s artistic vision is unerringly realized. Laurin is the recipient of both a Jean A. Chalmers Prize and Cinedance Award, among others.

O Vertigo Danse performed in the Doris Duke Theatre in 1990 and then again in the Ted Shawn Theatre in 2000. The company exclusively performed the work of Ginette Laurin for both performances and participated in a PillowTalk in 2000.



O Vertigo Danse and the Québec Contemporary Music Society

Ted Shawn Theatre

Wednesday, August 7 through Saturday August 10 at 8pm

Saturday, August 10 and Sunday, August 11 at 2pm



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.