Louise Lecavalier is So Blue

Louise Lecavalier is a powerhouse. In So Blue, her pulsing, persistent choreography was mesmerizing from the moment she began to move. As she shuffled nimbly across the stage, she was totally entranced in her movements, like a runaway train gaining momentum.

Lecavalier is the rare performer who dances with their entire body. Even her hair was dancing, an asymmetrical swath bouncing and swaying in sync with her. Her body was an intricate tool of precision, and she completely embodied the music as it flowed through her to emerge once again translated into movements that seemed to perfectly interpret every sound.

Her athletic, fast-paced dance was accompanied by the percussive, driving beats of Mercan Dede. The runaway train came to a halt after a lengthy opening sequence, as Lecavalier stopped to slowly bring herself into a handstand. The strength and control that she displayed was astounding, and she stayed in a handstand for quite some time, her legs dancing above her.

The tone became a bit heavier in the following sequences, as Lecavalier worked on the floor and Frédéric Tavernini joined her on stage. The two of them performed some very impressive partner work, with detailed intertwining of their bodies. They became completely connected through the choreography and music, moving as one being.

Throughout this work, Lecavalier seems to be on a mission, running to or from something, perhaps herself. As she expressed herself fully, all possible emotions flowing from her and filling the stage with her presence, watching her was an immersive experience.

The entire piece had an incredibly smooth, effortless quality to it, and at 56, Lecavalier’s experience and maturity showed. The stage was bathed in dim rectangles of light, turning to blue at the end, and this simple staging kept the focus on her movements.

Lecavalier is a fierce performer who commands the stage and gives it her all. She was utterly compelling, and the audience agreed — they gave her a unanimous standing ovation.

So Blue was performed January 21 and 22 at SFU Woodward’s as part of the PuSh International Performing Arts Festival. For more information, visit pushfestival.ca.

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