When Le Carré des Lombes founder Danièle Desnoyers saw Manon De Pauw's work, the Montreal choreographer knew she wanted to collaborate with the visual artist, who is well-known for her fluid live drawing performances, video installations and photography.
De Pauw was interested, and told Desnoyers that earlier in her career she had thought about becoming a set designer. "My observation was right," says Desnoyers, who actually wanted something more than a static backdrop from the artist: She was really looking for an interdisciplinary collaboration.
Là où je vis kicks off Live Art Dance's 28th season, running from September 30 to October 2, 8pm at the Sir James Dunn Theatre ($17-$25, 494-3820). It's a contemporary piece for five dancers who respond, in real-time, to De Pauw's drawings and images, which are projected behind them. "Sometimes their movements are related, sometimes it's part of the dance, but sometimes it's by itself," Desnoyers explains. De Pauw is also on stage, in a space that's constructed almost like a DJ booth, using really simple objects, such as papers and elastics, to create dramatic effects like large swirling circles.
"It's exciting for the audience to see the development of the environment and every change on stage," says Desnoyers. "It's lively and unpredictable."
Music is also prominent in Là où je vis. Sound designer Nancy Tobin incorporates "traditional processes with non-traditional instruments," according to Desnoyers, with noise moving from delicate to massive, from tinny to soft. "She uses noise as a material, but with a sense of beauty and emotion."
Contemporary dance, as Desoyners explains, is an "abstract language" without structured borders, which is why it's so open to these sorts of cross-media partnerships. And although this piece does ask "what is it to dance, what is it to compose, what is the artist's process," ultimately, Desoyners "always starts with dance."