June 1980    June 2015

Its been an amazing journey full of outsized memories folded over decades. The artists I met, worked with and today hold as friends.  The people we performed for and those who made our performances possible.  Memories linked one to the other regardless of time or origin. Today this wonderful adventure ends.  I’m announcing my resignation as choreographer and artistic director of LaLaLa Human Steps, a position it’s been my great privilege to hold for 35 years.  The last tour was a difficult one financially.  Though the debt was reduced substantially due to the generosity of many of our creditors, the cuts that followed and the decision not to guarantee more than the current year of subsidy has made it impossible to continue. My letter of resignation has been sent to the funders and a resolution dissolving the company has been signed by the board.  LHS is no more.  It’s time to say goodbye and to give thanks.  

I couldn’t have imagined all that was to come when on June 10, 1980 the company premiered its first creation in a small theatre in the working class district of St. Henri. From that Eskabel theatre to the The Kremlin Palace.  From The Kitchen in the SoHo of the 80’s to the Palais Garnier Place de l’Opera.  275 theatres each anchored to their time. Over the years in the dark of the stalls, I was never able to meet the audiences for which I was so privileged to perform.  Though they will always remain intimate strangers, I believe the company’s history and identity will always reside first and foremost in the living memory of these audiences.  

I am so thankful to have shared this journey over these many years with such talented artists.  The diversity each composer brought to their work and the excellence of their contributions ranging from Hindu pop, to a deconstruction of Orfeo, to a score lovingly built around Lou Reed’s lyrics, encapsulated a unique moment in the life of the company and the streets of the time. The visual artists whose work framed our stages with their twisting lace and shadowed forms : After a performance, when the décor hung alone, lit in black, I would sit and observe dance of another kind.  The film community who helped migrate my work onto new media and new lands and whose outreach enabled bodies of light to dance on the cinema screen. The designer who’s black on black designs, intricate whispered textures and couture creations framed my ballets for 23 years. The lighting designers who helped me rediscover what my fathers drawings had taught me : that shapes are more playful in shadow. The musicians who danced with us over the years, instrument in hand and whose meticulous attention to detail brought these complex scores so unerringly and passionately to life.  To all these amazing artists I give great thanks.   To the dancers what can I say.  Their dancing covered them in a mystery that only beauty at its most fragile deserves. To these dance artists who traced such a unique path through the years and who reached both into the work and out toward the seats in equal measure I offer my heartfelt gratitude.

My thanks to the following individuals and organizations that helped support the company over the years.  The three arts councils (CAC, CALQ, CAM) and their partners who accompanied us over decades as our ideas resolved, evolved and shaped themselves and without whose help none of what occurred would have been possible. The board members who partnered with us and who didn’t count the hours and didn’t count the years and gave with their means and ideas. The producers who were the gates though which the work toured and travelled, who much like the artists they presented had a love of ideas and a chivalrous desire to defend them and without whose support this company could not have functioned. The writers and reviewers who have commented on the work in the variety of media that came to be over the life of the company. Whether they agreed or disagreed, their ideas will always remain part of the story, the journey the company undertook and the memories I will keep of those years. Finally my great thanks to the administrators who lived a solitude far from the stages they helped us reach and whose courage and understanding of the art of the everyday helped the artists share their work, share their dreams and grow.  

My heartfelt thanks to Montrealers for their contributions to this company. These people and their city have been a constant source of inspiration  over the years.  l will carry memories of them into my new choreographic adventures wherever they may lead.  

To my Montreal colleagues I wish passion, inspiration and success.

DANCERS  Bernardus Bartels, Marc Béland (1983-88), Andrea Boardman (2000-09), Pim Boonprakob, Amy Brogan, Diego F. Castro. Xuan Cheng, Carole Courtois, Yvonne Cutaran, Mi Deng, Michael Dolan, Talia Evtushenko (2007-13), Rick Gavin Tjia (1993-99), Monique Girard, Claude Godin (1983-87), Louis Guillemette (1980-84), Mirko Hecktor, Mistaya Hemingway (2000-10), Keir Knight (2000-10), Liza Kovacs, Ken Larson, Sarah Lawrey, Louise Lecavalier (1982-2008), Jacqueline Lemieux, Manon Levac, Chun Hong Li, Francine Liboiron, Bernard Martin (2000-10), Miryam Moutillet(1980-1984), Sandra Mühlbauer, Marito Olsson-Forsberg, Grace Anne Powers, Fabien Prioville, Guillaume Pruneau, Lawrence Rabson, Rosa Royo, Alejandra Salamanca Lopez, Dominic Santia, Jason Shipley-Holmes (1998-2012), Stephanie Slater, William Lee Smith(2000-12), Naomi Stikeman (1997-00), Zofia Tujaka (1997-2012), Márcio Vinícius Paulino Silveira, Diana Vishneva, Donald Weikert (1987-97), Sarah Williams, Kai Zhang COMPOSERS David Bowie. Normand Pierre Bilodeau, Gavin Bryars, Yves Chamberland, Blake Hargreaves, Konrad Kinard, David Lang, Michel Lemieux, My Bloody Valentine (Kevin Shields), Einstürzende Neubauten (Blixa Bargeld, Marc Chung, F. M. Einheit) Iggy Pop, Shellac of North America (Steve Albini), Skinny Puppy, Rober Racine, David Van Tiegham, West India Company (Stephen Luscombe, Pandit Dinesh), Frank Zappa MUSICIANS Frederike Bedard, Asha Bhosle, Denis Bonenfant, Alexandre Castonguay, Anne-Marie Cassidy, Jérôme Charles, Simon Claude, Jackie Gallant, Priya Khajuria, Kong Kie Njo, Michel Lemieux, Jean-Christophe Lizotte, Stephen Luscombe, Nadine Medawar, Jean-Claude Patry, Sylvain Provost, Robert Racine, Jennifer Thiessen, Ida Toninato LIGHTING DESIGNERS Timothy Crack, Pyer Desrochers, Louis Douville, Noël Douville, Sylvie Galarneau, Robert Greene, Edouard Lock, Alain Lortie, Axel Morgenthale, John Munro, Peter Williams, Scott Windsor COSTUMES Luc Dussault, Liz Vandal SCENOGRAPHERS  Louise Campeau, Louis Douville, Luc Dussault, Charles Fisch, Guy Lalande, Danielle Lévesque, Christian Rizzo, Stéphane Roy, Armand Vaillancourt REHEARSAL DIRECTORS France Bruyère, Hua Fang Zhang, Shawn Hounsell, Reynald Rabu, Jean-Hughe Rochette PLACES AUSTRALIA Adelaide (Her Majesty’s Theatre) Brisbane (Lyric Theatre, Queensland Perf. Arts Complex) Perth (His Majesty’s Theatre) Sydney (Everest Theatre) AUSTRIA Bregenz (Festspielhaus) Innsbruck (Dogana Hall) Linz (Posthof) Salzbourg (Stadtkino, Perner-Insel, Szene Salzburg) Vienne (Wiener Secession, Volkstheater, Burgtheater, The Vienna Konzerthaus) BELGIUM Anvers (deSingel) Bruges (Stadsschouwburg Brugge, Concertgebouw Brugge) Charleroi (Palais des beaux-arts) Gand (Vlaamse Opera) Hasselt (C.C. Hasselt) Liège (Festival du Jeune Théâtre) Louvain (Klapstuck) Mons (Salle du Téâtre Royal) Turnhout (C.C. de Warande) BRAZIL Porto Alegre (Teatro do Sesi) Rio (Teatro Municipal) Sao Paulo (Teatro Municipal, Teatro Sergio Cardoso, Teatro Alfa) CANADA Amos (Théâtre des Eskers) Banff (Banff Centre Theatre) Calgary (Dancers’ Studio West, Centre for the Perf. Arts, Performing Arts Center, Jubilee Auditorium) Chicoutimi (Auditorium Dufour) Edmonton (University of Alberta, Students’ Union Theatre, Sub Theatre, Jubilee Auditorium) Halifax (Rebecca Cohn Auditorium) Kingston (The Grand Theatre) Montréal (Théâtre de l’Eskabel, Musée d’art contemporain, Théâtre Conventum, The Rialto, The Spectrum, Théâtre du Nouveau Monde, The Maisonneuve and The Wilfrid-Pelletier of la Place des Arts) Lennoxville (Centennial Theatre) Ottawa (Centre National des Arts) Québec (Institut Canadien, Grand Théâtre) Red Deer (Red Deer College) Regina (Saskatchewan Centre) St. Catherines (Brock Centre for the Arts) Sept-Îles (Théâtre de Sept-Îles) Sherbrooke (Salle Maurice O’Bready) Toronto (Harbourfront (Brigantine Room), Premiere Dance Theatre, Danforth Music Hall Theatre, St. Lawrence Center, O’Keefe Center, Hummingbird Centre) Vancouver (Simon Fraser University, East Cultural Centre, Vancouver Playhouse, Queen Elizabeth Theatre, The Center for the Performing Arts) Winnipeg (Concert Hall) CHINE Hong Kong (Academy for Performing Arts Lyric Theater) CHINA Hong Kong (Academy for Performing Arts Lyric Theater)  CZECH REPUBLIC Prague (State Opera Prague) DENMARK Copenhague (Musikteatret Albertslund) FINLAND Helsinki (City Theatre) FRANCE Angers (Théâtre municipal) Angoulème (Théâtre de Angoulème) Annecy (CAC de la Région ancienne, Bonlieu-Scène nationale) Bordeaux (Conservatoire national, Salle J. Thibaud, Théâtre National de Bordeaux) Caen (Théâtre de Caen) Cannes (Palais des Festivals) Châlon-sur Saône (Espace des Arts) Châlons-en- Champagne (Théâtre du Muselet, La Comète Scène Nationale) Clermont-Ferrand (La Comédie de Clermont Scène Nationale) Dijon (Le Duo, Auditorium de Dijon) Épinal (Parc des expositions) Frouard (Théâtre Gérard-Philippe) Tarbes (Le Parvis, Centre le Méridien) La Rochelle (La Coursive) Le Harve (Le Volcan) Lille (Salle du CAC) Lyon (Maison de la danse) Marseille (Théâtre du Merlan) Martigues (Théâtre des Salins) Metz (Théâtre de Metz) Montpellier (Opéra Berlioz, Le Corum) Mulhouse (La Filature) Narbonne (Scène Nationale de Narbonne) Nîmes (Théâtre Verdure) Ollioules (Centre de Châteauvallon) Paris (Centre Culturel Américain, Théâtre de la Bastille, Théâtre de Bobigny, Palais Garnier, Théâtre de la Ville) Rennes (Maison de la Culture) Rouen (Hangar 23, Théâtre des Arts, Opéra de Rouen/Haute Normandie) Saint-Étienne (Maison de la Culture, Grand Théâtre Massenet) Strasbourg (Le Maillon) Toulouse (Théâtre National de Toulouse) GERMANY Berlin (Hebbel Theater, Komische Oper, Haus des Berliner Festpiele, The Philharmonie) Cologne (Schauspielhaus) Dortmund (Schauspielhaus) Dresde (Schauspielhaus) Düsseldorf (Opernhaus, Tanzhaus) Francfort (Alte Oper, Schauspiel Frankfurt, Opernhaus Fürth Stadttheater) Hambourg (Kampnagel) Hanovre (Theater am Aegi, Staatstheater Hannover) Helbronn (Heilbronn Theater) Karlsruhe (Kulturzentrum Tollhaus Karlsruhe) Kassel (Staatsstheaters Kassel) Leverkusen (Forum) Ludwigsburg (Theater im Forum) Ludwigshafen (Theater im Pfalzbau) Münich (Alabama-Halle, Deutsches Theater, Prinzregententheater) Neuss (Stadthalle) Oldenburg (Oldenburgisches Staatstheater) Remscheid (Theater der Stadt) Remscheid (Teo Otto Theater) Weimar (Deutsches Nationaltheater) Wuppertal (Opernhaus) GREECE Athènes (Megaro Mousikis Athinon) Thessalonique (Macedonian Studies Theatre) HUNGARY Budapest (Palace of Arts, Festival Theater)  ISREAL Haifa (Haifa Auditorium, The Israeli Opera) Jerusalem (Herover Theatre) Tel Aviv (Cinerama, Performing Arts Center) ITALY Ancona (Festival de Polverigi) Bari (Teatro Petruzelli) Ferrara (Teatro di Communale) Gênes (Teatro Gustavo Modena) Milan (Teatro dell’Elfo, Teatro di Porta Romana) Rome (Sistina, Teatro Argentina, Teatro Olimpico) Torino (Lavanderia a vapore) Turin (Teatro Regio) JAPAN Aizu (Aizu Fuga-do Theater, Fukushima Prefecture) Chiga (Biwako Hall) Kochi (Kochi Prefecture Museum Hall) Oita (Oita Oasis 21) Otsu City (Shiga Biwako Hall) Saitama (Saitama Arts Theater) Tokyo (Orchard Hall) LITHUANIA Vilnius (Lithuanian National Opera and Ballet Theatre) LUXEMBERG Luxembourg (Grand Théâtre de la Ville) MEXICO Mexico (Sala Miguel Covarrubias, Palacio Bella Artes) NETHERLANDS Amersfoort (C. C. de Flint) Amsterdam (De MerrvarT, Stadsschouwburg, Het Muziektheater) Arnhem (Schouwburg) Dordrecht (Schouwburg Kustmin) Eindhoven (Stadsschouwburg) Enschede (Twentse Schouwburg) Gröningen (Martinihalcentrum, Stadsschouwburg) Maastricht (Theater aan het Vrijthof) La Haye (Lucent Danstheater) Leeuwarden (SSB De Harmonie) Rotterdam (Staadsschouwburg) Sittard (C.C. De Stadsschouwburg) Tilburg (Schouwburg Tilburg, Theaters Tilburg) Utrecht (Staadsschouwburg) Zoetermeer (Stadstheater) PORTUGAL Lisbonne (Centro cultural de Belém) Porto (Teatro Rivoli)  RUSSIA Moscou (Gorky Theatre,, The Kermlin Palace) Saint-Pétersbourg (Alexandrinsky Theater) SERBIA Belgrade (Sava Center) SINGAPOUR Singapour (L’Esplanade, Singapore Arts Festival)  SLOVENIA Ljubljana (Cankarjev Dom, Linhart Hall) SOUTH KOREA Séoul (LG Arts Center) SPAIN Barcelone (Théâtre Grec, Mercat de les Flors) Bilbao (Arriaga Theatre) Madrid (Teatro de Madrid, Teatro del Canal) Séville (Teatro Italica, Teatro Central) Olite (Recinto Festivales) Valence (Parco de Riveros, Comédie de Valence) SWEDEN Stockholm (Dansens Hus) Göteborg (Stadsteatern) SWITZERLAND Bâle (Teater Basel) Berne (Dampfzentrale Berne) Genève (BFM) Neuchâtel (Théâtre du Passage) Zurich (Werfthalle, Theater 11) UNITED KINGDOM Birmingham (Hippodrome) Bristol (Arnolfini Theatre) Édimbourg (Edinburgh Playhouse, Festival Theatre) Glasgow (King’s Theatre) Leicester (Phoenix Theatre) Leeds (Grand Theatre) Londres (Riverside Studios, Institute of Cont. Arts, Town & Country Club, Sadler’s Wells, Royalty Theatre) Manchester (Royal North Coll. of Music, Manchester Festival) Northampton (Derngate) Salford Lowry (The Lowry) UNITED STATES Boston (Boston Shakespeare Theatre, Dance Umbrella) Chicago (The Chicago Music and Dance Theatre) Iowa City (Hancher Auditorium) Irvine (Irvine Barclay Theatre) Los Angeles (Royce Hall, Wiltern Theatre) Missoula (University of Montana) New-York (The Kitchen, The Performing Garage, Dance Theatre Workshop Bessie Schönberg Theater, Brooklyn Academy of Music) Philadelphia (Kimmel Center) Pittsburgh (Benedum Center) Pullman (Washington State Univesity) San Francisco (New Performance Gallery, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts) Santa Barbara (Granada Theater) Seattle (Washington Hall, Moore Theatre)