White Bird Uncaged Presents Return of Montreal's Compagnie Marie Chouinard with Thrilling "Rite of Spring"




Who: Compagnie Marie Chouinard, The Rite of Spring and Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun
Presented by: White Bird Uncaged
When: Thursday, January 31 – Saturday, February 2, 8:00 pm
Where: Lincoln Hall, Portland State University
Sponsor: Willamette Week
Tickets: $30 Adult, $20 Student & Seniors. Available at www.whitebird.org or PSU Box Office 503-725-3307 (ZERO ticket fees). 
Also available at 1-800-380-3516 (additional fees will apply). 
Visit www.whitebird.org for the latest information.


“Vigorous, wild body movements, tinged with an exceptionally eloquent primitivism,
something strong and earthly that shakes your very soul.”
(Le Nouvel Observateur, Paris)


White Bird Uncaged is proud to present the eagerly awaited return of Montreal’s COMPAGNIE MARIE CHOUINARD,  January 31 – February 2 at Portland State University’s Lincoln Hall with a program featuring Chouinard’s acclaimed treatment of two iconic works – The Rite of Spring, set to Igor Stravinsky’s landmark score Le Sacre du Printemps now celebrating its centennial year, and Prelude to an Afternoon of a Faun, set to Claude Debussy’s Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune.  The company last appeared with White Bird in October 2005 with the US premiere of bODY_rEMIX/ gOLDBERG_vARIATIONS, co-commissioned by White Bird.  Marie Chouinard explores the poetics of the body in immediate and provocative ways with dance that critics hail as both “savage and infinitely refined.” (The Village Voice).  Her choreography is “powerful . . . honoring the impetuousness of the music and exulting in a frenzy of life-affirming and arrestingly original dance. ” (Scotland on Sunday)'


Marie Chouinard’s unique approach to her Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun (1994) draws on the spirit of Vaslav Nijinski’s creation and Adolphe Meyer’s photographs of Nijinski’s performance rather than on the choreographic notations of the time.  Marie Chouinard was the third woman soloist to take on the role of the Faun, after Bronislava Nijinski (Nijinski’s sister) and Madame Akarova.  With syncopated gestures, animalistic energy, and sound environment, her choreography brings to life a Faun that is fiercely rooted in its time. In Portland the solo will be danced by Carol Prieur on Thursday, January 31 and Saturday, February 2 and by Dorotea Saykaly on Friday, February 1.


In its re-examination of Stravinsky’s powerful hymn to life, The Rite of Spring (1993) became Chouinard’s first choreography based on a musical score.  Unlike previous choreographers working with Stravinsky's piece, Chouinard constructs her Rite around solos for her 9-member company, seeking to awaken in strong, clear movements the intimate mystery of each dancer.  "There is no story in my Rite", she explains, "no development, no cause and effect.  Only synchronicity.  It is as if I were dealing with the very moment after the instant life first appeared. The performance is the unfolding of that moment. I have the feeling that before that moment there was an extraordinary burst of light, a flash of lightning."


In 1978, Marie Chouinard presented her first dance work, Cristallisation, establishing her reputation as a highly original artist driven by the need for authentic communication. This first piece was followed by thirty unforgettable solos including Marie Chien Noir (1982), S.T.A.B (Space, Time and Beyond) (1986), and Afternoon of a Faun, landmarks in contemporary dance of the past 30 years. In 1990, the soloist-choreographer founded her own company. Since then, COMPAGNIE MARIE CHOUINARD has performed over 1000 times on all the great stages of the world and participated in the most prestigious international festivals. Her company works include 24 Preludes by Chopin (1999) and Le Cri du Monde (2000), both presented by  White Bird in 2002,  bODY_rEMIX/ gOLDBERG_vARIATIONS  2005), THE GOLDEN MEAN (LIVE) (2010), and Henri Michaux: Mouvements (2011). Chouinard’s works are performed by dancers of exceptional talent, such as Carol Prieur, named Dancer of the Year, 2010, by Tanz magazine, and Lucie Mongrain, the fabulous solo performer of Etude No. 1 (2001). 


Marie Chouinard has received numerous awards for her contribution to the world of dance and the arts. These include a Bessie Award (2000), the Grand Prix du Conseil des arts de Montréal and the distinction of Officer of the Order of Canada in 2007. In 2009 the French government awarded her the title of Chevalier des arts et des lettres. In 2012, The Conseil des Arts et des lettres du Quebec awarded the first CALQ award for best choreographic work of 2011-2012 to Marie Chouinard for THE GOLDEN MEAN (LIVE). In addition to choreography, Chouinard often designs the scenography and lighting for her pieces and photographs them. Her multimedia and visual creations include Cantique No. 3, an interactive installation with Louis Dufort, Icônes, a video installation with Luc Courchesne, as well as a film (bODY_rEMIX/ gOLDBERG_vARIATIONS, based on the dance work of the same name).


COMPAGNIE MARIE CHOUINARD has co-produced its creations with top names in the arts world, including the Venice Biennale, the ImPulsTanz-Vienna International Dance Festival, the Théâtre de la Ville in Paris, the Gulbenkian Foundation in Lisbon, the Fondazione Musica Per Roma in Rome, the Festival TransAmériques at Place des Arts in Montreal, and the National Arts Centre in Ottawa.  Since 2007, the company has occupied its own work space, Espace Marie Chouinard, Montreal.


White Bird Uncaged 2012-13 is made possible through the support of The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. White Bird’s 15th season (2012-2013) is also supported by the Regional Arts & Culture Council and Work for Art, The James F. and Marion L. Miller Foundation,  M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust, PGE Foundation, The Jaffe Foundation, Oregon Arts Commission, Oregon Cultural Trust, Starseed Foundation, Trust Management Services, and Harold & Arlene Schnitzer CARE Foundation.