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Photographer Credit: Jeremy Mimnagh

Les Paradis Perdus / Remix

Live on May 12, 2020 | 2PM EDT

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Les Paradis Perdus / Remix was shown from May 12 – 19, 2020 and is no longer available for viewing. To learn more about Citadel + Compagnie and Laurence Lemieux please visit our website or follow us on social media (links at top of page). Donations towards all artists presented through Citadel Online remain open and can be made via the links found at the bottom of this page. 

 Artist Statement:

This week Les Paradis Perdus / Remix was set to be performed at the Citadel by my two children Jimmy & Juliette Coleman. In all honesty, this was the performance I was looking forward to the most this season. Jimmy has been dancing at the National Ballet of Canada since 2015, and Juliette just completed her second year of training at The School of Toronto Dance Theatre. It is not so much that they are both exceptional dancers, but it is mostly that I was so looking forward to seeing them both onstage together, as brother and sister. In our last rehearsal in March, I saw what would have been a breathtaking performance. The pandemic did put a hold on this particular version of the work, but I felt it was very important to still share Les Paradis Perdus / Remix via Citadel Online. The footage is from 2015, with the extraordinary performances of Erin Poole, Luke Garwood and Christopher Butterfield. It was captured by Jeremy Mimnagh, who artfully filmed the work, capturing the essence of the beautiful intimacy the Citadel has to offer. I hope you enjoy it.

– Laurence Lemieux

Artist Statement:

This week Les Paradis Perdus / Remix was set to be performed at the Citadel by my two children Jimmy & Juliette Coleman. In all honesty, this was the performance I was looking forward to the most this season. Jimmy has been dancing at the National Ballet of Canada since 2015, and Juliette just completed her second year of training at The School of Toronto Dance Theatre. It is not so much that they are both exceptional dancers, but it is mostly that I was so looking forward to seeing them both onstage together, as brother and sister. In our last rehearsal in March, I saw what would have been a breathtaking performance. The pandemic did put a hold on this particular version of the work, but I felt it was very important to still share Les Paradis Perdus / Remix via Citadel Online. The footage is from 2015, with the extraordinary performances of Erin Poole, Luke Garwood and Christopher Butterfield. It was captured by Jeremy Mimnagh, who artfully filmed the work, capturing the essence of the beautiful intimacy the Citadel has to offer. I hope you enjoy it.

– Laurence Lemieux

Photos by: Jeremy Mimnagh

Photos of: Erin Poole, Luke Garwood, Juliette and Jimmy Coleman

 

Title: Les Paradis Perdus / Remix

Presented by Citadel + Compagnie

Original dates of Performance: October 14 – 17, 2015 

Choreography: Laurence Lemieux 

Performers: Christopher Butterfield, Luke Garwood, Erin Poole 

Original Composition: Christopher Butterfield 

Lighting Design: Simon Rossiter 

Costume Design: Jane Townsend 

Barkeep: Andrew McCormack

Description:

Choreographer’s Statement 

Les Paradis Perdus is a work inspired by my early childhood memories. Originally created in 2005 for Bill Coleman and myself, and supported by Christopher Butterfield’s original music score, I decided to revisit the piece and recreate it for Erin Poole and Luke Garwood. LPP/Remix speaks to the past and comments on childhood; a place where time is often suspended. The choreographic structure is supported by about 160 of my memories, and 13 of Bill Coleman’s. Growing up in Quebec City in the 60’s these memories reference a very specific place and culture, and the same could be said about Bill’s, growing up in Scotland. But in revisiting the work, I now realize that these memories are the manifestation of a more common language that speaks about childhood in universal terms, and with the presence of Erin and Luke, LPP/Remix opens up a sweeping perspective on the past. 

I would like to thank Christopher for his incredible energy and commitment to this work, as well as to Erin and Luke for their infinite understanding of all that is unspoken.  

Lastly, I would like to dedicate this work to my brothers Thomas & Georges, and sisters Geneviève, Christiane, and Simone, for whom I hold the fondest affection. 

 

Composer’s Statement 

I base most of my work on pre-compositional processes determines in advance. Usually they will be limited mechanisms that require careful handling to ensure the end musical result has some life. Creating music for dance in this way is difficult, as I have to integrate my own desires for structure with the choreographer’s very particular ideas. But the results, if the process is handled right, can be wonderful. 

When Laurence Lemieux approached me about collaborating on Les Paradis Perdus, she mentioned that she’d been writing down memories of her childhood years. 

I asked her to come up with as many as she could (ultimately there were about 160), as I wanted to use them as the raw material for the piece. The dance consists of eight episodes, each of which features a different accompaniment. The active idea was to create a sound poetry out of Ms. Lemieux’s memories by rigorously removing syllables in sequence from the French text, and then speaking/singing the result. Gradually the missing syllables are replaced (although not completely), so that an appearance of sense gradually shows itself- but never completely. Most of these cut-up texts are read or chanted, but one is sung to a faux-jazz accompaniment. Bill Coleman also contributed some memories of this own early life, these terse phrases are spoken in English and act as an absurd compliment to the fractures French of the piece. Although comprehensible as words, they are enigmatic in the extreme.  

Ms. Lemieux had also found some videos of 60’s Québec children’s television shows, which she played me – this music was obviously highly evocative to her, and so I incorporated various themes verbatim: they act as markers for each new section (La Souris Verte is a masterpiece of the genre, in any language). 

Finally, the sound of an urban soundscape, recorded by me in Victoria’s Chinatown over 24 hours and condensed down to 56 minutes, acts as ambience for the other elements in the sound design – only once in the running time of the piece is there complete silence.  

For this performance, I’ve translated some of Laurence’s memories to English. 

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