Citadel LIVE presents Nova Dance
Nova Bhattacharya and José Navas
Barbara Willis Sweete
March 26, 2021 at 7pm ET
Limited time replay available until March 27 at 11:59pm
Presented by Citadel + Compagnie in collaboration with Harbourfront Centre
Choreographer and Performer: Nova Bhattacharya
Sound Design: Ed Hanley
Lighting Design: Simon Rossiter
Additional Sound Credits: Ed Hanley (tabla, loops), Justin Gray (bass veena, electric guitar), Ben Grossman (hurdy-gurdy). Mixed and mastered by Justin Gray. Produced by Ed Hanley.
Elemental, choreographed by Nova Bhattacharya, celebrates the act of dance through an offering of movement and emotion. Using the most basic and primary elements of the performer’s technical training and creative influences, it exposes the architecture of the body in relation to music, invokes the imagination and stimulates the senses. This work was first performed in 2019.
Choreographer: José Navas
Performer: Nova Bhattacharya
Music: Alexander MacSween
Lighting Design: Marc Parent
Costume Design: Liz Vandal
Calm Abiding combines the choreographic craft of Venezuelan-born, Montrealer, José Navas with the dance language of Toronto’s Bengali-Canadian, Bharatnatyam artist, Nova Bhattacharya. It is a virtuosic solo, motivated by the belief that the simplicity of movement is more powerful than words. This work was first performed in 2006, and was nominated for a Dora Mavor Moore Award for Outstanding Performance. Nova Dance is grateful for production partners, National Arts Centre, and Compagnie Flak.
I’ve been dancing Calm Abiding for 15 years now, and each time I come back to it is like taking that favourite dress out of the closet, the one that you found at a consignment store and had to save up to buy, the one that always feels great on your body, and makes you feel like the best version of yourself, reminding you of the parties you went to, the people you laughed with, the dreams that came true. The dance lives inside me at all times, and the work of bringing it out from mind, muscles and tissues into a tangible expression has been a comfort and a solace as we continue to navigate the pandemic.
Elemental has been undergoing an exciting transformation as Laurence Lemieux and I have been conceptualizing the livestream. It is a newer piece that was only performed a few times and now it is inching closer to an even more honest revelation of the basic and primary elements of my practice and creative inspirations.
Performer & Choreographer
Performer & Choreographer | Elemental & Calm Abiding
Nova Bhattacharya is a groundbreaking and award-winning dancer, choreographer and cultural leader based in Toronto, Canada. She is the founder and artistic director of Nova Dance, established in 2008. Her creations breathe rich life into the world of Canadian dance, rich with vivid images that invite the viewer on a journey of heart and mind. Her creative inspiration is found in her Bengali culture, Bharatnatyam practice, visual arts, literature, film, rock ‘n’ roll, rituals, nature and the unending cycles of life and death.
Her critically acclaimed works have toured Canada, Germany, India, Japan, the United Kingdom and Uganda. Her choreography has been commissioned by several dance and theatre companies and she is the recipient of multiple awards and nominations for artistic achievement and contributions to community, including the 2012 Victor Martyn Lynch-Staunton Award for Outstanding Artistic Achievement. Nova believes that dance expresses the essence of our humanity and has tremendous transformative power to bring us together.
Choreographer | Calm Abiding
A native of Caracas, Venezuela, José Navas moved to New York before settling in Montreal, where he created his first choreography in 1991. Four years later he founded Compagnie Flak. José Navas dances with intensity in solo shows charged with emotion, he constructs abstract and captivating group pieces, and he creates pieces of contemporary ballet with classicism and sensitivity. As guest choreographer for prestigious ballet companies, he created an iconoclastic version of Giselle (2013) for Ballet BC, Watershed (2013) for the National Ballet of Canada, and Dénouement/Auflösung (2015) for the German company tanzmainz. His work has been presented in 30 countries in the Americas, Europe and Asia.
Sound Design | Elemental
Ed Hanley is a multi-dimensional artist – creator, performer, producer, photographer, cinematographer, recording engineer, video editor, educator, writer, and tabla player. He has been collaborating with dancer and choreographer Nova Bhattacharya since 2000 and they have created several notable works including Maskura (2000); Related Fragments Remix (2009); Isolated Incidents (2010); Infinite Storms (2016); Elemental (2019) and films Ritual Traces (2018) and Invocations (2020).
Ed’s multimedia work embraces music, video and photography. Although best known as a practitioner of tabla, Ed’s recent work in the visual world (including over 100 music videos) expresses the same joy, dynamism, love of collaboration, and attention to detail as his years as a touring and recording musician.
Ed has studied tabla for over 30 years with masters including Pandit Swapan Chaudhuri, Pandit Anindo Chatterjee and Taalyogi Suresh Talwalkar in Canada, the USA and on 10 journeys to India. He has also studied Carnatic drumming traditions with Sri Karaikudi Mani and Dr. Trichy Sankaran in Chennai and Toronto.
As co-artistic director of the Canadian world music ensemble Autorickshaw, Ed has been nominated for two Juno Award and the Grand Prize in the World Music category of the John Lennon Songwriting Competition.
Music | Calm Abiding
Musician, composer and sound artist, Alexander MacSween has collaborated on many dance, theatre and film projects. He has worked with Marie Brassard (Québec), André Gingras (The Netherlands), Brigitte Haentjens / Sybillnes (Québec), Interlude T/O (France), Robert Lepage (Québec), Montréal Danse (Québec), José Navas / Compagnie Flak (Québec), and T.r.a.n.s.i.t.s.c.a.p.e (Belgique). As a drummer, Alexander is active in the worlds of rock, improvisation and electronic music. He has played with Paolo Angeli, Tim Berne, Michel F Côté, Bionic, Frank Gratkowski, The Nils, and Sam Shalabi. He is a member of Martin Tétreault’s Quatuor de tourne-disques and of the group Foodsoon, with Bernard Falaise and Fabrizio Gilardino. Alexander has also created solo pieces and sound installations. His work has been presented in several festivals, including CitySonics (Belgium), Sonorama (France) and Mutek (Québec). He also gives workshops on real-time sound processing for the performing arts presented by the CECN (Belgium) at various European centres, including Le Fresnoy (France), ArtZoyd (France) et TechnoCité (Belgium).
Sound Design | Calm Abiding
Marc Parent has worked as a lighting designer for over 30 years, creating designs for many choreographers in Montreal’s contemporary dance scene, as well as theatre and opera. For Nova Dance he has lit Calm Abiding (2006), Rufty Tufty (2008), Out of Bounds (2006), Isolated Incidents (2010), Akshongay (2013) (Dora Nomination), Infinite Storms (2016) (Dora Nomination). Since 1990 Marc has lit much of Peggy Baker’s solo work and all of her ensemble dances. Many of Marc’s designs have been seen over the years in Toronto including Villanelle + S for José Navas/Compagnie Flak, and Te souvient–‐il? by Louise Bédard/Sylvain Émard. He is currently resident lighting designer for Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal. Marc is the recipient of two Dora Mavor Moore Awards for Outstanding Lighting Designs for Peggy Baker Dance Projects’ Stereophonic in 2013 and Phase Space in 2016.
Lighting Design | Elemental
Simon Rossiter is a lighting designer who occasionally designs scenery. He has created more than 250 original designs, including works with Ballett am Rhein; Citadel + Compagnie; the National Ballet of Canada; Soulpepper Theatre Company; Théâtre français de Toronto; Toronto Dance Theatre; and he is the lighting director of Fall for Dance North. The recipient of three Dora Mavor Moore awards and nine nominations for Outstanding Lighting Design, Simon also sits on the Board of Directors of the Associated Designers of Canada.