Encyclopedia - DOCUMENT 3 > 20:30

15/05 > 19:30

Is it because she saw her father accumulate encyclopaedias that Lynda Gaudreau, now invited for the second time to the Festival, has set about collecting choreographic knowledge, desires and affections?

Whatever the reason, Encyclopœdia, a small personal encyclopaedia of movement, mystery and magic, is now on its third chapter. Document 1 studied the question of motive. Document 2 was a study of time and space. Document 3 is an invitation to understand the release mechanisms of the body and thought. What happens just before and just after a movement is set in motion? This is a work the choreographer herself describes as "minimalist, radical, formalist, conceptual, sensual, cerebral, cold, hot, American, European, banal, artificial, sensorial, theatrical, non-theatrical, dancing and anti-dancing."

Artistic direction & choreography :

Lynda Gaudreau

Dancers :

Mark Eden-Towle, Sarah Doucet, Tanya White, Sophie Lavigne, Guy Trifiro

Choreographic material developed with the dancers:

Mark Eden-Towle, Sarah Doucet, Tanya White, Sophie Lavigne, Guy Trifiro

Integrated choreographic fragments by:

Vera Mantero (segment with the balls)

Video excerpt from a work choreographed and performed by :

Akram Khan

Monologen / Monologues:

Lynda Gaudreau, Mark Eden-Towle

Sound design and scenography team:

Alexandre St-Onge, Christof Migone, Annie Lebel (Atelier in situ), Lynda Gaudreau

Sound design developed by :

Alexandre St-Onge, Christof Migone

Scenography developed by :

Annie Lebel (Atelier in situ), Lynda Gaudreau

Lighting contribution:

Isabelle Lapointe


Carmen Alie

Video concept:

Lynda Gaudreau (Lynda Gaudreau et Vera Mantero au parc, Vera Mantero, Akram Khan)

Camera Crew:

Direction and editing:

Marlene Millar

Photo direction and camera:

Michael Weiss


Alain Tremblay

Rehearsal directors:

France Roy, France Bruyère, Isabelle Laporte

Production assistants:

Michel Antoine Castonguay, Mark Eden-Towle

Scenery workshop:

Manoeuvre Montréal


Paul Dumoulin, Monique Corbeil

Touring staff:

Isabelle Laporte, Isabelle Lapointe, Michel Antoine Castonguay, France Bruyère

Special thanks to:

Farooq Chaudry, Fu Kuen Tang

Production :

Compagnie De Brune

Coproduction :

Kunstencentrum Vooruit (Gent),

luzerntanz-centre chorégraphique am luzernertheater (Lucerne),

Théâtre de la Ville (Paris),

Festival international de nouvelle danse (Montréal),


Supported by :

le Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec,

le Conseil des Arts du Canada,

le ministère de la Culture et des communications du Québec,

le Fonds de stabilisation et de consolidation des arts et de la culture du Québec,

Délégation générale du Québec à Bruxelles,

Ambassade du Canada

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He was so fascinated by culture that he dreamt of synthesising all the knowledge his century possessed. So, without consideration or exception, he examined, arranged and collected everything into a large dictionary the foundations of which were science, the arts and the professions.

Published in 1772, Diderot and d'Alembert's Encyclopédie was arranged and edited by Denis Diderot, as well as by 150 of his peers (including Voltaire, Montesquieu, J.-J. Rousseau, Duclos, Marmontel, Condillac, Quesnay and Turgot), all 'big names' in this age of enlightenment. Now, three centuries later: "What I love about this work is that its aim was to collect knowledge and reveal its general systems to families. It's the idea of making knowledge accessible and democratising it. The information was edited by writers, and their commitment shows through on every page, in the methods they conceived for referencing and in the profusion of illustrations". Formerly a student of history and philosophy, choreographer Lynda Gaudreau wants to permeate this feeling of openness and accessibility in her choreographic work. "Although I try to retain mystery and magic, it's important to demystify this 'difficulty' that the public has with contemporary dance".

Is it because she saw her father accumulate encyclopaedias of all kinds, probably revelling in classification, knowledge, abstraction, reason and archiving, that she is such an ardent fan of libraries today? "Whenever I'm in a new place, I always take the opportunity of visiting libraries, just like other people visit churches". Is that where she got her nickname 'intellec'...? "I'm not a dance intellectual, but I really am intellectually curious." For the founder of the Compagnie De Brune, the thought is not a concept but an exercise that incarnates itself in movement. "In the studio, I don't think about what I'm going to do, I do it. And what is produced by the body is either something I've already thought about or I'm giving myself the time to think about later."

Lynda Gaudreau has done so much work in Belgium that sometimes she says it is like her second home: "It happened by chance. Louvain's Klapstuk liked my work and became my principal supporter from 1992 until 1997. I could set myself up in residence in Belgium and work in the laboratory-like atmosphere." If she has chosen not to live in a country where she sometimes spends up to 5 months a year, it is because she particularly likes the freedom and diversity she finds in the atmosphere in Montreal. But whether she is in Belgium or Canada, she really belongs somewhere else: "As soon as I set foot in a studio, wherever it is, I'm at home."

So at the end of the 1990s, Lynda Gaudreau, who was trained in classical and modern dance, began her small personal encyclopaedia of movement. Encyclopœdia is made up of a collection of movements, motives, bits of life and fragments of work by other artists fascinated with movement. "I do one Document at a time. Each one is a project with a question at its core, creating a particular dynamic, raising new questions. The work consists of integrating these in relation to the project. So if things return and assert themselves, they have a place in the production. If they don't, they'll be in another project. I don't know where all this will lead. I've given myself a trial period until Document 4. After that we'll see".

Through the collection of 'selected pieces', Lynda Gaudreau explores movement in a perspective centred on declension, listing and classification. But do not think of it as an alphabet such as would be found in real encyclopaedias. "I'm proceeding by body part or by subject. The audience isn't following an order, we're entering a volume. But in the disorder, the subjects are presented like a book you'd leaf through." If the encyclopaedia project is also an archiving project, the productions offer the only access to it at the moment. However, some of the projects are found in photograph form and video. "What I might do is archive the projects so that the public has access to them in different forms." But this is still only a possibility. At the moment her wish is that the public "feels the movement seen, and understands what is there to understand afterwards".

This choreographer has always worked on the origins of movement, breaking it down quasi-mathematically, and its repercussions within the body and well beyond: repercussions that you see, that you hear, that you feel, that you recognise. Document 1 - presented at the KunstenFESTIVALdesArts in 2000 - and Document 2 were confined respectively to the study of limbs (mainly feet, then hands). Document 1 studied the question of motive, Document 2 that of time and space. New creation Document 3 works on the notion of 'shift', the moment of passing from one movement to another. What exactly happens just before and just after the movement is set in motion? Passing from 'on' to 'off', invisible to visible, finite to infinite... "This primordial movement, the release mechanisms of the body and thought, is my point of interest in this project. However at the start of Document 3 I wanted to bring in several artists. The project has turned out in such a way that I'm going to be its principal choreographer. But you'll find choreographic material in it by other artists, a good part of it in video"

Over the years, Lynda Gaudreau met several artists with whom she has, or would like to have, exchanged work, reasoning, ways of seeing dance, art and life. "When I work on a new project, I always wonder how others would approach the questions I'm asking. It's quite difficult to involve artists who have work that already takes up all their time and energy. That's why I have to resolve to involve only a few of them in each project. But I dream of being able to do a project with lots of artists". Encounters with other artists leave a lot more than material. There is exchange and confrontation. "Vera Matero (the Portuguese choreographer) has been involved in the project, developing material with the dancers. As we speak, I don't know yet how this material will be integrated and how much I'll use of it. But what is certain is that her approach, her way of working gave us, the dancers and me, the courage to tackle the evolution of the next creation differently, and this was where there was a real encounter between us, a dialogue."

"At the moment I'm working more on the idea of a sound installation. I'm using very little music. I'm still interested in integrating music, but more and more I think that my music, if I may say so, comes from sound, from a work with sound that comes directly from the production in progress, from dancers, videos, different manipulations, texts, conversations etc. This is actually one of the aspects of my work that stimulates me the most at the moment."

On the face of it, Gaudreau's work is all about abstraction, juxtaposition of choreographic movements and phrases. "It is a work of abstraction. But this work also integrates narratives as choreographic material." And if you were to ask her about her work in the context of choreographers as a whole, Lynda Gaudreau answers: "I believe that my work is minimalist, radical, formalist, conceptual, sensual, cerebral, cold, hot, American, European, banal, artificial, sensorial, theatrical, non-theatrical, dancing, anti-dancing... all at the same time. In the end everything depends on who's looking at it." She works with a minimum of elements and is looking for a maximum impact. The result, said one critic, is that the everyday gesture and the mechanics of the body are raised to the level of a work of art.

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