Two years ago BJM Danse (les Ballets Jazz de Montréal) thrilled Halifax with a virtuosic performance that brought the audience to its feet. This year’s program features two works of exceptional quality that will surely set soles on fire. Recently, AE spoke with Paul Caskey of Live Art Dance Productions about BJM’s November 2 appearance at the Rebecca Cohn Auditorium in Halifax.
AE: This the second time that you have presented les Ballets Jazz de Montréal (BJM) correct?
PC: Yes, this is the second time we'll present BJM Danse, but actually the third time they'll perform in Halifax since 2004.
AE: And this show is quite different from their previous appearance is it not?
PC: BJM Danse is a repertoire company, meaning they hire different choreographers to create new works on their dancers. What's exciting about this is that each new show carries the individual aesthetic of the artist making the work. BJM's Artistic Director, Louis Robitaille, has a keen eye for choosing rising stars: Crystal Pite in 2004, Aszure Barton in 2008, and now Cayetano Soto... Pite is now one of the world's mot sought after choreographers and Barton is making serious waves in New York.
AE: What can audiences expect to experience at this performance?
PC: This coming show will feature two works: Fuel, a world premiere by Cayetano, will share the stage with Rossini Cards by Mauro Bigonzetti. Both are full company works though each has a very unique style. Bigonzetti's work offers a wonderful theatricality that is the perfect partner to Gioacchino Rossini's sumptuous music. Soto's work is muscular, dynamic, and intricately physical. Together they create a full-evening program that will dazzle!
AE: Why is this an important cultural event for the city?
PC: The performing arts landscape has been slowly changing and is now at a point where big dance companies like BJM Danse can only tour with the help of presenting partners like Live Art Dance. Halifax audiences are hungry for shows like this and Live Art is committed to delivering them.
AE: You have a number of other events coming up this month and in December also correct?
PC: This show kicks off a bit of a marathon for dance in Halifax: after BJM on Nov 2 Live Art Dance will present Coleman Lemieux & Company, who's 10 dancers will perform 3 works by master choreographer, James Kudelka (Nov 18, also at the Cohn), followed by the Atlantic premiere of O Vertigo, one of Canada's most acclaimed contemporary dance companies, Dec 1-3 in the Sir James Dunn Theatre.