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This weekend, one of Canada’s foremost dance troupes - Citadel+Compagnie – bring three works by James Kudelka to Halifax. Recently we spoke with artistic director Laurence Lemieux about what audiences can expect.

When and why did you first become interested in dance?
When I was about 15 years old, I was a gymnast. My coach suggested that I should start dancing so I did…just like that!

Are they the same reasons that you continue to be involved today?
No, I continue to be involved today because I find that it is an art form with endless possibilities of human expression

What are the challenges of the vocation?
The body breaks down very fast, and a lot of dancers suffer from chronic pain as they grow older. It is also a very regimented life, so one must be very committed to the idea of not having a regular lifestyle. 

What are the rewards?
The reward is the ability to accomplish artistic expression and give it to the audience just with one’s body and hard work.

Is your creative process more 'inspirational' or 'perspirational'?
I think it is both. By ‘perspirational’ you must mean sweating? If this is the case, I would say my creative process is both of these things together; one needs inspiration to create, but a lot of hard work is required to complete a work of art

What inspired the mixed Kudelka program?
Randy Glynn the presenter asked us to bring an evening of James Kudelka’s work….so we did! These pieces of choreography were created a while ago and the movement has not changed. The only change has been the occasional change of dancers 

What can audiences here in Atlantic Canada expect to experience?
A wonderful show with great dancers, evocative music and a very human and evocative approach to movement 

What are your thoughts on the current state of dance in Canada?
I think dance in Canada is very healthy and doing well, the only thing holding it back is more funding and more awareness from the public. Performing arts is alive and well, although must people prefer to control what they see by social media and home television. But to go see a performance is exciting and makes you feel much more alive and connected to other human being, something a screen cannot do in the same way.

How can that be improved?
More awareness, more funding, more support more arts education, etc…

What's next on your creative agenda?
On December 16th we are presenting our annual Christmas Cabaret at the Theatre we own at The Citadel. It is a fun filled evening with a annual lip synching competition.

Mixed Program of James Kudelka Dances 
December 7 – 9, 2017, 8 PM
Sir James Dunn Theatre, Halifax

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