September 12, 2015
Louise Lecavalier, the Canadian dancer known for her fearless abandon working with Edouard Lock’s LA LA LA HUMAN STEPS for 18 years, is just as inspiring, perhaps even more liberating as a soloist. Back to New York some 35 years since she lived here for a year, Lecavalier has the same unbridled energy, shorter hair however, sad to miss those wild white locks.
Dancing alone, until Frederic Tavernini joins her for the last third of the show, Lecavalier offers a multitude of images. Her dance is not pretty, calculated, or analyzed; rather, she finds a groove and explores its possibilities - very fast. Her tiny, flawless body vibrates, discovering and searching inside the insightful lighting by Alain Lortiel.
Charging on techno and world music assembled by Mercan Dede and then breathing in silence, Lecavalier seemed initially to spoof the intense, multi-tasking woman whose yoga routine is constantly interrupted by uncontrollable urges. As she said in the talk-back with Mark Russell at New York Live Arts, in the first show of the 2015-2016 season, "I dance by improvising, playing on intuition, picking up on challenges and games we play."
Midway, in this dense, fierce event, she looks up to the ceiling lights, shadows of her hands fall, seemingly ominously, but then ultimately innocently, on her throat. As her legs dangle with her body in a head stand, we are privy to an extended belly dance, a meditation on the beauty of breathing and musculature. Tavernini’s arrival acts as a kind of balm, a slow-acting sedative on Lecavalier.
After a frantic encounter that resembled a mosquito trying to get to a light glimmering behind a window, she lies on his back, actually resting. After a short reprieve, Tavernini, who seems like a tolerant, passive bear next to Lecavalier, arches, pushing back to his knees. Lecavalier’s body tautens, maintaining a straight line as though she were flying - for a long time.
Rarely has a performance left me hungry to see it again. Lecavalier is galvanizing. Her intensity is infectious and a reminder to ride the tsunami of our mind and spirit. Don’t hold back! Grasp and savor the myriad potential in any one moment, but never at the sacrifice of the next flash of inspiration.
EYE ON THE ARTS, NY -- Deirdre Towers