On the cusp of adolescence, dancer Nancy Leduc discovered the world of the Harlequin Romance. Encouraged by her mother, who supplied her with the most heart-rending love stories, Nancy Leduc spent several summers by the water reading and dreaming of people with sardonic expressions, feline gaits, and bodies sculpted out of mahogany. The cult object of a bygone era, the Harlequin Romance has defied all attempts to intellectualize it. Part guilty pleasure, part popular myth, the Harlequin Romance, the world’s leading modern romance novel, while oft-descried and dubbed degrading, has enjoyed remarkable popularity, with 250 million copies sold in 24 different languages; therein lies the paradox to explore. By turns, Nancy Leduc invited three filmmakers and a woman of the theatre to create a short choreographic work inspired by a book from the Harlequin collection. Here, risk is front and center, together with narrative based on gesture and voice. This confrontation with grand sentiments gives rise to a show about love, passion and perdition.
Artistic direction and original idea NANCY LEDUC
Choregraphers EVELYNE DE LA CHENELIÈRE (women of the theatre), MARIO CALVÉ (filmmaker), ALAIN DESROCHERS (filmmaker) and MICHEL LAM (filmmaker).
Performers GUILLAUME CHOUINARD, DANY DESJARDINS, ANNIK HAMEL, BENOÎT LEDUC, NANCY LEDUC, MATHILDE MONNARD and DAVID PRESSAULT
Artistic assistant and Rehearsal director SOPHIE MICHAUD Musical director and sound designer MICHEL F CÔTÉ
Costume CAMILLE THIBAULT-BÉDARD Lighting LUCIE BAZZO Harlequin Romance Specialist MARYSE LOCAT
Entre cinéma et danse, entre rires et larmes, entre folie et lucidité, entre angoisse et bouffonnerie (...) Nancy Leduc communique le vertige de son personnage avec finesse, tendresse et autodérision, beaucoup d’émotion et d’allégresse.
Aline Apostolska, for Seule sur un pouf, La Presse, 2005
A Danse-Cité production in codiffusion with the Théâtre de Quat’Sous and in collaboration with Les Productions Rackamlarouge. This project was supported by the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec, the Canada Council for the Arts and Danse-Cité.
Creative residencies: Théâtre de Quat’Sous