The metamorphoses of Lucy Gregory

Les métamorphoses de Lucie Grégoire

Photo: Angelo Barsetti
Beyond the sensory relationship of the body to the nature, the designer also grows a anthropological curiosity.

“In the places of desert, it feels both very small and huge in the universe. The silence, the light, the space and the emptiness that one finds fill me enormously, ” says Lucy Gregory, the choreographer places the journey and the disorientation at the heart of its practice. For more than 40 years, it is this feeling of make body with territories in the extreme, this grounding in a natureà the raw state, that it seeks to incorporate in his works.

Among the destinations that have strongly influenced and inspired during his early years of creation, Lucie Gregoire appoints the mountains Torgat (Labrador), Ellesmere island (Nunavut) and the deserts of Arctic ice. Later, later still, she went to tread the sands of the Sahara and explore portions of the amazon rainforest. She is fascinated by the stretches of desert, it only missed him more than to stake the volcanic lands of Iceland. A journey made in 2016, will give birth to a project in situ with dancers of the community of Reykjavik.

While dismissing the idea of a work of synthesis, the designer of montreal revisits in his new play Territories of the short forms, marked by a decade of collaboration with the great master of butoh Yoshito Ohno. “I wanted to dive back into this choreography, which already existed, but completely shatter the dynamic of the pieces, in getting them out of their contexts and combining them to propose a new reading. “A work of deconstruction and restructuring carried out among the performers, Isabelle Poirier, James Viveiros and Kim Henry.

Spiritual Dimension

The return of these multiple trips, the choreographer has always been drawn from material in the impressions left by her anchor physical in the great outdoors. It is for her to translate these sensations by touching the ” inland areas “. In his approach to movement, the notion of metamorphosis — the fundamental principles to the butoh dance — is crucial. “With each dance, it was me, Lucia, who was dancing. It was this metamorphosis that is worked in me, connected with the elements. This is not a character in the sense of the theatrical, it is a transformation of the being. “In this approach in that it transmits to the dancers, they need to get rid of their habits of movement and to ensure that what is expressed comes from the genuine body.

Beyond the sensory relationship of the body to the nature, the designer also grows a anthropological curiosity. The observation of the practices of shamans and their altered states of consciousness, the daily rituals of indigenous cultures and the nomads, but also the dances, the inspiration without which it seeks to appropriate the gestures. “These are people in deep connection with the territory. They carry it inside them, ” says the one who has stayed among the Achuas in the Amazon and the indigenous nomadic peoples of the Sahara, adding that we would have a lot to draw out of the wisdom and knowledge of these people regarding the treatment of our environment.

“When it’s time to dance, they are completely in their dances, both in physicality and in spirituality. It seems that, in order to move, they are guided by the elements [natural]. In the city, this is the dance that brings me back really to this nature. The look and feel of the source of the movement, it brings me back to the essence of the dance. “

Return to the source

Recalling her first solo — which we find a fragment remixed in the Territories —, Lucy Gregory also speaks of the influences of Elizabeth Albahaca, actress from the theatre of Grotowski, on his dancing. “In the method of Grotowski, it is necessary that you might come back really to your roots. There is not a gesture that is done without intention, or free of charge. It is a bit the same principle as that found in butoh. It is necessary to return to sessources interior, ” explains the designer, who sees how this return to the sources and the research of vibration with the elements of nature through different cultures in the world from one continent to the other. Ideas in which it finds echoes in a series of papers that accompanies its process, including The metamorphoses of Ovid and The tour of the prison by Marguerite Yourcenar.


A choreography by Lucie Gregoire with Lucie Gregoire, Kim Henry, Isabelle Poirier and James Viveiros. Presented by Agora de la danse of the 7 to 10 November in the building Wilder – Espace danse.

Share Button