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Nuit 1988

Choreographer(s) : Perreault, Jean-Pierre (Canada)

Present in collection(s):

Video producer : Fondation Jean-Pierre Perreault

en fr

Nuit 1988

Choreographer(s) : Perreault, Jean-Pierre (Canada)

Present in collection(s):

Video producer : Fondation Jean-Pierre Perreault

en fr


Drawing had always been among Jean-Pierre Perreault’s creative pursuits but he began practicing it more systematically in the 1980s. His pictorial explorations helped him design “places for dancing” 1 that were really spaces for reflection where he could defy the laws of gravity and accentuate problems in the plastic arts.
Perreault worked with visual artist Richard Purdy to design his first set for Nuit. Its movable walls allowed for vanishing perspective, a theme that would frequently resurface in Perreault’s work.
Nuit (1986) is a piece in which four women and four men, grappling with the hurly-burly of everyday life, interact in a “story without a plot,” 2 a foreshadowing of Perreault’s later works. During this harsh night, the characters push themselves to their limits, different types of interaction take shape and areas of tension emerge among the various materials, masses, volumes and configurations. Dance becomes a “sculptural material endowed with mobility.” 3 This demanding, fiery piece, performed in half-light, expresses a troubling, subterranean vulnerability, rooted in the unflinching integrity that its author succeeded in transmitting to the dancers. Extending some of the strategies Perreault used in Joe, the dancers become percussion instruments, beating the ground in intoxication and finally exhaustion. The performers had backgrounds in both dance and theatre. The mix helped transform the production into a drama that left an indelible impact on the audience. One of the dancers, Louise Bédard, appears to have been a source of inspiration for Perreault and was again given a pivotal role.
The deep blue used by Jean Gervais in the lighting design for Nuit would become part of the signature hue of Perreault’s works. The singular materiality of Nuit and the interpenetration among the multiple components that Perreault again created make this a major work not only in Perreault’s legacy but in the history of Canadian choreography.

1. Laurier Lacroix, “L’invention de la danse,” in Michèle Febvre, ed., Jean-Pierre Perreault. Regard pluriel. Montreal: Les heures bleues, 2001, p. 56.

2. Michèle Febvre, “L’espace de la gravité,” ibid., p. 32.

3. Mathieu Albert, “Jean-Pierre Perreault,” ETC Montréal 15 (August 1991).

Source : Fondation Jean-Pierre Perreault


Group work for 4 female dancers and 4 male dancers
Choreography: Jean-Pierre Perreault Music,
set design and costumes: Jean-Pierre Perreault
Lighting: Jean Gervais
Rehearsal director: Janet Oxley
Dancers: Louise Bédard, Hélène Blackburn, Pierre-André Coté, Annie Dréau, Claude Godbout, Pierre-Paul Savoie, Daniel Soulières, Tassy Teekman
Premiere October 16, 1986, Salle Marie-Gérin-Lajoie, Université du Québec à Montréal
Produced by Fondation Jean-Pierre Perreault
Length 85 minutes

Perreault, Jean-Pierre

(Montreal 1947–Montreal 2002)

In 1966, at the age of 19, Jean-Pierre Perreault met Jeanne Renaud, who was then preparing to found Le Groupe de la Place Royale in Montréal. That meeting would change Perreault’s life. He went on to train in classical and modern dance and was part of the company from 1967 to 1981. During that time, he danced, produced some 20 choreographies and served as co-artistic director with Peter Boneham.

During his years with Le Groupe de la Place Royale, Perreault also came to know a number of plastic artists and composers from the Automatisteschool, who were friends and collaborators of Jeanne Renaud: Marcelle Ferron, Serge Garant, Fernand Leduc, Françoise Sullivan, Gilles Tremblay. This stimulating environment had a lasting influence on his appreciation of other artistic disciplines and his personal creative vision, which combined drawing, choreography, set design, lighting, music and costumes.

In the course of his extensive travels between 1969 and 1983, Perreault learned about sacred and traditional art, taking a particular interest in the influence of social organization on the vocabulary of dance and on choreography. In 1981, he embarked on a career as an independent choreographer. From 1984 to 1992, he taught in the dance department at Université du Québec à Montréal, where he mounted Joe, his most famous work. In 1984, he founded the Fondation Jean-Pierre Perreault, with which he would mount some 20 choreographic works and installations. After years with no fixed abode, the Fondation moved into an old church in 1993. In 2001, after renovations, the venue became the Espace chorégraphique Jean-Pierre Perreault.

A long list of prestigious companies commissioned works from Perreault, including Sweden’s Cullbergbaletten, under the direction of Mats Ek (1991), Australia’s Chrissie Parrot Dance Company (1996) and the National Ballet of Canada, under the direction of James Kudelka. His pictorial works were shown in solo exhibitions in North America and Europe.

Jean-Pierre Perreault won two Jean A. Chalmers Awards, the Grand Prix du Conseil des arts de la Communauté urbaine de Montréal and the Governor General’s Performing Arts Award. He was named an officer of the Ordre national du Québec.

(Montréal 1947– id. 2002)

En 1966, à 19 ans, Jean-Pierre Perreault(JPP) fait une rencontre déterminante, celle de Jeanne Renaud qui s’apprête alors à fonder le Groupe de la Place Royale à Montréal. Perreault y recevra une formation de danseur classique et moderne, et fera partie de la compagnie de 1967 en 1981, après y avoir dansé, signé une vingtaine de chorégraphies et partagé la direction artistique avec Peter Boneham.

Ces années seront également marquées par sa fréquentation d’artistes plasticiens et de compositeurs, collaborateurs et amis de Jeanne Renaud, issus du mouvement automatiste : Marcelle Ferron, Serge Garant, Fernand Leduc, Françoise Sullivan, Gilles Tremblay. Ce milieu stimulant aura une influence durable sur son appréciation d’autres disciplines artistiques et sur sa conception personnelle de la création qui allie dessin, chorégraphie, scénographie, éclairage, musique et costumes.

De 1969 à 1983, ses séjours à travers le monde lui font découvrir les arts sacrés et traditionnels, en particulier l’influence de l’organisation sociale sur le vocabulaire de la danse et sur la chorégraphie. En 1981, il entreprend une carrière de chorégraphe indépendant. De 1984 à 1992, il enseignera au Département de danse de l’Université du Québec à Montréal où il crée Joe, son œuvre la plus célèbre. En 1984, il mettra sur pied la Fondation Jean-Pierre Perreault au sein de laquelle il créera quelque vingt œuvres et installations chorégraphiques. Longtemps nomade, la Fondation s’installera, en 1993, dans une ancienne église qui deviendra, après des rénovations, l’Espace chorégraphique Jean-Pierre Perreault en 2001.

Des compagnies prestigieuses ont commandé des œuvres au chorégraphe, notamment le Cullbergbaletten de Suède sous la direction de Mats Ek (1991), la Chrissie Parrot Dance Company d’Australie (1996) et le Ballet National du Canada sous la direction de James Kudelka. Sa production picturale a également fait l’objet d’expositions individuelles en Amérique de Nord et en Europe.

Jean-Pierre Perreault s’est mérité deux prix Jean A. Chalmers, le Grand Prix du Conseil des arts de la Communauté urbaine de Montréal, le Prix du Gouverneur général pour les arts de la scène et l’insigne d’officier de l’Ordre national du Québec.

Source: Jean-Pierre Perreault 's website

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