International Dance Day Message from Quebec by Anne Plamondon
When the Regroupement québécois de la danse suggested I write Quebec’s message for the 32nd anniversary of International Dance Day, I accepted without hesitation. I was then seized by worry and doubt—a sort of inner conflict and dilemma. Which part of me as a female artist—the performer, choreographer, teacher, artistic director, mother and spouse—could best talk about dance? The answer was clearly the dancer. For as long as I can remember, the dancer has been with me. She has captured my heart and soul, directed my steps and influenced my decisions, passions and loves.
I’ve learned everything I know from dance. It has guided me throughout my life. It is both my reason for being and my way of being in the world—my way of thinking about life and expressing it through the poetry of the dancing body. Dance and I have developed a special relationship, filled with mystery, the desire to excel, sometimes misunderstandings and frustration, but mostly discovery and mutual recognition.
Dance chose me and, through persistent work and training, I became one of its unique ambassadors, along with so many others. We are thousands of dancers, men and women, who understand the codes and recognize the moods, whims, traditions and advances of this art form.
It is our tradition every year to celebrate dance as an art that both inhabits and surpasses us. Today I would like to break with tradition by paying tribute to the dancers through whom dance comes to life, takes form, becomes a work, and is communicated through moments of grace and sometimes ecstasy. The dancers who share their meditative, languorous and exuberant energy with others and with the audience.
I love more than anything the dancer in me, my sisters and brothers in the studio and on stage—those with whom I daily share the beauty and demands of this performing art. An art that is little spoken about, whose skills and inventions, so clearly manifested through the dancer’s body, are rarely praised. And how to explain the mysterious, often loving relationship that develops between a dancer and choreographer around a work that is taking form…
Despite the difficulties, constraints and paradoxes of this profession, I wish from the depths of my dancer’s soul that its technical, aesthetic and ethical requirements will continue to be respected, valued and handed down to future generations.
This is the desire I would like to express on International Dance Day—a desire that is much greater than me, and yet so firmly rooted in the dancer’s body.
Anne Plamondon, dancer and co-artistic director RUBBERBANDance Group
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Classically trained Anne Plamondon has danced with Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal, the Nederlands Dans Theater II in Holland and the Ballet Gulbenkian in Portugal. During this period, she performed in works by over 30 choreographers, including Jiří Kylián, Hans Van Manen and Angelin Preljocaj, and created lead roles in works by Ohad Naharin and Pieter de Ruiter, among others. In 2002, she joined the RUBBERBANDance Group, becoming its co-artistic director three years later. A skilled teacher, she helped to develop the RUBBERBAND Method, which she now teaches internationally. At the same time, she collaborated on a number of works with Crystal Pite’s company Kidd Pivot, was cast in several films, and created and performed Red Shoes, winner of the Golden Sheaf Award at the Yorkton Film Festival. In 2012, she presented her first choreography at the Agora de la danse: a solo work titled Les mêmes yeux que toi.
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Read the International Dance Day international message from the French choreographer and dancer Mourad Merzouki and the canadian message from Santee Smith, choreographer, dancer and artistic director of Kaha:wi Dance Theatre.