ARTISTIC DIRECTOR AND CHOREOGRAPHER
Born in Drummondville, Québec, it is after settling in Montreal that Louise is drawn to contemporary dance, during her passage at the Groupe Nouvelle Aire, starting in 1979, and through multiple learning experiences with a variety of teachers during workshops and classes. She quickly made her mark as a performer alongside choreographers such as Jeanne Renaud, Jean-Pierre Perreault, Paul-André Fortier, Ginette Laurin, Sylvain Émard and many others. She becomes more and more aware of the true richness of dance as a language and decides to try her hand at choreographing herself. Since that first piece in 1983, she has signed more than thirty works, ranging from solos to group pieces.
Whether via her skill as a performer or as a choreographer, Bédard unrelentingly probes the very essence of movement in order to create a choreographic language that portrays human complexity and fragility with poetry, humor, and irony. The results are vibrant dances tinted by a personal perspective and lucidity. Louise Bédard collaborates regularly on multidisciplinary projects and often derives the colors and tones of her choreographic language from other art forms. A striking example is the Itinéraire multiple cycle, comprised of the works Elles (2002), Ce qu’il en reste (2005) and Enfin vous zestes (2008). Spread over several years, the cycle allowed Louise to be inspired by the life and work of female artists from other cultures as the basis for her own work. This approach and the quality of the ensuing work allowed her company to win the dance nomination as a finalist for the 21e Grand Prix du Conseil des arts de Montréal, in 2005, for Ce qu’il en reste. For the 31e Grand Prix du Conseil des arts de Montréal her company is nominee : ”for the contributions its director has made to the city’s artistic landscape, exemplified by the Série Solos cycle, and for the restaging of Cartes postales de Chimère, a major work featuring two dancers from the new generation.”
With the creation of her company in 1990, Louise Bédard has given herseif a dynamic tool for deepening the choreographic work she began in the early 1980’s. Her singular artistic vision has been recognized by various prizes including the prestigious Jean A. Chalmers national dance award in 1997 for her exceptional contribution to performance and creativity in Canadian dance. Based in Montreal, she creates most of her choreography under the banner of her company, Louise Bédard Dance. She is also a co-founder and member of Circuit-Est, a choreographic centre that opened its doors in Montreal in 1987 and supports research and creation by offering master classes, workshops, and rehearsal space. She was also a guest professor of the dance department of the Université du Québec à Montréal, from 2006 to 2010.
Her choreographic work is strongly influenced by her personal background as a performer. Movement and the human dimension of dancers are always at the center stage of her works. Artistically, she has often drawn inspiration from other artists, especially women. With visual artists, she allows herself to be touched by the human condition expressed in their works, before transposing the form into a language that is specific to dance and choreography.
Bédard’s choreography converges with her performance style, at once meticulous and infinitely subtle. Every gesture is clearly defined, from the flicker of a cheek muscle to the flexing of a fingertip. Lighting designs and sets are constructed with the same care as her movement. The works are layered; their collective impact is poignantly emotional, a revelation of delicacy and intellect. (Source)
- 1983: Jacqueline Lemieux Prize
- 1996: Prix d’Auteur des 5e Rencontres chorégraphiques internationales de Seine-Saint-Denis
- 1997: John A. Chalmers National Dance Award
- 2005: Finalist in dance – Grand Prix du Conseil des Arts de Montréal
- 2015: Finalist in dance – Grand Prix du Conseil des Arts de Montréal
Photo > Louise Bédard / credits : Angelo Barsetti