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Harbourfront Centre Presents Canadian Premiere of Swan Lakes + Minus 16


Harbourfront Centre presents the Canadian premiere of Gauthier Dance//Dance Company Theaterhaus Stuttgart’s striking mixed program, Swan Lakes + Minus 16, on stage April 18–20, 2024, at 7:30pm at Fleck Dance Theatre, which closes the 2023/24 international contemporary dance series, Torque. In Swan Lakes, two of the world’s finest choreographers will present their daring interpretations of the iconic ballet: Canadian choreographer Marie Chouinard with LE CHANT DU CYGNE : LE LAC and choreographer and composer Hofesh Shechter with Swan Cake. The mixed program will conclude with legendary choreographer Ohad Naharin’s theatrical cult classic Minus 16.

“We are thrilled to conclude our 2023/24 Torque season with a vibrant showcase by the incomparable Gauthier Dance//Dance Company Theaterhaus,” says Nathalie Bonjour, Director of Performing Arts at Harbourfront Centre. “Featuring a cast of 16 dancers, this program is truly a feast for the senses, first, with two distinct interpretations of Swan Lake from Chouinard and Shechter, who subvert the ballet’s classical roots to present radical new choreographic approaches. Then, second, Naharin’s unbridled Minus 16, bursting with infectious joy and a signature movement language.”


The program opens with Chouinard’s feminist manifesto LE CHANT DU CYNE : LE LAC, turning Swan Lake’s oppressed swans into assertive rebels, inspired by Un Violador en Tu Camino (A Rapist in Your Path), a viral anthem written by the Chilean feminist collective Las Tesis. Eight dancers costumed in white tutus and feathery wigs dance in fierce movement as a battle cry against their oppressors, backed by Louis Dufort’s electronic soundscape.

What follows is Shechter’s Swan Cake, his rousing, high-spirited interpretation of the iconic work with colourful costumes designed by Shechter and Gudrun Schretzmeier and a Tchaikovsky-inspired electronic score.

Both interpretations premiered as part of Gauthier Dance’s mixed program, Swan Lakes, at the Theaterhaus Stuttgart in June 2021.

Minus 16

Closing the program is Naharin’s lively and playful Minus 16, set to an eclectic score ranging from Dean Martin and mambo to techno and folk music. One of the dancemaker’s most well-known and beloved works, Minus 16 is considered an opus of Naharin’s acclaimed improvisational Gaga movement language for which he is lauded internationally. Featuring a full ensemble of 16 dancers, Minus 16 “explodes with

power and energy” (The Irish Times), ultimately breaking down the fourth wall between dancer and audience member in a vibrant celebration of life and the joy of dancing.


Born in Quebec, Chouinard founded COMPAGNIE MARIE CHOUINARD after spending over a decade travelling the world as a solo dancer. She is the recipient of Canada’s Governor General’s Award and the Walter Carsen Prize for Excellence in Performing Arts.

Born in Israel and now in London, Shechter is a choreographer, dancer and composer. Formerly a dancer at Batsheva Dance Company, Shechter is the artistic director of Hofesh Shechter Company. He was nominated for a Tony Award in Bartlett Sher’s Fiddler on the Roof and an honorary OBE (Order of the British Empire) for Services to Dance.

A citizen of Israel and the United States, Naharin is the house choreographer and former artistic director of the Batsheva Dance Company, where he has created more than 30 works. He has been awarded an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree from the Juilliard School in New York, and an Israel Ministry of Culture Award for Lifetime Achievement.

Gauthier Dance//Dance Company Theaterhaus

Gauthier Dance//Dance Company Theaterhaus, founded by artistic director Eric Gauthier, is one of Germany’s most successful contemporary dance companies. Originally from Montreal, Gauthier founded the Stuttgart-based company after his time as a soloist at the Stuttgart Ballet. As choreographer, his works have been performed by the Staatsballett Berlin, the St. Petersburg Mariinsky Ballet, the Stuttgart Ballet and Scapino Ballet Rotterdam. Following its Toronto premiere, the mixed program will tour in Montreal and Quebec.

To purchase tickets and for more information about Swan Lakes + Minus 16, and the complete Torque 2023/24 season, please visit HarbourfrontCentre.com.

Other articles from totimes.ca – otttimes.ca – mtltimes.ca

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