La La La Human Steps are rarely still. In the middle ofa tour schedule closer in scale to that of a rock band than a dance company. this French—Canadian group are preparing to come to Scotland in July. Dancer Louise Lecavalier spoke to The List in Montreal.
Louise Lecavalier is upside down in mid-air. For this (‘anadian dancer. flying is a natural state and quite regardless of photographic trickery she is fast-framed as an artist of quite extraordinary physicality and charisma.
A member of the trippingly named La La La l luman Steps. Louise had some moments to spare in Montreal before setting off again on tour with New Demons. the company’s most recent piece. Europe. South America. Australia and the LES. A. have all been host in the past two years. with six months of their round-the-world tour still to run. Rarely does a modern dance company of La La La‘s scale allow a single dance piece to take such a heating on the road without a break. but Louise is unperturbed. ‘lt‘s a great opportunity. Most dance companies learn a new piece. dance it a couple of times and then start making anotherone. Nothing can grow. It is always interesting for me to see how a piece evolves. This one has changed in the structure very much and a couple of the dances have been changed for coming to Scotland.’
For a company which has shared billing with David Bowie in a benefit concert in London. made movement for the Seoul Olympics. shared a 'l‘V special with Bette Midler. been seen by hundreds of thousands on stage and by millions on screen. La La La is a surprisingly modest company. Choreographer and founder Edouard Lock heads up the small
team based in Montreal. a Quebecois city with a small dance community. most of whom. unlike La La La who treat movement as an abstract sensation. specialise in dance theatre. Dancing with the help of government grants to what sounds a healthier tune (if the scale of touring is anything to go by) than most middle scale companies in this country can raise. La La La may have a schedule which reads like a rock band but despite large audiences.cannotsurvive without support. The youthful. starstruck.
post-modern image La La La project
does not have the attendant financial rewards reaped by songsters or artists who have something besides their body to sell.
Perhaps because of the vulnerability of their talents or in the rush to seek fame. many dancers today see a choreographic career as the only way forward. Louise disagrees with the thinking that a dancer’s lot is unsatisfying and puppet-like. ‘l)ancing to inc is not less important. Some very good dancers begin to choreograph and they're not really as good at that as they are at dancing.' Without doubt it is entirely through skill like her own that brings to life Lock’s choreography. making it the fast-moving spin and whip. lash and dip which he intended.
Working now with a company which experiments in a youthful.
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new generation dance idiom. Louise has a background which made no room for a college training. ‘I started dancing by chance.‘ At sixteen she fitted the bill when a group were looking for some small people. 'I‘hen a small company. l’ointe Pienu. made up of members from the Bejart school. gave her classes punctuated with performance. Seven years ago. she was asked to join the newa fortned La La La. ‘I admired their work so much I really thought I would never work with them.‘
‘As the company has been changing and evolving so much it’s a good place for me to keep growing. If it had been doing the same thing. I think I would have gone.‘ And by the way. I ask. before she hangs up to take a break in the Montreal sun. who or what are the New [)emons anyway'.’ Louise considers. ‘Each time we get a title fora work it's like getting a name for a child — you give a name because you have a sensation of the person but you don't know the person at all yet. Gradually the person associates with the name. Maybe that‘s the same with a title. It’s no more or less important than that.‘ With a complexity of movement at her command. this dancer has a charm and unpretentiousness which belies any notion of the ‘fashionable' image her publicin shots gloss over.
La La La Human Steps are appearing at Theatre Royal . Glasgow [2—15 July in their only performance in Britain on this leg ()ft/teir tour. For details see Dance I .istings‘.