Cultural Analysis in Montréal, Berlin, and Beyond
“Culture is the sum of all the forms of art, of love, and of thought, which, in the course of centuries, have enabled (wo)man to be less enslaved.” (Andre Malraux)
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I'm a writer and photographer, and the founder of the Canadian Fashion Scholars Network.
I co-founded the Urban Chic book series published by Intellect Press, and co-authored "Montreal Chic: A Locational History of Montreal Fashion" (2016), "Berliner Chic: A Locational History of Berlin Fashion" (2011), and assisted with the research on "Wiener Chic: A Locational History of Vienna Fashion" (2013).
This blog is about the cultural life of cities and ideas that open our minds and expand our horizons.
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It’s not that the poses and movements are unnatural; they are more unusual: dragging a microphone stand across the floor and tangling one’s body around it and taking off one’s clothes at the same time, dragging one’s face across the floor, trying to move on the floor while someone is standing on top of your hipbones, running backwards in a circle, trying to jump lying down, etc.
If we had to invent a new vocabulary of movement, counter-intuitively to our natural movement, this is what it would look like. There is no logic, no continuum of cause and effect. One movement does not flow into or cause another. The movements seem random, tense, sometimes awkward, sometimes uncomfortable or challenging. The performance draws our attention to brain activities behind our movements – what causes us to move in certain ways, what happens when we disconnect from that causality, what are abstract movements?
Governed by the tempo and rhythms of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, the vocabulary of dance has been deconstructed almost entirely; boundaries of dance broken up into primordial, almost primitive movements (similar to Nijinsky’s 1913 Le Sacre du Printemps). We witness a pre-consciousness of dance, of movement before narrative, before thought, before function. Sitting, lying, moving poses are fragmented and re-assembled. The dancers come in and out of contact with a partner; they engage, then disengage and disassemble again.
Carpe Diem Dance Company’s mandate is to encourage exploration and attempts in a continuous process of development and research as part of the contemporary dance world’s enrichment.
Choreographer Emmanuel Jouthe is co-founder and artistic director of the Company. His signature style combines vivid energy and dramatic intensity. In an approach centered on the performer’s body, his aim is to reach the human being by eluding his expectations with situation scenarios, conceptual or instinctive, where functional movement has as much room as poetic movement.