From ballet to contemporary dance, these podcasts (each about 30 minutes long) feature fascinating conversations between NAC Dance Producer Cathy Levy and some of the world's most exciting dance artists, all of whom will be appearing, or have appeared, at the National Arts Centre.
A Conversation with Alan Lucien Øyen, writer, director, choreographer, and artistic director of winter guests
In this special NAC Dance podcast, Cathy Levy (Executive Producer of Dance at Canada’s National Arts Centre), Nathalie Bonjour (Director of Performing Arts at Toronto’s Harbourfront Centre), and Jim Smith (Artistic and Executive Director of Vancouver’s DanceHouse) chat with Alan Lucien Øyen, one of Norway’s most exciting multi-talented and in-demand artists, about his art and bringing Story, story, die to Ottawa, Vancouver and Toronto in June 2022 as part of Nordic Bridges, a celebration of Nordic art, culture and ideas across Canada in 2022. Alan describes how the remounting of this work that speaks to our isolation and how we present ourselves depending on who we are with and the situation we are in, feels like a victory after the postponements and setbacks imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. He expresses gratitude for having been able to work in both theatre and dance; for the deeply moving experience of remounting Pina Bausch’s Sweet Mambo on Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch; for a future filled with exciting projects; and to be given the freedom and agency to look at things differently at a moment in time when the world seems to be rotating backwards.
Mélanie Demers, choreographer, Founder and Artistic Director of MAYDAY
Mélanie Demers’s fascination with creation led her early on the path of the performing arts, eventually choosing contemporary dance. A successful decade-long dancing career with O Vertigo gave her the confidence to have her own company, tell her own stories, embrace chaos. She is adamant to militate with her art. She achieves this with beautiful and complicated collaborations that are wonderfully rewarding. Her conversation with Cathy Levy touches on her approach to choreography, how being a Black person affects the way she sees the world and creates work, and "La Goddam Voie Lactée", presented at Canada’s National Arts Centre in early March 2022. A work about the state of the world seen through the eyes of women. A work born out of the politically and socially charged period of the COVID-19 pandemic, the death of George Floyd and Montreal’s third wave of #MeToo. What does she want the audience to take away from seeing it? The sensation that the end is near and everything we do is important.
Dana Gingras, Artistic Director and Choreographer, Animals of Distinction
Dana Gingras, Artistic Director of Animals of Distinction and a boundary-pushing choreographer, chats with Cathy while her latest multimedia work FRONTERA is presented at the NAC. The conversation touches on how Dana’s formative years influence the nature of her artistic practice, her work with The Holy Body Tattoo, her love of music and collaboration with cultural icons and artists such as Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Fly Pan Am and the UK-based United Visual Artists (UVA), and the creation of FRONTERA which she hopes will generate dialogue around important issues of our time.
Louise Lecavalier, Choreographer and Dancer, Fou glorieux
In this podcast interview, the incomparable Louise Lecavalier chats with Cathy about her initial encounter with dance, the guidance she received as a novice, and how Edouard Lock came to invite her to join La La La Human Steps where she performed for 18 years, revolutionizing dance and doing guest appearances with superstars David Bowie and Frank Zappa in the process. In 1999, she parts with the company to seek pleasure in new beginnings and embarks on a career interpreting works by Tedd Robinson, Benoît Lachambre, Crystal Pite and Nigel Charnock, amongst others. In conclusion, Louise tells us about creating her own choreographic works starting with So Blue in 2012 followed by Mille batailles/Battleground and Stations.
Greta Hodgkinson, Principal Dancer, The National Ballet of Canada
The sublime Principal Dancer Greta Hodgkinson spoke with Cathy Levy in December 2019 on the eve of her retirement from The National Ballet of Canada following an extraordinary 30-year career with the company. Dance found her at a very early age and she credits Principal Artistic Coach Magdalena Popa, leading choreographers and the full range of classic and contemporary ballet repertoire offered to her for her artistic success. She talks about her pre-show ritual, her favourite ballet, guesting, her longevity, juggling family and career, and her decision to retire. The conversation closes on her next project and with advice to aspiring dancers.
Mikko Nissinen, Artistic Director of Boston Ballet
Over the course of a fast-paced conversation with Cathy Levy, Helsinki-born Mikko Nissinen, Artistic Director of Boston Ballet, describes how he stumbled into dance and how a strong technique and infectious enthusiasm for the art form rapidly led him to soloist roles with The Finnish National Ballet, Dutch National Ballet, Basel Ballet and San Francisco Ballet. Having always aspired to be an artistic director, he assumed this position with Marin Ballet and Alberta Ballet before joining Boston Ballet in 2005 as an agent of change. The company has since grown exponentially in size, purpose and reputation, enticing most recently the great William Forsythe to make it his home.
Cathy Levy is a foremost expert in Canadian and International dance. What a treat to hear her speak one-on-one with top artists in the industry as they visit Canada's National Arts Centre. I love getting the inside scoop on what inspires and influences these cultural Greats.
A fascinating peek into the world of dance!
I read about this podcast in Dance Magazine. It's so interesting to hear about the creative process and lives of dancers and choreographers from around the world.