Choreographer: Marie-Josée Chartier
Dancers: Heidi Strauss and Darryl Tracy
Music: Allison Cameron A blank sheet of metal (first movement)
Costumes: Heather MacCrimmon
Lights: original design: Rebecca Picherak, new design by Kimberly Purtell
La Lourdeur des Cendres was commissioned by Four Chambers dance project, a commissioning partnership between Darryl Tracy and Heidi Strauss that existed between 1998 & 2006. This work premiered in September 2003 at the Buddies in Bad Times Theatre as part of the self-produced (a)round 2.
The inspiration for this work came from the paintings of visual artist Betty Goodwin most specifically the Swimmer Series and the painting Elle a perdu son équilibre. With the collaboration of her two performers, Chartier developed the choreography with an emphasis on the movement of diagonal arms, the weight of one body leaning on another, and the idea of the body as a broken and heavy form.
Kathleen M.Smith, The Dance Current, September 28th, 2003
...a dance of incredible physical closeness...this is a fascinating yet tough piece to watch...extremely challenging to perform...Strauss and Tracy don’t waver. The work builds with incredible tension to Allison Cameron’s truly remarkable score....
Paula Citron, The Globe and Mail, September 10th, 2003
...what Chartier attempts in stark physicality is always fascinating...
Glenn Sumi, NOW magazine, September 28th, 2003
Michael Crabb, Toronto Star, August 12th, 2011
...And then there is Marie-Josée Chartier’s La Lourdeur des Cendres (The Weight of Ashes), revived from 2003 with its original, commissioning cast, Heidi Strauss and Darryl Tracy. The emotional resonances of this extraordinarily fine dance are not appliquéd. They emerge, as they should, from the weighted, angular contortions and unexpected partnering shifts of the choreography. Dance at its best speaks its own mysterious yet powerfully communicative language and Chartier is fluent in it...
Chartier Danse would like to thank the following councils
for their support through project and production grants.