An incursion into the heart of a masterpiece by choreographer Jean-Pierre Perreault. Ten artists from different generations tell their experience with this dance icon, its original creation at the UQAM in 1983 and its various revivals until 2004.
Duration : 25 minutes
Produced by Filigrane Archives.
A pivotal work by the late Jean-Pierre Perreault, Joe presents an image of the human condition that is so accurate and so moving that it remains forever imprinted in the memories of those who have seen it. To the sound of 32 pairs of work boots obsessively pounding the floor, 32 dancers, dressed in long coats and hats, move in a compact mass from which individuals occasionally attempt to free themselves to escape a foreordained destiny.
An absolutely breathtaking performance that has had a profound impact on contemporary dance.
From left to right, top to bottom :
Hélène BLACKBURN dancer in 1983, 1984 and 1989
Marie-Josée CHARTIER dancer in 1994
Brianna LOMBARDO dancer in 2004
Lucie VIGNEAULT dancer in 2004
Sonya STEFAN rehearsal director in 2004
The interviews were filmed in the Foyer Jean-Gascon at Place des Arts, in Montreal in front of the paintings Les Années de Pèlerinage from Jean-Pierre Perreault and Sofi Dagenais (1996). The photographs were taken by Claudia Chan Tak.
Left to right, top to bottom :
Serge BENNATHAN Dancemakers artistic director from 1990 to 2006 (Portrait © Sylvain Senez)
Lucie BOISSINOT École de danse contemporaine de Montréal artistic director and program director since 2005 (Portrait © Julie Artacho)
Ginelle CHAGNON rehearsal director in 1994, 1996 and 2004 (Portrait © Marc Boivin)
Julia SASSO dancer in 1994 (Portrait © Craig Chambers)
Tom STROUD dancer 1989 and 1994 (Portrait © Drew Perry)
As noted in the excellent and illuminating post-show documentary, Joe’s imagery shows how “We’re all in this together, but we’re all isolated.” And here we find ourselves, just as Perreault foretold it: collectively trudging our way through a pandemic, unable to connect, shoulders slumped, heads down, pushing up a metaphorical ramp. But, just as in Joe, it’s not all doom and gloom: there’s something deeply inspiring about the sheer will to tromp onwards.
Interviews and direction Valérie Lessard
Camera and editing Gennaro De Pasquale
Camera, DOP and post-production Dominique T. Skoltz
Communications Claudia Chan Tak
This documentary from Filigrane Archives was produced as part of the Webcast programming of Joe from Jean-Pierre Perreault (filmed in 1995 for Radio-Canada), a DIGIDANCE presentation.
DIGIDANCE is an initiative of Centre national des Arts (Ottawa), DanceHouse (Vancouver), Danse Danse (Montréal) and Harbourfront Centre (Toronto).
Still photos and portraits © Claudia Chan Tak
Photos of Joe © Robert Etcheverry