In its California debut, Montreal’s Coleman Lemieux & Compagnie graced the stage of Campbell Hall to a full house Nov. 16.
In a ballet of three parts, the modern dances showcased the performers’ talents in different aspects. The first series of dances was “15 Heterosexual Duets,” set to Beethoven’s “Kreutzer” sonata and performed by different combinations of the troupe’s 11 performers. Ranging in emotions from joy to soft sadness to downright humor and silliness, the dancers moved together fluidly and incorporated a surprising number of lifts into the pieces. All of the duets showed remarkable technique, communicating passion while displaying the incredible talents of the dancers. One of the duets in particular really stood out, showing love through its more humorous side and even elicited laughs from the audience. The couple danced flirtatiously together, using aspects of the pas de deux to communicate the chase of romantic love to the audience.
The second performance was an emotional male duet, “Soudain, l’hiver dernier,” set to a repetitive track called “Jesus’ Blood Never Failed Me Yet” by Gavin Bryars. While the meaning was difficult to discern, the dancing was superb in its technique and the manner in which it communicated the characters’ emotions to the audience. The feelings of love between the characters was evident, and, after a while, one became so caught up in the dancing that it did not matter why the two men were so sad – the dance was simple and beautiful in both its choreography and technique.
The third dance, “In Paradisum,” was a beautiful, moving piece, with the dancers conveying the intense emotions concerning death and how one reacts to it. Three lead dancers – one male and two female – embodied the strong emotions of grief while receiving support from the rest of the company. The flowing costumes matched perfectly with the dancers’ fluid movements.
Although all three pieces lacked a solid, discernable meaning, the dancers’ technique and emotion more than made up for that absence. Coleman Lemieux & Compagnie presented an emotional evening at Campbell Hall, but still managed to make it look effortless.