In 2018, dancer Charles-Alexis Desgagnés earned a place in the hearts of the public by reaching the final of Revolution. The following year, he wowed the gallery in alone together, Cirque Éloize show based on the work of Serge Fiori. Here he is launching his own dance company, Les sans-papiers, with a show bringing together 24 performers at the Maison de la culture in Verdun.
Posted at 9:00 a.m.
It went without saying for the creator to name his artistic entity with a nod to his school career. “I never followed a dance training course, neither to interpret, nor to choreograph, nor to teach, whereas I am more and more established in these fields”, he explains.
The artist also wanted to evoke the sans-papiers of Notre-Dame de Paris who bring together queer, atypical people, prostitutes and all those who do not fit into the mould. “I wanted to bring together people who don’t have a typical dance background, who haven’t gone to school, who are performers-choreographers and who want to seek virtuosity in body and heart with me. »
A different approach
The first fruit of his company will be able to be picked up by the public of I cried this morning in the subway. A work with an abstract narrative that aims to be touching, animal, funny and “challenging”, according to its creator.
Although Desgagnés does not dance there, we will see what he has in his stomach as a creator and teacher. Indeed, the show is the culmination of a 31-day professional integration course with 24 performers who had never danced together. “It’s a hell of a challenge, but it works!” »
Beginning with two and a half weeks of residency in the studio, the course was followed by a week of technical residency and a week on stage at the Maison de la culture in Verdun. A different approach to the advanced training courses that many artists follow.
Generally, during an internship, we spend two weeks in workshops with someone, it ends and thank you, good evening. I wanted to offer them a tangible result by creating a 70-minute choreography with lights and original music.
The artists had to pay $925 to experience this month-long adventure: 100 hours of creative work, three performances, a professional photo session, participation in video trailers and a professional recording that they can then use in their demos.
Despite what one might imagine, the instigator of the project is far from filling his pockets. “So far, I have no salary. I’m going to get a living wage by contemporary dance standards if I fill the room all three nights. You can’t say that I’m making money on their backs. And even if I did, I invested almost 600 hours in the project. »
Creations in progress
At the same time, the jack-of-all-trades is working on a short dance film, The skin of the other, in collaboration with director Vincent René-Lortie. A way for him to explore the narrativity of the body. “In the medium or long term, I would also like to create a fiction program in which we tell a moving story. It’s a fantasy I have. »
He is also working on the creation of a 60-minute solo work financed by the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec. Title Homo Deusthe choreography will echo the book Homo Deus: A Brief History of the Future written by Yuval Noah Harari, to whom we owe the worldwide bestseller Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind.
“In the second book, he talks about the pacemaker, the telephone in the body and alterations. I want to turn it towards something biological by checking if I can embody on stage a person without cardiovascular limits, body and interpretation. »
A way for him to explore indefatigability.
Is it possible? What does it look like? What does it emotionally send back to the audience? I am very interested in the notion of vulnerability.
He is also captivated by the interconnection of… mushrooms. “I want to draw inspiration from it to establish a direct relationship between the music, the movements, the scenography and the lighting that goes beyond one signal that generates another. »
Currently leading three works at the same time, Charles-Alexis Desgagnés sees himself more and more as a cultural entrepreneur.
“I had dreamed of having my own dance company for almost seven years. I felt a call. If I didn’t do it this year, it feels like I never would have done it. I think I have the energy to handle the huge administrative load that this entails. And I wanted to add that symbol of professionalism to my work. »
I cried in the subwayat the Maison de la culture in Verdun, July 14, 15 and 16 at 7:30 p.m.