Citadel + Compagnie – Jusqu’à Vimy

 

PRESS RELEASE

Citadel + Compagnie presents Toronto Premiere of
Laurence Lemieux’s Jusqu’à Vimy

 Dance Work Commissioned for The Battle of Vimy Ridge 100th Anniversary
Uncovers Heartbreaking History for Regent Park’s Own Fallen Soldiers

TORONTO, ON – Citadel + Compagnie (C+C) presents the Toronto premiere of Jusqu’à Vimy (all the way to Vimy), an evocative dance work honouring the 100th anniversary of Canada’s defining World War I moment: the 1917 Battle of Vimy Ridge, November 15-18 & 22-25, 2017 at The Citadel: Ross Centre for Dance. Choreographer Laurence Lemieux pays tribute to eight soldiers from Regent Park and the surrounding area who bravely fought and perished at Vimy Ridge in a work inspired by her own investigation into their stories. Audiences will discover this important history through live performance to stirring music by six-time Dora Award-winning composer John Gzowski complemented by an immersive multimedia installation.

The more than 10,000 armed forces who died at Vimy Ridge came from all over Canada, but in Jusqu’à Vimy, I focus on the loss of eight soldiers who were close to the Regent Park community,” says Laurence Lemieux, C+C choreographer and artistic director. “In my research for this commission, I learned that a young soldier who was killed in action, William James Hawkey, lived just around the corner from the Citadel in a house that remains today. We brought the artistic team to Vimy Ridge for the 100th anniversary to retrace the steps of Hawkey and his fellow valiant soldiers. After that experience, coming back to our home – the once home of these young men – made their sacrifice profoundly more personal, and it’s on this deeply personal level that I want to convey their stories.”

The Battle of Vimy Ridge remains a pivotal moment in Canada’s history when the country emerged as a leader among the allies in the fight against the Germans. It was Canadian militia from four divisions in this mission on their own who secured the France stronghold, an achievement noted by Brigadier-General A.E. Ross who declared, “in those few minutes I witnessed the birth of a nation.”

Ten accomplished local dancers will perform Jusqu’à Vimy: Luke Garwood, Andrew McCormack, Philip McDermott, Tyler Gledhill, Connor Mitton, Brodie Stevenson, Daniel Gomez, Jenny Aplin Gzowski, Zhenya Cerneacov, and Kaitlin Standeven. In April 2017, these artists took part in the Opening of the Visitor Centre at Vimy Ridge where they performed an excerpt of Jusqu’à Vimy in commemoration of the 100th anniversary. Dancing to Lemieux’s dramatic full-length work, they will evoke the solitude of the individual lone ‘soldier’ in relationship to its fellow ‘troops’, and the contrasting elements of fear, strength and pride that express the realities of war.

By bridging the accounts described in WWI history with the personal stories of the eight Regent Park area soldiers, Jusqu’à Vimy aims to raise new awareness to the relevance of the Battle of Vimy Ridge. Adding another level of realness and immediacy to these historic events will be an interactive installation created by designers Luke Garwood and Jeremy Mimnagh. This digital film, online portal and ‘augmented reality’ installation will display actual archived WWI imagery and photos captured during C+C’s travels to Vimy Ridge. Audiences at Jusqu’à Vimy will have the opportunity to engage with the installation in the lobby of the theatre via their smartphone or tablet.

About Citadel + Compagnie (citadelcie.com)

Citadel + Compagnie, formerly Coleman Lemieux & Compagnie, was founded by Bill Coleman and Laurence Lemieux in 2000. This Toronto-based professional dance company creates, produces and presents works on local, national and international scales from its home base in a former Salvation Army Citadel in the Regent Park neighborhood of Toronto.

Named in honour of its cherished home at The Citadel, C+C has evolved from a husband-and-wife run company to a distinguished organization with a renewed mandate of fostering cultural participation and nurturing creative excellence. C+C encourages artistic risk and innovation through its performing arts series, Bright Nights, and tours accessible works of contemporary dance across Canada. By demonstrating fearless artistic leadership backed by strong community engagement, C+C has established itself as one of the leading companies of its kind in Canada.

After nine years as artistic director of the National Ballet of Canada (1996-2005), James Kudelka was named C+C’s resident choreographer in 2008. With C+C, he has revisited some of his greatest works and developed challenging new contemporary creations. Kudelka’s presence at C+C has elevated the company’s profile, and offered audiences a new platform to experience the work of one of the country’s finest choreographers.

LISTING INFORMATION Citadel + Compagnie presents:
Laurence Lemieux’s Jusqu’à Vimy
Dates:   November 15-18 & 22-25, 2017, 8pm
 Ticket prices:  Adults: $25 Seniors/Students/Artists: $20
 Address:  The Citadel: Ross Centre for Dance
304 Parliament Street
Toronto, ON M5A 2Z6
 Box Office:  citadelcie.com or ph: 416-364-8011 (ext. 1)
 Website:  citadelcie.com 

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