Helen Simoneau Danse: March 3!

Virginia Commonwealth University’s Department of Dance + Choreography presents Helen Simoneau Danse in Land Bridge, Satuday, March 3rd, 2018 at 7:30 pm at the W.E. Singleton Center for the Performing Arts, 922 Park Avenue. Tickets are $20/$15 students, and are available at showclix.com or by calling 804-828-2020.

In this new evening-length work, choreographer Helen Simoneau investigates heritage, assimilation and identity to reveal how the willing erasure of the self may serve as a means of renewal and redirection. Examined abstractly through the lens of caribou, the iconic and threatened species from Simoneau’s native Canada, this most powerful member of the deer family serves as a trail guide for the work.

As a Québécoise living and working in the United States, the daughter of an Anglophone mother and Francophone father, Simoneau draws upon the duality of living between two languages to explore both immigrating and migrating forms. What is the impact of arriving and of departing? LAND BRIDGE considers the patterns and tendencies implicit in both human and animal behavior.

This work marks Helen Simoneau Danse’s first evening length piece and first collaboration with highly acclaimed composer and flutist Nathalie Joachim, who shares with Simoneau the experience of navigating acclimation. Drawing from a lifetime of embracing both her Haitian and American heritage, and the often delicate balance of such a duality, Joachim created an electroacoustic score that captures an intrinsic human quality paired with unapologetically synthetic sound. Her use of the human voice in song, breath and articulation throughout the score is representative of the importance of language and/or the lack thereof as it relates to cultural identity. The cyclical and recurrent nature of the electronics reflect engrained processes that carry through generations, both human and animal, despite their evolution. The score is a testament to standing softly yet with conviction in all that you are through the varying stages of life.

The creation of Land Bridge was made possible, in part, by New Music USA, made possible by annual program support and/or endowment gifts from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust, the Baisley Powell Elebash Fund, and the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation.
Land Bridge was also made possible by the John W. & Anna H. Hanes Foundation, the Lafayette College Choreographers on Campus (Andrew Mellon Foundation), the N.C. Arts Council, a division of the Department of Cultural Resources, the James G. Hanes Memorial Fund, the Winston-Salem Foundation, the Arts Council of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County, University of North Carolina School of the Arts, Salem College, the Bogliasco Foundation, and Diversified Trust.

Helen Simoneau Danse’s Land Bridge is the fifth event of the VCU Dance 2017-2018 Season. The presenting program of VCU Dance is committed to building and engaging dance audiences in the University and Richmond community while providing opportunities for artists to present and create work.

Funding for the 2017-2018 season is graciously provided in part by the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation. Recognized by professional dancers and choreographers as “a place where things are happening,” Virginia Commonwealth University’s Department of Dance and Choreography offers a vibrant and stimulating atmosphere where students prepare for careers in dance.