ROCKING THE BOAT
CELEBRATING QUEER CONTENT IN CANADIAN CONCERT DANCE
Venezuelan born José Navas is a contemporary choreographer, dancer and, since 1995, Founder/Director of Montreal’s Compagnie Flak. Within his repertoire are some queer-aligned works including: One Night Only 3/3 (1998), Miniatures (2008) and Personae (2011). However, in 2013 he choreographed a work with a clear queer twist for Canada’s Ballet BC. This dance is a reshaping of the ballet classic, Giselle, originally choreographed in 1841. In its traditional form, the storyline revolves around the young woman, Giselle, and her love for Duke Albrecht. She is at the same time pursued by Hilarion, a fellow peasant. In his version, Navas re-envisions the triangle with the love between Giselle and Albrecht thwarted by Albrecht’s and Hilarion’s love for one another. There is also much reference to gender neutrality through the use of mask and unisex costuming of the men and women in the corps de ballet.
Photo Credit (above): José Navas in William Douglas’s While Waiting (1995) / Photographer: Cylla von Tiedemann
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