A series to know the people who work on PPS Dance productions..
Roxane Duchesne-Roy / dancer and choreographer for Danse Lhasa Danse
You are a dancer. Is performance still important to you?
Yes, dancing on stage is very important to me. It’s my life, it’s always been my life…
Do you miss the stage?
I miss the stage terribly. I can’t wait to find it again and share it with other artists and the public. The last time was with the Danse Lhasa Danse show in Quebec City in February 2020.
How did you get the desire to choreograph?
I had to choreograph many times for my students in different dance schools for the end of year shows, for certain events and for competitions. The desire to choreograph with professional dancers came relatively late. So I signed my first choreography with professionals within the framework of Danse Lhasa Danse. In 2018, I choreographed a duet on the song ” Marée haute ” with two magnificent dancers and students, Sandrine Lavallée and Daphnée Sergerie from Innova Danse Studio. We created choreographic material and I tried different music. When I put ” Marée haute “, the choreography made sense. Then, for Danse Lhasa Danse, Sandrine and Daphnée came to transmit the material to Sara Harton and Sébastien Cossette-Masse. I reworked it with them, we adapted it for the show and we recreated some sequences. It was like another proposal, totally. Fascinating…
Dancing and choreographing are different roles, which you assume in the production Lhasa Danse. Is it complicated to be both, to be in abandonment as well as direction roles?
As I was not in the piece I choreographed, it was easier for me to stand back and therefore to be in abandonment and in direction roles at the same time. I had confidence with the dancers, Sara Harton and Sébastien Cossette-Masse. I was also fortunate enough to have good advice from Pierre-Paul to guide me. It was moving for me to see my choreography come to life in body, but also through the live music and the voice of Geneviève Toupin, on Lhasa’s High Tide. I am very grateful for this experience.
What is usually your way of working or your state of mind when starting a choreography project? Do you do research, think about a vocabulary, an intention?
It’s different every time. But I would say that very often it’s the music that inspires me. It’s the music that guides my desires of gestures or intentions. Also sometimes when it’s a choreographic commission, there are scales or themes to be respected, so the ideas start from there.
What does the universe of Lhasa de Sela represent for you? Do you have a particular history with her repertoire?
For me, the history that I have with her repertoire was written from day 1 of the creation of Lhasa Danse. I knew her work but I really discovered its richness, depth, sensitivity, beauty, through the process of creation and through the shows. For me, it is also closely linked to Pierre-Paul, to the dancers, singers, musicians, choreographers, the technical team, the creators, the collaborators, PPS Danse, Coup de Coeur Francophone… it’s a big family that gathered around the work of Lhasa, but it is above all a love story that I lived from the beginning until today.
Did you feel like dancing or choreographing a particular piece? a song that is dear to you?
I love all the songs of Lhasa. It fits me, no matter the context, and to hear them interpreted by others is also very strong. This show, even if I dance on some pieces and not on others, I feel privileged to be there. To witness all this on stage or behind the scenes is a gift. So no, I don’t have a particular piece…
As a performer, what difference does it make to be on stage with musicians? with singers?
All the difference in the world!! For me it’s quite a gift! We breathe together, we share and we feed each other. It’s powerful, touching, it gives us shivers.
Does the cast of about fifteen performers who make up the show allow you to feel a shared responsibility that increases or decreases the pressure?
It lowers the pressure! I’m so confident with the cast. I really feel that everyone’s responsibility, integrity and generosity have a lot to do with it!