Quicksilver footwork. Chic elegance. Spidery sets and black net costumes cool enough to belong on the cover of Vogue. La La La Human Steps is where ballet and high fashion collide; where traditional movements are redefined into present-day relevance. The choreography is an interplay of speed and extremes, physical challenge blended with lyricism that has brought the Canadian ballet company to international renown. But it is their unique blend of innovative dance vocabulary, contemporary music and cinematic effects that differentiates them from other ballet companies of their caliber.
The dancers are classically trained but add sports training to build adequate strength for the leg-whipping, gravity-defying twists and turns that each piece requires. This year, the company celebrates its 30th anniversary with a new work created by founder and choreographer Edouard Lock, featuring Kirov prima ballerina Diana Vishneva, who was recently described as “the foremost classical ballerina of today” by Ballet Magazine. The North American debut of the new work will be in May at Place des Arts’ Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier. As of yet, there are no plans announced for a US tour.
Since the founding of La La La Human steps in 1980, Edouard Lock has collaborated with an eclectic lineup of stars, including David Bowie, Frank Zappa, Skinny Puppy and David Lang. He has created works for the Paris National Opera, the Paris Opera Ballet and Netherlands Dance Theater. Since the creation of “Human Sex” (1985), the ballet company has toured worldwide, as far as Europe and Asia, touring two years for each new production.
Their best-loved work, “Amelia” (2002), choreographed originally for the Prague opera, has been made into a film which made its debut at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York, followed by the Slamdance Film Festival in Park City Utah. It is a study of chic strife, dramatic emotions brought to life in the limbs of dancers, including principal dancer and muse, Louise Lecavalier. Its use of multiple angles offers a distortion of perspective that alternates at times between falling and flying. The film has won best of its category numerous international festivals, and received 2 GEMINI AWARDS for best direction and best editing, 2 ICE (individual creative excellence) awards from the National Association of Broadcasters in the United States for best direction of photography and editing, and was a finalist at the International Emmy Awards. Lock directs all of his own videos. Excerpts from the “Amelia” film can be found on YouTube.