An organic and organised inquiry into the foundational wavelength.
My source has always been the body itself, and especially the silence and the breath which make up the “invisible” stuff of life. At the root of each new work there is always what I call the “mystery”, an unknown wavelength that calls out to me in an almost obsessive manner. My work consists of capturing this primordial wavelength, of “tuning” it in a sense, and of arranging it in space and time with a structure and form proper to it. Since 1978, this is what I have been doing: listening attentively to the vital pulsation of the body to the point of crystallising it in a new order. Each time, I start afresh from zero. Each time, I focus and re-direct my “antennae”, I seek out a new “state”, I track this wavelength until everything is in line, like in a reinvented classical structure in which, I hope, the viewer’s own “mystery” will be revealed to her.
Marie Chouinard, 2000
In 1978 Marie Chouinard presented her first work, Crystallization, which immediately established her as an exceptional artist driven by an infectious search for the genuine. After 12 years as a solo performer and choreographer, Marie Chouinard founded her own company in 1990, the Compagnie Marie Chouinard.
Marie Chouinard has lived in New York, Berlin, Bali and Nepal. Her travels, her curiosity, her eclectic studies and her understanding of various techniques allow her to explore the body in different ways. She has created more than 50 solo and group works. The works created since 1978 reflect the concerns of this surprising choreographer: her view of dance as a sacred art, her respect for the body as a vehicle of that art, her virtuoso approach to performance and the invention of a different universe for each new piece.
In Marie Chouinard’s alphabet, elements respond to one another as in a classical structure while integrating different cultural understandings of the body as infinitely intelligent. Her raw material is the dancers’ flesh, bones and muscles, the instinct and vital impulse of the human body whose intimate connections she exposes. As a carrier of meaning, each gesture becomes the “phoneme” of a thought imbedded in the body, while form reflects the dancer’s soul as it resides in organs, cells and energetic circuits. Celebrating the human body as a vehicle of life, Marie Chouinard and her contributors work together to create choreographic pieces that reveal a world of primal light, coded sounds and protean forms, through vigorous and incandescent movements.
2016 : Prize for best international work for the film MARIE CHOUINARD: THE RITE OF SPRING, 20th “Coreografo Elettronico” International Festival of Video-dance
2016 : Walter Carsen Prize for Excellence in the Performing Arts
2016 : Positano Prize "Choreographer of the Year"
2016 : Governor General's Performing Arts Award for Lifetime Artistic Achievement
2015 : Ordre national du Québec
2015 : Ordre des arts et des lettres du Québec
2014 : Prix Samuel de Champlain
2012 : Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec Award for best choreography work for THE GOLDEN MEAN (LIVE)
2012 : Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal
2011 : The name of Marie Chouinard became a dictionary entry in Le Robert
2010 : The name of Marie Chouinard became a dictionary entry in Le Petit Larousse illustré
2010 : Prix du Quebec - Denise Pelletier Award
2010 : The Imperial Tobacco Foundation's Arts Achievement Award
2009 : Title of Chevalier in the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (France)
2009 : Gemini Award to the COMPAGNIE MARIE CHOUINARD dancers for their
performance in the film bODY_rEMIX/gOLDBERG_vARIATIONS
2007 : Officer of the Order of Canada
2007 : Canada's National Arts Centre Associate Dance Artist
2006 : Grand Prix du Conseil des arts de Montréal
2006 : Archangel Award at the Edinburgh Festival for the opera the Seven Deadly Sins, directed by François Girard and chorographed by Marie Chouinard
2003 : Governor General of Canada’s Performing Arts Awards (National Arts Centre Award, Ottawa)
2003 : Prize for interpretation for the performance of Carol Prieur and Benoît Lachambre in the film Cantique no. 1, Moving Pictures Film Festival, Toronto
2003 : The French Society of Dramatic Authors and Composers Award (SACD), Paris
2000 : Bessie Award for sustained achievement, New York
1994 : Paper Boat Award (Glasgow, Scotland) for The Rite of Spring
1993 : Artist Lifetime Achievement Award
1987 : Prix Jean A. Chalmers de chorégraphie
1986 : Prix Jacqueline-Lemieux
1981 : Studio du Québec à New York (Government of Quebec), First Guest