Laurence Lemieux and Bill Coleman stand in front of the Citadel, which is now a theatre.
LES CHEMINEMENTS DE L’INFLUENCE (pathways of influence) choreographed and danced by Laurence Lemieux. Presented by Coleman Lemieux & Compagnie at the Citadel (304 Parliament). Opens Wednesday (February 15) and runs to February 25, WednesdaySaturday 8 pm. $25. 416-364-8011, colemanlemieux.com. See listing.
Father's Day is a few months away, but Laurence Lemieux is giving her dad an early present.
The acclaimed dancer/choreographer's new full-length solo, Les Cheminements De L'Influence, is inspired by her political scientist father's research into the Quebec people. Vincent Lemieux's been called the province's Nostradamus.
"He was one of the few people to predict the victory of the Parti Québecois in 1976," says Lemieux. "And in the recent election he predicted the Harper majority and the decline of the Bloc."
His predictions, she says, are based on hard data, not emotion - although she also says he'd make a good artist.
"He's methodical, which all artists need to be to be able to take that next step. His comments on society are almost artistic or philosophical."
But how to put into dance what seems highly theoretical?
"I can't dance sociology or political science," Lemieux laughs. "But I might use movement to try to capture the feeling that he had doing research, or to remember my feeling watching him do research."
Composer Gordon Monahan has provided the hour-long work with original score that blends bits of Chopin with sounds evoking the Church and political speeches.
Unfortunately, Lemieux's parents probably won't be able to see the piece in person. Her father has a leg condition that may prevent him from travelling from Quebec City.
"But I'll send him a DVD of it and will dance sections for him next time I see him," she says.
Lemieux, the only artist in a family of academics, says her father always supported her career.
"He quoted a French mathematician who said that the master of dance surpasses the master of thought, because the dancer needs full control of the mind and body, while the thinker only needs the mind."
The show also marks the debut of the Citadel, a new Regent Park dance rehearsal and performing space run by Lemieux and her partner, Bill Coleman.
Included in the building is a pay-what-you-can yoga studio.
"You usually need a lot of money to practise it," says Lemieux, who, like her dad, is obviously sensitive to the people around her.
"We want to make sure that people who don't have much money have access to spiritual guidance."