By: Megan Drabant
Once upon a time, there was a French choreographer who brought her European flair to a lucky school in the United States. That choreographer just so happens to be Julie Bour, artistic director of Compagnie Julie Bour, and the lucky school is our very own Maggie Allesee Department of Dance at Wayne State University (WSU). Bour graduated from the Conservatoire National de Paris and followed her career to work with a variety of renowned choreographers around the world including Angelin Preljocaj, Inbal Pinto and Cave Canem company. As assistant to the French choreographer Angelin Preljocaj, Bour has re-staged his repertory in New York City and Bordeaux, France. Also, she had the pleasure to work with director Julie Taymor on the Opera “Grendel”. She received a Bessie Award for “Best performer of the year” in New York City.
Bour does not feel restricted by a style, a history or a technique. As a choreographer, she is driven by the need to question, mix and share. By exploring the dynamics of contemporary culture through the prism of who she is now, on any particular day, she creates work which resonates in the cultural moment. The key to Bour’s creative process is to work consistently with dancers who are committed to movement invention and to develop a technique and language over time. Bour founded The Flying Mammoth with Loic Noisette in 2006 as a bridge between the different arts, cultures and countries they have encountered over the course of their careers. The unorthodoxy and internationality of both her professional and personal paths are strongly present in her choreographic process.
As the Fall 2011 Allesee Artist in Residence, Bour worked for a week with the talented dancers of WSU through teaching morning modern technique classes and then rehearsing in the evening with the dancers selected to be in her piece. The dancers found Bour’s choreographic process to be quite refreshing and different than any other residencies they have experienced before. Senior, Jordan Holland describes Bour’s movement to be “Deep, visceral, and organic; everything has intention.” The work is very detail oriented; yet Bour’s process of developing movement directly on the spot with the dancers is different for many of the WSU students.
In setting her new work entitled “Rouge,” Bour found inspiration in the classic tale of Little Red Ridding Hood. However, Bour’s rendition of the story is twisted with a modern spin of three different endings. The multiple endings relate to the concepts of defeating, being defeated, and indecision. All three endings can be witnessed at one time during the piece as the whimsical, yet contemporary music strings the story along. Bour pushes the dancers to be strong characters and precision movers with musically, pedestrian movement. Overall, Bour’s new version of Little Red Ridding Hood is pleasantly enthralling with an underlying parallel between real life and fairy tale.
Come see “Rouge” performed at the informance on Monday, October 31, at 12:30pm in the Maggie Allesee Studio Theatre, 3317 Old Main Building, 4841 Cass Detroit, MI 48201.
This is a free event and seating is limited so please arrive fifteen minutes early. Also, “Rouge” will be performed at the December Departmental Dance Concert on December 1-2 at 7:30pm and December 4 at 2:00pm and 7:00pm in the Maggie Allesee Studio Theatre, where other works choreographed by both students and faculty will be premiered.