By David Danzon, Artistic Director
My artistic education started early, while attending my aunt’s performances in Paris in the late ’70s. She graduated from the famous international Lecocq school and at the time, was a member of an inspirational company called La Jacquerie. They formed a very cohesive ensemble of physical performers and I remember watching them rehearse and perform with wide eyes. Their work was daring, experimental, physical and very funny. I also grew up watching the great comic geniuses of the 20th century (Chaplin, Marx brothers, Tati, Keaton…), who taught me that body language is the most eloquent of all. As a young performer, my natural instincts always went towards exploring the comedic side of human nature, through the body and movement. The work of CORPUS later followed that direction.
In 1993, I met dancer/choreographer Sylvie Bouchard. At the time, I was anxious to start something fresh: my own company as a vehicle for physical experimentation and creation. We set out to do a year of research that focused on combining choreography with comedy and abstract movement with a narrative line. Together we quickly found our own personal style of performance and in 1997, formed CORPUS.For the following decade, we worked on a choreographic style that combines a distinct blend of modern dance with elements of narrative and the Theatre of the Absurd. Looking for humour in movement and the comedic dimensions of human relationships, we developed a very personal style that takes a fresh approach to contemporary dance. Our company always remained committed to an extensive research process, ensuring that our experiments were thoroughly explored and our pieces well crafted.
In early 2008, CORPUS went through a leadership transition as co-founder Sylvie Bouchard resigned. Since then, as sole artistic director, I develop the company’s artistic work and honour its mandate. Drawing on my 15 years of experience in the field, enriched by artistic partnerships and collaborations with the dance community on specific projects, I personalize CORPUS and move the company forward. In the studio, I continue to look for different approaches to movement, choreography, story-telling and comedy. The body, in all its expression, remains the focal point. It is the starting point for new explorations and dictates the development of each new creation. The study of comedy through movement remains at the core of my creative process and my goal is to work with a mixture of dancers and actors to continue exploring that field. In all of my work there is an attempt to re-define the form and the way it is presented to an audience. I constantly re-adapt CORPUS’ creations to various environments, especially public spaces (a park, a street, a mall), hoping to give them a new identity in the process. This is also done with the intention to showcase the work in front of new and large audiences. Many of CORPUS’ projects in unconventional venues confirm an essential trait of the company: that the work has a broad appeal. It is accessible yet sophisticated and, as such, speaks to dance initiates and connoisseurs alike.
Broadly speaking, I continually look to understand the invisible rules of creation and performance, apply them and break them as quickly as I can. This is a principle that I take with me to the studio. I believe that the role of art is to ask questions, and let its audience answer them. I believe in art that respects and honours people’s imagination and intelligence. I am confident that my creative process and the results CORPUS is able to achieve will continue to have an impact on my peers and on audiences. My main artistic goal is to keep surprising myself, in order to better surprise audiences."