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Canadian dance icon Louise Lecavalier reflects on her art and her quest for perfection and authenticity.

“When I’m not in motion,” the Canadian dance icon Louise Lecavalier says, “I guess I’ll be dead.” Stillness from the intensely kinetic former member of Édouard Lock’s La La La Human Steps troupe seems unthinkable, but there is calmness to Lecavalier nevertheless. The illustrious performer and choreographer spoke to The Globe and Mail recently while on a trip in Germany, where she taught a few classes and presented her works Battleground and So Blue.

In her words

Motion doesn’t mean speed. Sometimes moving fast can be something very tranquil and quiet inside of me. My thoughts are moving. My body is moving. But it can be calm. I’m not so speedy as people think I am.

I feel I’m a traveller. I’m in movement, because I search. Maybe I’m a nomad, moving all the time. I’m dancing, so I just need my body. I’m almost always ready, but It feels very normal. It doesn’t feel special to me.

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Perfection is something I’ll never attain, but do I want to make my movement perfect? In a way, yes; in a way, no. Sometime it’s the imperfection that I like.

From the beginning, I thought that if I have to go onstage and talk to people with movement, it could not be causal. I didn’t think I was such a special human being that I should ask for people’s attention. But if I’m standing there and people are coming, I must try to give the best of myself, on all levels.

When I say that I want to have things perfect, it’s not a perfection of beauty. It’s more that I’ve found some truth in the choreography. It’s something I work at every day. A piece has to be reanimated to be true again. So, this quest for perfection, maybe it’s a quest for authenticity. It has to be real, every time.

The 2017 documentary Louise Lecavalier – In Motion opens dance: made in canada/fait au canada, a biennial contemporary dance festival at Toronto’s Betty Oliphant Theatre, Aug. 14 to 18.

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