The bliss of the non-dual approach is like the depth of perspective: possible only with two eyes.”

-Marie Chouinard

Marie Chouinard

2003 National Arts Centre Award

An astonishing choreographer and a startling performer, Marie Chouinard has created an astonishingly rich and diversified collection of choreography over the past 25 years. Her works reflect her view of dance as a sacred art, her respect for the body as a vehicle for that art, her virtuoso approach to performance, and the invention of a different universe for each new piece.

In 1978, Marie Chouinard presented her first creation, Cristallisation. This was followed by some 50 works in which she refined her unwavering fascination with the mysteries of the human body. For the next 12 years Marie Chouinard performed alone on stage, travelling the world and absorbing many cultures.

In 1990, she founded the Compagnie Marie Chouinard, permitting her to develop a repertoire for group dance. Her first such work, Les Trous du ciel (1991), was acclaimed in Canada, the United States and Europe.

The Rite of Spring followed in 1993, and from 1994 would be performed with L'Après-midi d'un faune in a dual programme. In 1996, the Company created L'Amande et le Diamant in which Marie Chouinard continued her investigation into the links between sound and movement.

Created in 1998, Les Solos 1978-1998—a retrospective of nine works created and performed by Marie Chouinard during her solo period, plus two new creations—provided an opportunity to re-examine the passionate and rigorous vision that informs her aesthetic.

In 1999, Marie Chouinard entered a strictly masculine world with Des feux dans la nuit and combined solos, duets, and trios in 24 Preludes by Chopin. In 2000, she created Le Cri du monde, a study of morphological division, and in 2001, Étude #1, a solo work for female dancer.

Marie Chouinard has received several awards, including New York's Bessie Award (2000) for her collected works, Glasgow's Paper Boat Award (1994) for The Rite of Spring, the Jean A. Chalmers Award for choreography (1987), and the Prix Jacqueline-Lemieux (1986). In 2003, Marie Chouinard created Cantique #1, her first film, and Chorale, a festive universe articulated around the notion of sexuality and divinity.