Friday, May 10, 2024

New Sensations: Gauthier Dance Reinvigorates the Stage

Marie Chouinard in Le Chant du Cygne: Le Lac (from Swan Lakes). (Photo: Jeanette Bak)

Gauthier Dance//Dance Company Theaterhaus Stuttgart recently made its Toronto debut as part of the 2023/24 Torque season of contemporary dance at Harbourfront Centre. The April 18 opener marked a brilliant homecoming for artistic director Eric Gauthier, a former National Ballet of Canada dancer – originally from Montreal – who spent years as a soloist with the Stuttgart Ballet under the direction of fellow Canadian Reid Anderson. Now 47, Gauthier transitioned into choreography before founding the company that bears his name in 2007. And that company is a delight – jaunty, versatile armed with a sense of humour, and charismatic. The 16 multinational dancers effortlessly connect with the audience, shattering the fourth wall with ease especially when (as happened in Toronto) they invite spectators to join them on stage for an immersive experience of shared joy and movement.