Interview with Myriam Allard – Double Bill
PEOPLE OF DJD//
There are many people that make up the community at the DJD Dance Centre. From artists, administrators, volunteers and beyond, these walls are pulsing with personality.
Co-Artistic Director of La Otra Orilla
1. TELL US ABOUT LA OTRA ORILLA
Hedi and I go way back. We met in Spain 20 years ago, in Sevilla, where we were both based for a few years. When Hedi immigrated to Montreal, we decided to found our company and call it La Otra Orilla, The Other Shore, which can take many meanings. Literally, we are on the other side of the ocean in relationship to Spain. Also, Hedi was born on the other side of the Mediterranean sea which adds to that idea. Metaphorically, together we are a mix of French, Tunisian, Greek, British, French Manitoban… and all these different cultures have made their way into our art, creating “another” flamenco. We anchor our work in Flamenco and it’s ever so grounded energy, but we also open a dialogue with other art forms, creating unexpected meetings and alliances. For each production we collaborate with artists that inspire us, to build unique pieces that combine dance, music, literature, theatre… Always following the same guiding principal; a quest of authenticity, humanity and poetry.
2.TELL US ABOUT MAGNETIKAE
Being a flamenco dancer from Canada that has known winter since birth, with skates on her feet long before wearing heels to stomp on the ground. Being born in Tunisia, becoming a flamenco singer and moving to Canada, discovering winter and entering some sort of survival mode to face this culture shock.
MAGNETIKAE is born of different inspirations… the concept of cold, our relationship with 6 months of winter, the beauty and light of white snowy landscapes, the unforgiveness of a freezing night, the sounds of ice cracking, the sounds of footsteps on snow on a very cold day… All this builds a powerful imaginary in which we decided to dive full-heartedly to create this show. There is also something enticing about dropping flamenco in a cold, Arctic setting. And a lot of curiosity to see what would become of it!
3. HOW DID YOU BECOME A FLAMENCO DANCER?
My home was always filled with music and dance. Not in a professional way, but with a lot of passion nonetheless. We danced every chance we had. If there was no special occasion we would invent one, build shows, create choreogaphy. When I was 18, I saw Claude Lelouch’s film La Belle Histoire. I bought the soundtrack and on it there was some flamenco. That was it. I was hooked. I was drawn to the beauty and power of the music first, and later discovered there was a dance connected to it. I found a teacher in my hometown, Québec City, and threw myself into dance. Shortly after I was living in Spain, training as hard as I could to become a dancer, to deeply understand and assimilate the langage of flamenco, and to experience in my body and soul the culture of this wonderful art form.
4. WHAT ELSE WOULD YOU LIKE TO TELL US?
Hedi and I have a way of working that is two headed. We assist each other while we create our works, giving each other feedback and bouncing of each others ideas. As co-directors, we take all artistic decisions together. It comes to a point where we can’t tell anymore who said what, as though there is an understanding, a deep connection, that stands out in the art we create. We are also very fortunate to have at our sides wonderful artists that share their expertise and talent openly and givingly. Which is a blessing.
One last word: Thank you Kim, and all of the DJD team, for this exceptional, wonderful opportunity to share the stage with you for 3 weeks!! We are grateful and excited!