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Amjad © Édouard Lock

True to his reputation for being an audacious and eclectic choreographer, Édouard Lock has taken inspiration from some of the most notable ballets of the Romantic period, in particular Swan Lake and Sleeping Beauty. The choreographer marries poetry, tradition and modernity to bring these themes to life.
Amjad is composed in part of passages from these ballets, but deconstructed, reconstructed and adapted to current musical and choreographic worlds. With Amjad, Édouard Lock continues his exploration of the body as an abstract, extreme entity. The choreographer carries on with a creative process that, in December 2002, inspired the French daily Libération to say that Édouard Lock “aims to free the body of all functionality, to the point of abstraction, as does the romantic ballet.”

To interpret Amjad, La La La Human Steps has brought together a troupe of nine dancers of stunning strength and versatility, who master both classical ballet and contemporary dance techniques. Xuan Cheng, a new arrival to the troupe, is originally from China, where she was a member of the Guangzhou Ballet from 2000 to 2006; she won the gold medal in the adult section of the Third Shanghai International Ballet Competition in 2004. Andrea Boardman was a principal dancer with Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal for 10 years, and joined La La La Human Steps in 2001. Zofia Tujaka, who trained at the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School, joined the troupe in 1997; this is her third creation with Édouard Lock. Talia Evtushenko danced with, among others, the National Ballet of Canada and the Peter Schaufuss Ballet of Denmark before joining the troupe in 2006. Mistaya Hemingway has performed in numerous George Balanchine ballets, as well as in works by William Forsythe and Nacho Duato; she came back to the troupe for Amelia. As for the troupe's male dancers, Québecer Bernard Martin was also a dancer with Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, where he performed in works from the most well-known choreographers. He joined Édouard Lock for Amelia. Successively a member of several ballet companies in the United States and Canada, Keir Knight is joining La La La Human Steps for the third time; Jason Shipley-Holmes was part of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet and Les Grands Ballets Canadiens before dancing in Salt/Exaucé and Amelia. Dominic Santia joined the troupe in 2006 after earning a BFA from the Juilliard School,where he performed in works by José Limon and Nacho Duato, among others.

To create a musical universe for Amjad, Édouard Lock called upon composer Gavin Bryars, who shared the choreographer's inspiration and drew material from classic musical sources-namely,music composed by Tchaikovsky for Swan Lake and Sleeping Beauty. The reinterpretation of these two works will remain faithful to the tradition of the period, whereby music for full orchestras was adapted for chamber music ensembles. Four musicians will interpret the resulting musical creation on stage, under the direction of pianist Njo Kong Kie, with cellist Élisabeth Giroux, violists Jill Van Gee and Jennifer Thiessen.

Amjad premiered April 2007, 20th at Centre national des Arts in Ottawa (Canada)

Édouard Lock

Andrea Boardman
Xuan Cheng
Talia Evtushenko
Mistaya Hemingway
Keir Knight
Bernard Martin
Dominic Santia
Jason Shipley-Holmes
Zofia Tujaka

Jean-Hugues Rochette

Shawn Hounsell

Gavin Bryars
David Lang
Blake Hargreaves

Njo Kong Kie

Elisabeth Giroux, Cellist
Jill Van Gee, Violist
Jennifer Thiessen, Violist

Armand Vaillancourt

John Munro


Amjad is a La La La Human Steps production in co-production with Centre national des Arts (Ottawa); de Singel International Art Centre (Antwerp); Het Musiektheater (Amsterdam); Théâtre de la Ville (Paris) and the Singapore Arts Festival.
Amjad receives special support from ImPulsTanz (Vienna) and Société de la Place des Arts (Montreal).

La La La Human Steps receives support from the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec, the Canada Council for the Arts, the Conseil des arts de Montréal, the Department of Canadian Heritage, the Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada.

La La La Human Steps would also like to thank its major partners: the Daniel Langlois Foundation, the Stephen R. Bronfman Foundation, Cascades Inc. and Power Corporation.