TOHU: What was the inspiration for this show?
Valérie Doucet: The project was born from a TOHU residency, based on a concept by Benoit Landry–Nord Nord Est artistic director and stage director–which explored the duality in every human being. The exploration was very physical, close to the performance, in a quest for vital drive. After the company’s first show: simple and contemplative Voyage d’hiver, Benoit wanted to go the other direction, towards the rupture, the drive, the movement. With this in mind, we worked with the idea of following someone in an uninterrupted movement through a journey. It disappeared, but the concept is still there.
TOHU: How was the creative process?
Valérie Doucet: The second stage of the work was focused on a sensorial exploration, a quest for states of being: how do they manifest in the body? It was an intense phase of improvisation on music, always keeping to the theme, duality: relationship to oneself, denial, being our own tormentors, battling against oneself. Contrary to what a performance requires, the work was done from the inside out, in a place of great intimacy.
TOHU: What is your place as an artist in the creation?
Valérie Doucet: Benoit is a very instinctive leader, and he gives lots of room to improvisation, creativity: creating as we go, with what happens, whatever comes out. As a contortionist, my discipline allows the body to transform, to explore the twisted relationship created by duality. It helps explore the extremes, what suggests limits. We brush up with dance, while keeping from the circus the element of danger.
TOHU: How does the show fit in your career?
Valérie Doucet: I don’t think of my career, or rather I don’t plan it. I have had the chance of working with several companies and share the stage with inspiring artists from whom I have learned a lot, and still do. I’m the sum of all my influences, every encounter, and I have no control over the way they transformed me. This show was born from my encounter with Benoit. It took us two years to develop, and we had no preconceived ideas on the final result.
TOHU: How do you perceive the Québec circus?
Valérie Doucet: Here, everything is centralized, which makes Québec close-knit community, working together. There is great respect between artists. However, I think the industry could benefit from diversifying and developing on a smaller scale. We have to continue our outreach work for circus art to shine in all it multidisciplinarity, and for the public to learn its various forms of expression. In that respect, we must thank TOHU and Cirque Éloize for their support by offering us their space to create. Initiatives like such contribute to the development of creations in Québec