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Varenka, Varenka

Coleman Lemieux & Compagnie

Multiple Dates

Varenka, Varenka

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Event Details

March 21-31, 2012, The Citadel


Wednesday-Saturday at 8pm

Tickets $25

Students $15

Inspired by Fyodor Dostoevsky’s first novel Poor Folk, the literary work is presented as a series of letters between Makar Dievushkin and Varenka Dobroselova that tells a tragic tale of an aging clerk and his love for a young woman. A profound account of the lives of the poor in the mid-nineteenth century Russia, their sincere affection for each other transforms into the downfall of one of them.

To bring the action to life, the choreography divides the characters into solos that unfold in tandem with the arc of the story, slowly unveiling the mind of each. Along with partner Bill Coleman, Laurence Lemieux transforms the words and imagination of Dostoevsky and the drama of these two solitudes into dance.

The choreography is accompanied by the original music of Vladimir Sidorov on the bayan (or Russian accordion) and the stage design of David Gaucher.

“I built the solos a bit like the letters, and inspired myself from their content in bringing the movements into being. The parallel solo-suites allow us to follow the action of both performers. The spectator can enter the unfolding drama through the precisely drawn portraits in dance, the vividly realistic scenes and the moods that flow beneath the action. The characters grow through a subtle transformation of motives, which ultimately lead to a series of events that cause them to come together before finally finding themselves alone,” says Lemieux.

“Varenka, Varenka! is a masterful piece of choreography. Lemieux has translated Dostoevsky’s novel into a dance anyone can easily understand. “ – Susan Walker, Toronto Star


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