By Gurman Sahota, March 7 2017 —
Dealing with heartbreak in 2017 often comes with a combination of ice cream, crying and an ample amount of venting to your best friend. Choreographer Virginie Brunelle has taken that heartbreak and turned it into art. Brunelle, along with her Compagnie Virginie Brunelle, brings her own experiences to light in To The Pain That Lingers, co-produced by the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity and Theatre Junction Grand. The show will play until March 11 at Theatre Junction Grand.
With a name derived from a Francophone poem. Brunelle says To The Pain That Lingers is about how pain shapes us. To counteract such a heavy and vulnerable piece, Brunelle uses lighthearted humour to move her story along.
“Through the encounters you make throughout your life, [there’s an] energy that is left between two people even if they’re separated. Even if they move on to something else, there’s always a memory, a souvenir,” Brunelle says. “It’s about the nostalgia — all the souvenirs and memories of the others staying [in] our bodies and our minds and hearts.”
Compared to her previous dance works, To The Pain That Lingers is more movement-based. Although Brunelle does not have the same professional dance background as many of her colleagues, she says this aids her in creating original pieces since she is not bound to the traditional rules of the performing arts.
“I think this takes off a boundary of classic movements or codes of dance. It gives me new possibilities that represents me and my way to see life,” Brunelle says. “Using classic movement wasn’t sacrilegious [for me]. Breaking it up wasn’t sacrilegious.”
Brunelle says her work evolves as each performance adds more meaning and subtracts what doesn’t work. Besides the creation period, she utilizes her time with the piece to practice in different forums.
After premiering the piece last fall in Montreal, Brunelle will perform it in Calgary and Vancouver this year. She hopes to take it abroad next year. Calgary audiences will see the piece after Brunelle has workshopped To The Pain That Lingers at the Banff Centre of Arts and Creativity. She hopes audiences will appreciate the new developments.
“Since the style of this piece is different from [my] other pieces, it will be interesting to see how audiences will react [with] this being the first piece they see,” Brunelle says. “It will be exciting to see how it will stand on its own.”
To The Pain That Lingers will present at Theatre Junction Grand from March 8–11 at 8:00 p.m. Student pricing is $20.
For more information, visit theatrejunction.com