Choreographer Guillaume Côté and composer Éric Champagne are presenting the fruits of their joint creation. Danced by Guillaume Côté and music performed by Yannick Nézet-Séguin.
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CAROLYN & RICHARD RENAUD, C.M.
Choreographer : Guillaume Côté
Guillaume Côté is a native of Lac-Saint-Jean, Québec. He studied at Canada’s National Ballet School and joined The National Ballet of Canada in 1999. He quickly rose through the ranks and was promoted to Principal Dancer in 2004.
Since then, Mr. Côté has danced most of the major classical roles with the National Ballet of Canada and has been the leading male figure of the company. He has created a number of lead roles in ballets by James Kudelka including Ferdinand in An Italian Straw Hat, Prince Charming in Cinderella and Will in The Contract (The Pied Piper). Mr. Côté also created the role of Gene Kelly in Derek Deane’s production of Strictly Gershwin, for the English National Ballet and the role of Romeo in Alexei Ratmansky’s new Romeo and Juliet.
As a guest artist, Mr. Côté has danced with the Royal Ballet, Bolshoi Theatre, American Ballet Theater, New York City Ballet, Teatro alla Scala, English National Ballet, the Mikhailosky Theater of St-Petersburg, Teatro Colón de Buenos Aires, Berlin’s Staatsoper, the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Stuttgart Ballet, Hamburg Ballet, the Alberta Ballet, Verona Opera and the South African Ballet Theater. Mr. Côté has also performed in numerous international galas.
In 2013, in addition to his position as a Principal Dancer, Mr. Côté assumed the role of Choreographic Associate with the National Ballet of Canada. Mr. Côté’s work No. 24 won third prize at Ballet Society Hanover’s 25th International Competition in 2011 and entered the National Ballet’s repertoire in 2013. In 2012, his work Enkeli won the Audience Choice Award for Best Choreography at The Tenth International Competition for the Erik Bruhn Prize. That same year, his work for ProArteDanza, Fractals: a pattern of chaos, was nominated for a Dora Mavor Moore Award for Outstanding Choreography. In 2014 Mr. Côté created Dance Me to the End of Love, on music by Leonard Cohen, as part of an all Guillaume Côté evening at Festival des Arts de Saint-Sauveur. In 2015, his work Being and Nothingness entered the National Ballet of Canada’s repertoire and was an immediate audience favorite. Mr. Côté’s first full-length ballet, Le Petit Prince, was presented during the National Ballet’s 2016 season in front of completely sold-out houses. More recently, Mr. Côté was chosen to participate in the landmark National Arts Center Commission Encount3rs, pairing three of Canada’s outstanding choreographic talents with three of the country’s most exciting composers performing together with the National Arts Centre Orchestra. In June of 2018, Mr. Côté creates in collaboration with the famous Director Robert Lepage, Frame by Frame, a new full-length evening presented at the Four Seasons Centre in Toronto. More recently, Mr. Côté created the full length Crypto, an independent multimedia project with a scheduled 20 performance Canadian tour, currently postponed due to the pandemic.
In 2011, Mr. Côté was awarded “La médaille de l’Assemblée Nationale du Québec” for his work in the arts. In September 2014, he was named the Artistic Director of the Festival des Arts de Saint-Sauveur, the largest summer dance festival in the country.
Composer : Éric Champagne
Winner of the Opus prize Composer of the Year (2020) and Discovery of the Year (2014), composer Éric Champagne, born in Montreal in 1980, holds a Master’s Degree in Composition from the Université de Montréal. Composers he has studied with include Michel Tétreault, François-Hugues Leclair, Michel Longtin, Denis Gougeon, Luis de Pablo, José Evangelista, John McCabe, and Gary Kulesha.
His music is regularly performed in Quebec, across Canada, and in the United States, Europe, and India by distinguished ensembles and soloists such as the Academic Orchestra of Zurich (Switzerland), symphony orchestras in Montréal, Quebec City, Vancouver and Kitchener-Waterloo, the Orchestre de la Francophonie (Montreal), the Orchestre Symphonique de l’Estuaire (Rimouski), the National Academy Orchestra of Canada (Hamilton), the Toronto Youth Symphony Orchestra, the McGill Wind Symphony, the University of Oklahoma Wind Symphony, the Molinari String Quartet, the Fibonacci Trio, wind quintet Pentaèdre, Zefirino Ensemble (Switzerland) and the percussion ensemble Sixtrum. Having been composer-in-residence of Montreal’s Orchestre Métropolitain from 2012 to 2014, Éric Champagne continues to be a regular collaborator on a variety of musical and pedagogical projects. He is also composer-in-residence at the Chapelle historique du Bon-Pasteur in Montréal from 2016 to 2018.
Éric Champagne has been awarded numerous prizes and honours including the Prix du CALQ-Création de l’année-Montréal for his First Symphony premiered in March 2014 by the Orchestre Métropolitain, the University of Oklahoma’s Michael Hennagin Memorial Composition Prize for his piece Champ-de-Mars, par jour de lumière, the Prix collégien de musique contemporaine for his orchestral piece Vers les astres, first prize in the composition competition of the Orchestre de l’Université de Montréal, and first prize in the organ composition competition of Sherbrooke’s Ensemble Musica Nova.
Éric Champagne is actively involved in the dissemination of contemporary music and of culture on a broader scale. He is the author of articles, interviews, and reviews published in magazines and journals such as Circuit, L’Opéra revue québécoise d’art lyrique, La Scena musicale, Intersections, Estuaire, and L’Entracte, as well as online at Cette ville étrange. Moreover, he has given numerous musical creation workshops and guest conferences in elementary and secondary schools, colleges, and universities in addition to teaching at the Camp musical Père Lindsay.
Musician : Yannick Nézet-Séguin on the piano