Lynda Gaudreau

Lynda Gaudreau, choreographer, artistic director, teacher, advisor (born at Sept- ëles, Qué). Lynda Gaudrea's academic background is in art history and philosophy from the University of Ottawa, Université de Montréal and Université de Québec à Montréal, and she trained in jazz and classical DANCE. She choreographed in obscurity for a decade before 1991, when her first major piece, Des Centaines de fois mon coeur, won acclaim. Appearances at the 1992 Festival International de Nouvelle Danse launched her international career, and her incisive, cerebral dances became hot properties at festivals in Europe and Canada. By 1993 Gaudreau and Compagnie de Brune, which she founded in 1992, were dividing their time between Montréal and Antwerp, Belgium. They were fixtures at festivals across Europe. Construction received the ADAMI prize for group interpretation at the Rencontres choreographiques internationales de Bagnolet Seine Saint-Denis, France, in 1994.

Exploring the Body

During the 1990s Gaudreau's work was increasingly characterized by almost surgical explorations of the body, which she reverently deconstructed in movement. Anatomie (1996) and the more clinical Still Life No. 1 (1996), with its laboratory setting, superimposed the worlds of painting and anatomy on movement.

In 1999 she began working on the four-part Encyclopœdia, a series of dictionary-like documents of the body (combinations of dance, exhibition, video and text). Document 1 and Document 2 were followed by a compilation made up of excerpts from both. In these works she took a more distant stance from her subject, coolly describing how parts of the body move in everyday art, leisure and sports activities. The effect of watching these cerebral approaches to body analysis was frequently deeply emotional. In 2007 she concluded the series by publishing Document 4, a slim, trilingual volume in English, French and Dutch, written and illustrated by 9 multidisciplinary artists. It included an audio CD documenting the development of the accompanying music.


Lynda Gaudreau works in series like many visual artists. In 2005, immediately after beginning a new cycle with 0101 at Vienna's ImPulzTanz festival, she turned her attention again to a new, ongoing mixed media project, Clash. Aiming to break the isolation in dance by offering a new look at the practice and working methods of dance and involving artists from various disciplines as well as the general public, Clash involved intensive work sessions and debates for artists, as well as public presentations and discussions. Clash opened in Montréal in 2006 and was later seen in Brazil as Clash satellite 01. The series continued through 2010.

Gaudreau describes herself as a movement anatomist, an architect of the human body. She catalogues the results of her investigations and integrates filmed and live performances by other dancers, visual artists, filmmakers and musicians into her works. These have been performed extensively in total and in part throughout Europe, where she is better known than in Canada.

Gaudreau has choreographed pieces for the Batsheva Ensemble in Israel for several Montréal dancers, and has worked with Montréal theatre director Brigitte Haentjens. In 2001 she choreographed a project shown in Paris for graduating students at Belgium's world-renowned contemporary dance school, the Performing Arts Research and Training Studios (PARTS). A constant on the international dance festival circuit, she curated the Lucky Bastard laboratory at the 2003 Festival International de Nouvelle Danse in Montréal, where 30 artists from various disciplines improvised and performed. A second Lucky Bastard lab was presented at a festival in Corsica in 2004, the same year as another installation, Time Flies, was staged with artists from 3 continents at festivals in Austria and Great Britain.

This was followed by a series of experiments called "'Outs" - Black Out and Space Out in Montréal, Out of the Blue in Avignon, France (all in 2009), Out of Grace in Montreal (2010), and Out of Grace at M-Museum in Leuven, Belgium (2012), which was adapted to the museum's permanent collection. In 2011, the Association of Canadian Contemporary Art Galleries nominated Out of Grace as the best exhibition in a museum.

Between 2010 and 2012, Gaudreau continued researching, mentoring and collaborating with other artists with three versions of In Limbo, for 11 Montréal choreographers and a group of visual and sound artists.

She has been a member of the International Association of Curators of Contemporary Art since 2008 and of the Regroupement québecois de la danse since 1992.

Lynda Gaudreau gives lectures and workshops around the world.