Tête-à-tête with Stéphane Gladyszewski

Stéphane Gladyszewski’s intimate new dance piece connects dancer and viewer for a one-on-one show.

If you’ve ever seen works by dancer-choreographer Stéphane Gladyszewski, you’ve no doubt been captivated by his sensorial crafting of projections, body and light. His new work, Tête à Tête, is being presented as part of the Sublime Virtualité event at the Festival de nouveau cinéma, which showcases films, performance and installation that blurs borders between the real and the virtual.

“When I create, I start with building a set, and an environment to explore where I can project my imaginary world,” says Gladyszewski of his project conception, a few days before the opening.

He says he’s taking a step in a more intimate direction with this immersive experience built for two. With a background in photography and visual arts, Gladyszewski says he wanted to push boundaries, dig into “one’s psyche” and “had a desire to work around one specific visual point of view,” he explains. “If I can control where people look, I can control what happens.”

Claustrophobics beware: he’s constructed a small, dark space, equipped with mirrors and projections where, through a mask that is embedded into a wall, viewer and performer connect through eye contact. With a soundscape by Jean-Sébastien Durocher, Gladyszewski plays with perception and orchestrates an unexpected merging of experience and images with dancer Peter James.

Exploring the ideas of intimacy and proximity, he asks himself some questions: “Can I make someone travel into my head? Can we get so close so it becomes telepathic?” ■

Tête à Tête runs Oct. 19-20, PHI Centre (407 St-Pierre), by reservation. Get tickets here.

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