Le fils d’Adrien is one of Quebec’s best-known contemporary dance companies, the flower of Artistic Director Harold Rhéaume’s 20-year career. The company found fertile soil when it put down roots in Quebec City in 2000, quickly becoming a pillar of the city’s vibrant dance community.
Since 2005 Le fils d’Adrien has made its home in the heart of St. Roch, new epicentre of Quebec City’s arts scene, at La Rotonde, Quebec’s Centre for Contemporary Choreography. Here the company employs an administrative staff of 3, 7 freelance dancers and a production staff of 15.
A small company, then, but a dynamic one that stops at nothing when it comes to bringing contemporary dance to a wide audience. From its dance style to its staging to its marketing strategy – all guided by a singular, unified vision – the company has gained a reputation for breathing new life into the way dance is done in Quebec.
Prolific? The word doesn’t do justice to Le fils d’Adrien’s prodigious output. The company produces at least one new major show annually, and sometimes as many as three. This translates into 30 performances a year, all over Quebec and around Europe (including France, Belgium and England). These accessible, visually-stunning productions appeal to an audience of all ages and backgrounds, tackling universal human concerns with compassion and tenderness.
But Le fils d’Adrien is about much more than putting on shows. The company is involved in dance at every level and in every capacity. One focus is encouraging and supporting new talent with short-term apprenticeships, master classes and productions at professional dance schools.
Harold Rhéaume’s well-roundedness serves him equally well in other contexts: he is at home working at schools and with businesses, in the theatre, music and media worlds, as a creator or a teacher, leading a workshop or giving advice and guidance to fellow professionals.
He has often been recognized over the years for the quality of his work and the scope of his contributions to the dance world. In 2008 he won the Prix du développement culturel at Quebec City’s Gala for Excellence in Culture and the Arts, thanks to the impact of his project for Quebec City’s 400th anniversary, Le fil de l’Histoire, while in 2006 he was a finalist for the city’s premier Arts and Culture prize, the Prix Ville de Québec.
Meanwhile his theatre projects have earned two nominations at the Gala des Masques: for Brigitte Haentjen’s Antigone in 2003 and Marie-Josée Bastien’s They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? in 2007.
And we can’t forget the 1997 Jacqueline Lemieux Award from the Canada Council for the Arts, given in recognition of Rhéaume’s great promise and of the depth with which he treats fundamental human concerns.
Photo : David Cannon