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INTERVIEW WITH BRIGITTE SAINT-AUBIN: ACTRESS IN VANISHING MÉLODIES

Updated: Nov 7, 2023



Did you know that our new piece VANISHING MÉLODIES mixes styles and disciplines, bringing together dance and theater?


Actor Brigitte Saint-Aubin (replaced occasionally by Louise Cardinal) will be on stage with the dancers in this creation based on music by Patrick Watson. We took this opportunity to chat with her about her experience working with the company, what inspires her on a daily basis, as well as her aspirations.


What’s your process for taking on a new role? Is it the same in a work that’s primarily danced, like VANISHING MÉLODIES?


First and foremost there’s the story, the character’s main traits and the situations that surround her. Then there are the words that express all this and, finally, the incarnation in the body. With Anne Plamondon, one of the project’s two choreographers, I’m able to explore the character through movement in a more expressive way than usual, even though it’s still acting, not dancing. By attending rehearsals, I also get to understand the vocabulary that’s developed while working with the dancers and this feeds my interiority and interpretation.


Is there a particular piece you’ve performed or created that has left a particular mark?


The work that left the biggest mark is my solo, Design Intérieur, which was just presented at DUCEPPE. It’s an extremely personal show that unites my two passions, acting and singing. It’s about my grief following my mother’s death – about “letting go” and self-acceptance. This work has helped me grow as a person through writing, and on stage as an artist.


What are the most important qualities in a good actor?


Listening, openness, the ability to be in the moment.


Is this your first time acting in a dance performance? What particular challenges do you have to juggle?


It’s the first time I’ve been involved in a dance show and it’s amazing. I love dance. Being so close to the dancers on stage is incredibly moving. It opens my eyes to other aspects of creation. It’s a huge privilege to be part of this wonderful project.


If you had to describe your role in 3 words, what would they be?


Mourning, memory, acceptance


How do you approach working with a team of dancers? How do you get to know them and build a relationship?


We work on certain moments together in the rehearsal room and it’s incredibly touching. They are so generous and sensitive. Dancers are much less talkative than actors; it’s striking. I like this way of meeting through gestures rather than words. During a pandemic, the proximity of bodies is even more moving. Those rare contacts are privileges.


Were you familiar with Patrick Watson’s work before VANISHING MÉLODIES? What about his work inspires you?


I love Patrick Watson’s music. His voice is so sensual and sincere, and his music is so melancholy. It awakens powerful emotions in me.


What does it mean to work with Ballets Jazz Montréal?


It’s a wonderful surprise. I couldn’t have imagined such an adventure. I am honoured and thrilled.


What are your aspirations for VANISHING MÉLODIES and for your future as an actress and artist?


I obviously wish this show a long life. A dazzling world tour that will not only allow everyone to see it, but also to serve as a powerful vehicle for sharing the music of a truly great Montreal singer-songwriter. As for myself, I wish for more projects like this one – ones that allow me to explore unknown lands.


As you know, the Company is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. Any wishes for BJM for the next 50 years?


I wish it another 50 years of moving forward and exploring unchartered territory, like this mixture of artistic genres.

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