Photo: Ayelen Liberona
A multi-faceted artist, Marie-Josée Chartier moves easily between the worlds of dance, multi-media, music and opera in the roles of choreographer, performer, director, vocalist or teacher. As a choreographer she is greatly influenced by contemporary visual art, music and literature in terms of concept, composition and dynamic structure. From there, personal themes weave themselves to create works that try to decipher, expose or deconstruct the vulnerability of human beings.
These choreographic works have been presented nationally in festivals and series such as Canada Dance Festival, Dancing on the Edge, New Dance Horizons, Tangente, DanceWorks, and internationally in Potsdam, Prague, Vienne, Paris, Gent, Singapour, New York, Bogotá, Mexico, Buenos Aires and Santo Domingo. Ms. Chartier has received numerous choreographic commissions from solo artists and companies including Vestige for Toronto Dance Theatre, fifty-one pieces of silver for Dancemakers, étude pour deux mammifères for Kaeja d’Dance, La Lourdeur des Cendres for Four Chambers, Quicksilver for Yvonne Ng, Terrain and A short voyage for Jolene Bailie and How to Wrestle an Angel for Old Men Dancing. Her work has been the subject of documentary films shown on national television (CBC, TVO, TFO, BRAVO!) and in diverse film festivals.
She is the recipient of numerous grants and awards notably the 2001 K.M. Hunter Artist Award in Dance, nine Dora Mavor Moore Award nominations in categories of choreography, direction and performance, a finalist for the Muriel Sherrin Award from the Toronto Arts Foundation honoring International Achievement in Dance. She won the 2002 Dora for fifty-one pieces of silver and shared with the collective URGE two Dora awards for And by the way Miss. She is the recipient of a residency award as a multi-disciplinary dance artist offered by the Young Centre for the Performing Arts. Since 2000, Marie-Josée Chartier has been active as a choreographer and director in music, multi-media and opera productions and collaborates regularly with Queen of Puddings Music Theatre (Sirens, Echoes, Love Songs) with extensive teaching in their summer program for singers for ten years, the Gryphon Trio (Constantinople), Toca Loca (Pleu(rire), Dance Dance Revolution) and l’Ensemble Contemporain de Montréal (ECM+) as a resident director since 2005 directing five major productions.
Marie-Josée Chartier continues to dance and her performing career has taken her on international and national stages as a freelance artist and with dance companies from several Montréal and Toronto. She is increasingly active as artistic advisor, mentor or director for established and/or emerging dance artists. She is a regular guest teacher in major training centres and universities in Canada as well as in Latin America in modern dance, movement for singers and musicians, voice exploration and improvisation. Marie-Josée has been politically involved in the dance community since 1985 as a co-founder and president of the Canadian Alliance of Dance Artists, as a member and advisor for the Dancer Transition Resource Centre, as a juror on several arts councils and board member and consultant on several dance organizations.
In 2003, Marie-Josée Chartier founded Chartier Danse in order to support her creative activities. She believes in bringing contemporary artists of diverse disciplines from the beginning of the creation to allow the development of layered, meticulous and integrated work and foster a level of communication that is central in accomplishing a strong artistic vision.
Chartier Danse fostered and produced acclaimed large scale productions such as Red Brick celebrating the work of composer Michael J. Baker in collaboration with Arraymusic, Peggy Baker Dance Projects, adelheid, Coleman Lemieux & Compagnie, Contes pour enfants pas sages a production for young audiences in collaboration with PPS Danse, Screaming Popes inspired from the work of painter Francis Bacon and co-produced with fabrik Potsdam, Germany and Bas-Reliefs inspired from the paintings of Betty Goodwin in collaboration with Danse-Cité a production uniting choreographers, designers and filmmakers from Montréal and Toronto.