Picture this: a man flaps his arms progressively higher and harder, then begins bouncing on the balls of his feet, too. Tragically, he never leaves the ground--and if you don't laugh, you might cry. Montreal native Paul-Andre Fortier goes through this and similar taking-off routines several times in his hour-long solo, La tentation de la transparence ("The Temptation of Transparency"), a quirky, slow-paced, ultimately poetic piece about . . . human aspirations? Loneliness? The need to play? Whatever, Fortier is riveting: with his strongly arched brows and angular yet sensual face he bears a passing resemblance to Nijinsky, and he inhabits his character so thoroughly that you're utterly convinced his small, odd, and often repetitive movements come from some deep-seated inner need and not from the hand of a choreographer. Betty Goodwin has designed the ten-by-six-foot slanted platform on which Fortier performs, and Gaetan Leboeuf has composed the original music, a richly varied aural landscape--essentially it's Fortier's partner, whether he dances with or ignores it. Fortier, a key figure in Montreal's 20-year "new dance" tradition, appears as part of the New World/New Art festival being presented by the Dance Center of Columbia College. (Also appearing over the next two weeks: Mexico's Antares Danza Contemporanea, Cuba's Los Munequitos de Matanzas, and Argentina's El Descueve.) At the Dance Center, 4730 N. Sheridan, Friday and Saturday at 8, $14. Call 271-7928.
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Michael Slobodian.