OLD THOMAS AND THE LITTLE FAIRY

OLD THOMAS AND THE LITTLE FAIRY

A tiny little girl is discovered, injured, on the beach-suddenly, Old Thomas’ life is filled with happiness. No more grumbling, anger and bitterness, no more yelling insults at the universe. The old man rediscovers joy and wonder. Could this little girl be a fairy? Adapted from the book of the same title written by Dominique Demers and illustrated by Stéphane Poulin, Old Thomas and the Little Fairy takes an optimistic look at the cycles of life, and introduces children to two charming characters who take care of each other, each bringing out the best in the other.

Poetic, impressionistic, Hélène Langevin’s choreography transports us to the seaside. From calm and reassuring to agitated and even quite angry, the water is an echo of Old Thomas’ emotions, bringing transformation and change.

The video becomes an element of the scenography, giving us the sea as a backdrop and infinity for perspective. The choreographer collaborates here once more with Bernard Falaise, whose original soundtrack contributes to the nautical, emotionally-charged atmosphere of the piece. Before the wondering gaze of the young audience, three of the performers–Audrey Bergeron, Caroline Laurin-Beaucage, Jean-François Légaré–assume the challenge of re-creating the different textures and conditions of the sea, while Guillaume Chouinard plays the old man who has rediscovered his joy and Ève Boissonnault plays a tiny fairy full of life.

Old Thomas and the Little Fairy invites us to enter into a world of emotions where renewal is possible. Just like in the story by Dominique Demers, the choreography leaves a lot to our imagination, and gives the children room for interpretation. More than an adaptation, the piece is a re-creation in which dance and its capacity for stimulation have free rein.

*Old Thomas and the Little Fairy, was a finalist in the Young Public category of the 2007-2008 Critics’ Awards. The awards are given by the Quebec association of theatre critics (the AQCT).

REVIEWS

«Langevin succeeds once more in making dance a poetic object that is perfectly accessible to children.
Le Devoir

“The piece is stunning, both visually and choreographically. (…) There is some absolutely magical shadow play, (…) It was a must- read, and now it is a must-see!”
Samedi et rien d’autre, Première chaîne de Radio-Canada

“Emotions run deep in Vieux Thomas. (…) Contemporary choreographer Hélène Langevin knows just what mix of fun, adventure and emotion children will respond to in a dance setting.(…) The young crowd responded with a full range of emotions, from peals of laughter to tears.(…) It is a beautiful story about loneliness, friendship, love, life and death.(…) Guillaume Chouinard portrayed Thomas’s emotional growth and eventual physical demise with tenderness and understanding. (…) his pas de deux with the unconscious fairy (danced by the sparkling Ève Boissonnault) was a comedic triumph.”
The Gazette

“The piece is very faithful to Dominique Demers’ story. (…) The scenography by Richard Lacroix is really extraordinary. The back wall of the stage is a screen with video projections of the sea in all kinds of weather. This same sea unfurls right down to the floor in front of us, with different lighting effects and the three performers who represent the ocean. They really do interpret water, its movements and its tempers.The work involved is really incredible, and these three dancers do a fantastic job. The inventiveness of the stage direction is brilliant. The children understand perfectly what’s going on. This is a delightful piece.”
C’est bien meilleur le matin, Première chaîne de Radio-Canada

“A thrilling trip between land and sea. Combining theatre, dance and visual effects, Old Thomas and the Little Fairy is able to appeal to the imagination of the youngest audience members while inspiring the older ones (…) The score complements the maritime atmosphere perfectly, reflecting the shifting emotions of the characters (who are depicted with brio). A refreshing breeze that will surely be loved by the whole family.”
Le Journal de Montréal

“In Old Thomas and the Little Fairy, the waves dance with the fairies. This work is for newcomers to contemporary dance as well as for the more seasoned fans. The piece has everything needed to appeal to children: a moving story, a scary character and an act of heroism.”
Le Téléjournal, Télévision de Radio-Canada

“This dance work for children really grabs the audience’s attention. The five dancers/actors weave together the story of Old Thomas using no dialogue at all, which is no small feat.(…) Hélène Langevin’s choreography is full of inventiveness–for example, the three dancers who provide the illusion of the ocean’s movement…”
La Presse

“Langevin succeeds once more in making dance a poetic object that is perfectly accessible to children. She has also judiciously transposed the scenes that take place inside Thomas’s cabin using shadow play. The technique that she developed with CHUT!!, refined here, draws a line between the indoor and the outdoor and adds to the magic of the story, using effects of perspective.”
Le Devoir

164 performances of Old Thomas and the Little Fairy were held from 2008 to 2011.

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Performers

AUDREY BERGERON
ÈVE BOISONNAULT
GUILLAUME CHOUINARD
AUDRÉE JUTEAU

JEAN-FRANÇOIS LÉGARÉ
ESTHER ROUSSEAU-MORIN

CREDITS

Choreography
HÉLÈNE LANGEVIN

Based on a children’s book written by
DOMINIQUE DEMERS
and illustrated by
STÉPHANE POULIN

Rehearsal mistress
SOPHIE MICHAUD

Designers
LINDA BRUNELLE (Costumes)
BERNARD FALAISE (Music)
MARTIN GAGNÉ (Lighting)
RICHARD LACROIX (Set design)

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