4 companies. 3 intimate venues: 1 jam-packed week of dance! The fifteen performances of Face 2 Face explode on the Ottawa dance scene from February 5-9, 2013

Five provocative, innovative works heat up Ottawa for a mid-winter thaw February 5-9, 2013. The NAC Dance's first-ever Face 2 Face series brings you face to face with a potent mix of exciting works by choreographers who are making waves on the international scene. Rousing, irreverent, playful, bold ... Face 2 Face promises a radical departure from the everyday! NOTE: Some works feature mature themes and nudity.

Face 2 Face features five duets by seven choreographers:

  • How About You? choreographed by Philippe Blanchard (Sweden)
  • Still Standing You, choreographed by Pieter Ampe and Guilherme Garrido (Belgium)
  • The Most Together We've Ever Been, choreographed by Ame Henderson and Matija Ferlin (Canada/Croatia)
  • T † Bernadette and Enchanted Room, choreographed by Kristel van Issum and Guilherme Miotto (The Netherlands)

Performances take place -- at different times on different days -- in the National Arts Centre Studio, the Arts Court Theatre, and at Arts Court’s ODD BOX. Details about each show are provided below.

Lunch and Learn: Artists’ Talk
Friday, February 8, 2013

12:30-1:30 NAC Fountain Room
Bring your lunch, and learn directly from the choreographers about their creation of the duet form.



This quirky, intelligent, and delightful duet -- danced by the identical twin Stifani brothers -- addresses the interdependent force created by polar opposites. Life, death. Good, bad. French-born, Sweden-based choreographer Philippe Blanchard researched Eastern European and Asian philosophy to create a work that celebrates life, exploring identity and the complexity of what we call 'self'. How about you? -- performed throughout Europe to unanimous critical acclaim -- examines the possibility of discovering who we are through other people and through our similarities and differences.

Duration: 60 minutes

Concept and direction, choreography: Philippe Blanchard
Performers: Luca and Gabriele Stifani (Italian filmmakers and performing artists)
Music: Philippe Boix-Vives
Costume/props design: Nadine Grellinger
Sound design: Peter Connelly
Lighting design: Maika Knoblich


Choreographer-dancer Philippe Blanchard is one of Sweden’s most open-minded choreographers, with a rich, innovative, and inventive movement language and a never ending flow of ideas. Energetic, ever-curious and aware, he collaborates with best-in-genre artists from all over the world. Philippe Blanchard studied in France and has danced with Jeune Ballet de France, Nederlands Dans Theater, Grand Ballet de Genève, Israel's Batsheva Dance Company, and Sweden's Cullberg Ballet. Branching out into directing and choreography in 1994, Philippe formed alternative performing group Adekwhat in 1999. Productions include Airbag (1998), Noodles (2001), Quiproquó (2003) and, with Gemma Higginbotham, Too Much Night Ego (2005), and the 'identity' trilogy, One's company, two's a crowd (2006), Bits of Bob's Life (2009), and now How About You? COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: Sweden


"The form is almost cinematic: the interrupted, frozen movements run like a common thread through the entire performance ... Blanchard’s wide-eyed wonder over the human condition is just as contagious as it is thought-provoking."
Örjan Abrahamsson, Swedish daily Dagens Nyheter

VENUE: Arts Court Theatre, 2 Daly Avenue

Wednesday February 6 at 7:30 p.m.
Thursday February 7 at 6 p.m.
Friday February 8 at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday February 9 at 6 p.m.





The raucous Portuguese-Belgian duo Guilherme Garrido and Pieter Ampe test the limits of friendship, rivalry, and the physical body in this riveting, rough-and-tumble montage of dance, gymnastics, and wrestling. Man to man. No taboos, no pretence. Slapstick, competitive play, juvenile behaviour, male bonding, circus acts, and sadomasochism ... from sexual power struggles to acts of rebellion, they test the strength of their bond, with violence softened by scathing humour. Tearing apart the silence of a bare well-lit stage with raw, virile power, they offer a novel take on masculinity and dance. Gasping, sweaty bodies, nudity, and testosterone guaranteed!

Duration: 45 minutes

Produced by: CAMPO

Choreography and performance: Pieter Ampe + Guilherme Garrido
Outside Eye: Louise van den Eede and Rita Natalio
Coproduction: Stuk, Leuven et Buda, Kortrijk



Trained in dance and theatre, Flemish artist Pieter Ampe began his professional career while studying with Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker, creating Still Difficult Duet (2007) and On Stage with Guilherme Garrido. That led to other pieces, including Maria Theresia entdeckt die zeitgenössische Kunst, a collaboration with a visual artist, a choreographer, and two performance artists. Always keen for new experiences, he occasionally dances for other artists and for a noise-rock group. Initially trained in visual arts in Portugal, Guilherme Garrido has worked as a dancer, musician, writer, and videographer. His encounter with Pieter Ampe led to Still Difficult Duet (2007) and Still Standing You (2010) as well as the amateur musical group Di CAMPO Boys. He divides his time between Portugal (where he co-founded the cultural centre 555), Belgium and Holland, where he also works with the choreographers Maria Clara Villa-Lobos, Ibrahim Quraishi, and Tommy Noonan. COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: Belgium (Pieter Ampe) and Portugal (Guilherme Garrido)



"To say that this contemporary dance piece is memorable is an understatement: You can’t forget watching two naked men manipulate each other’s penises in a game of one-upmanship."
Paula Citron, The Globe and Mail, September 16, 2011

“And my God, I haven’t been this excited by a dance work in years.”
Tim Atack, Inbetween Time Festival, December 15, 2010

VENUE: Arts Court Theatre, 2 Daly Avenue

Tuesday February 5 at 7:30 p.m.
Thursday February 7 at 7:30 p.m.
Friday February 8 at 6 p.m.
Saturday February 9 at 9 p.m.



This duet by Ame Henderson and Matija Ferlin explores individuality and the unison gesture. The awkwardness and heartbreak of being together. The fragility and potential of beginnings. Two not-quite-at-home, not-quite-displaced characters enter and exit the stage in a never-ending series of touching, funny, clumsy, and beautiful beginnings They find themselves “over and over again on a stage, in a performance, in front of an audience. The right people in the wrong space; the wrong people in the right space.”
Duration: 65 minutes



Ame Henderson is known for audacious and non-orthodox choreographic experiments. Originally from Vancouver Island, she has an MFA in choreography and is artistic director of Public Recordings (Toronto), often collaborating with artists from across disciplines and continents. Her recent projects include relay, 300 TAPES, and ROOM (with Tedd Robinson). Born in Pula, Croatia, Matija Ferlin has collaborated with numerous choreographers, directors, visual artists, and dramaturgs and has presented and performed his own work across Europe and America. His works include Sad Sam Revisited, Lucky between the mountains, Sad Sam Almost, Nastup/Onformance (2010), Samice (2011), Sad Sam Lucky (2012), and The other at the same time (2012). Matija Ferlin has also created numerous short movies, videos, and exhibitions. COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: Canada (Ame Henderson) and Croatia (Matija Ferlin)



"Henderson is an agent provocateur of dance."
Paula Citron, The Globe and Mail

VENUE: Arts Court ODD BOX, 2 Daly Avenue

Co-presented with Ottawa Dance Directive/SD10

Tuesday February 5 at 9 p.m.
Thursday February 7 at 9 p.m.
Friday February 8 at 9 p.m.
Saturday February 9 at 4:30 p.m.


T.r.a.s.h. -- known for extreme, near violent physicality and emotionally explosive dance-theatre -- now make its NAC debut with two heart-pounding, intoxicating duets. Enchanted Room and T † Bernadette are both strikingly hyperphysical and unclassifiable works bound to shock and move audiences.

Duration (both works): 70 minutes



Performed to live music, T † Bernadette is a gripping work exploring the human struggle with identity, perspective, and interrelationships. A strong, emotional 25-minute dance-duet, it's a portrayal of an intense male/female relationship. Elements such as synergy and ecstasy are explored as the duo is confronted with different personages, playing different roles, struggling with identity issues.
Concept and choreography: Kristel van Issum
Music-composition: Arthur van der Kuip
Set design: Paul van Weert
Created and Performed by: Joss Carter and Oona Doherty
Cello: Jacqueline Hamelink


Enchanted Room is a typical T.r.a.s.h. fairy tale: a duet from virginity to poisoning. Accompanied by live music (soprano and baritone), brother and sister are seeking the promised land. Their quest through "a fantastic world” is enchanting, but it's also an inescapable hell. Chaos lurks nearby and they can only be happy if they know what suffering is. T.r.a.s.h. takes you to a harrowing world where innocence is lost.
Enchanted Room is derived from the full evening performance Disorderly Conduct (Humanoid Trilogy Episode 1).

Concept and choreography: Kristel van Issum and Guilherme Miotto
Music-composition: Arthur van der Kuip
Set design: Paul van Weert
Created with and performed by: Oona Doherty and Joss Carter
Musicians: Michal Bitan (soprano), João Paixão (baritone)

The NAC wishes to acknowledge the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands for their generous support in sponsoring instructional workshops by T.r.a.s.h. for local dance students.

ABOUT T.r.a.s.h.

Originating in the underground punk rock scene in Tilburg, Netherlands, T.r.a.s.h. is constantly seeking to push limits and is renowned for uncompromising dance performances. At a crossroads of artistic disciplines – a combination of dance, performance and (live) music -- the company has long been challenging the traditional norms of theatre and dance. Artistic director Kristel van Issum, together with composer Arthur van der Kuip and set designer Paul van Weert, presents a concept based on contemporary culture, the pulse of our time, and the portrayal of people, their bodies, their dilemmas, and their fate. In 2006, the company was awarded the Ad Vinken Prize by the City of Tilburg, and it was presented with the Dansprijs van Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds [Prince Bernhard Cultural Fund Dance Award] in 2009. T.r.a.s.h. has performed across Europe, including appearances in Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and Switzerland. T.r.a.s.h. films have been shown in Europe, the Middle East, Russia, the U.S.A., and Asia.

ABOUT KRISTEL VAN ISSUM, Artistic Director and Choreographer
Kristel van Issum works like a sculptor, peeling away the layers of the body right down to the core. She sees performers as sculptures, moved by energy, sound, and instinct. She asks herself where conscious behaviour ends and instinct begins. She seeks a language of movement which seemingly allows the body to break natural laws; a language of dance in which the performer turns into a plaything rolling between body and soul. Dance is filled with raw elements, often violent but sometimes also subtle. It is about outbursts which are controllable. The distorted body is an unmistakable part of the idiom of T.r.a.s.h. Van Issum wants to be open to everything which goes against logical and rational thought. In this process, she does not use traditional organised principles, but applies the concept of deconstruction, disintegration, and construction of new structures of meaning. Theatre becomes a sounding board and textual landscape. The uncontrollable desire to separate everything from everything else and then replace things in a different context; a world of ideas in which theatrical ingredients are peeled away and then pieced back together. Her emphasis lies on intertextuality and contextuality.

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: The Netherlands


"...grabs you by the throat with ruthlessness"
Annette Embrechts, Der Volksrant (Netherlands)

"...a plurality of meanings ...stripped of compassion, doomed to engage in a perpetual conflict with a spiritual vacuum, a dysfunctional mind and an unruly body. One cannot help but gaze in fear and admiration at a performance that does not fail to move you."
Mischa Kroes, BalletTanz



Thursday February 7 at 7:30 p.m.
Friday February 8 at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday February 9 at 7:30 p.m.

  • Tickets are $20 (Arts Court performances) and $30 (NAC Studio performance). All 4 shows are available for $68.
  • Tickets are available at the NAC Box Office (in person); tickets are also available (with service charges) at all Ticketmaster outlets, by telephone from Ticketmaster at 1-888-991-2787 (ARTS), and online through the Ticketmaster link on the NAC's website at www.nac-cna.ca
  • Groups of 10 or more save 15% to 20% off regular ticket prices. To reserve your seats, call 613 947-7000, ext. 634 or e-mail grp@nac-cna.ca
  • For additional information and photos/video of the production, visit the NAC website at www.nac-cna.ca

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Clara Wicke, Marketing and Communications Officer, NAC Dance
613-947-7000, ext. 379 Cell: 613-617-4782
[e-mail] clara.wicke@nac-cna.ca