A dancer and choreographer who uses a primitive yet highly refined glossary, and considers dance a sacred art to practice with absolute rigour, Marie Chouinard (Québec City - Canada, 1955) pursued a complex avant-garde solo career for over a decade before founding her own group, the Compagnie Marie Chouinard, in 1990. Her debut work, Cristallisation (1978) instantly captured public attention for the originality of her expressive experimentation. Her later creations (such as the masterpiece S.T.A.B. in 1986, in which she danced the transformation into a woman of a creature shocked by an instinctive movement, or the provocative all-female Après-midi d'un Faune in 1987) confirm her inclination to explore new paths in choreography, artistic performance and conceptual creation.
Over the course of her own career, Marie Chouinard has produced more than 40 choreographies, for individual or group performances, often contributing to the ideation of the musical score, the costumes and the lighting for her own productions. Many of her works are included in the repertoire of important companies: Les 24 Préludes de Chopin at the National Ballet of Canada, Après-midi d’un Faune at the São Paulo Companhia de Dança, bODY_rEMIX / les_vARIATIONS_gOLDBERG, Act 1 at the Ballets de Monte-Carlo and the Göteborgs Operan in Sweden.
She has won many awards including the Prix Jacqueline-Lemieux (1986), the Bessie Award in New York for the entire corpus of her choreographic works (2000), the prize for choreography from the Société des auteurs et compositeurs dramatiques (SACD) in Paris, the Order of Canada (2007), the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (France, 2009), and the Performing Arts Award for Lifetime Artistic Achievement of the General Governor (Canada, 2016).
In 2011 Marie Chouinard created Le Prix de la danse de Montréal to pay tribute to the best works in the field of dance.