Paula Citron FRESH BLOOD Award 2010

For FRESH BLOOD 2010, Malgorzata Nowacka was honoured to be asked by Ms. Citron to select the recipient for the award in her absence.

The 2010 winner of the Paula Citron FRESH BLOOD Award is Paul Charbonneau

Paul Charbonneau’s “A Duet For Merideth” was a highlight of the evening, showing the choreographer as both performer and creative artist. Charbonneau is an expressive dancer who is strong both technically and artistically. His duet with dynamic dance partner Merideth Plumb was outstanding in the clarity with which it developed his concept of “exploring themes of dependence and need, specifically a person’s dependence on another individual”. Paul Charbonneau began the work as the focal point, as he almost sleepwalked through the initial part of the space neutrally accepting Plumb’s physical manipulations. His passive, drained of energy minimal movements and gestures contrasted with the forceful presence of his dance partner. As the piece developed, Charbonneau became increasingly active, furthering the complex power dynamic between the two dancers.

The most memorable aspect was the subtly unpredictable nature of the work. Smooth movements would explode in unexpected lifts beautifully executed by both dancers. There was a clear development in the structure of the work, in pacing, the use of space and the change that slowly took place in Charbonneau as he reluctantly committed to progressively giving more energy and self-direction to his movements, but somehow failing at the same time. As the work unfolded, it created a nagging desire in the audience to see Charbonneau fully take charge of himself instead of being maneuvered and directed by his dance partner.

Paul Charbonneau articulates his ideas through physicality with wonderful results as both dancer and choreographer.

Honourable mentions (in no specific order) are Carlos Rivera for an exquisite energy build and unpredictable structure, Niki Wozniak for beautiful execution, Anjelica Scannura for bringing a unique flair to the fire of Flamenco and to Jasmyn Fyffe for impressive commitment to exploring a unique movement vocabulary.

The recipient of the inaugural Paula Citron FRESH BLOOD Award in 2009 was Erin Cowan.