Critical acclaim from the press

  • “[…] homage to his work, homage to his dancers and to his collaborators, but also a beautiful offering cast to the audience – always there, renewing itself, becoming something ever more promising.” Séquences – La revue de cinéma, Montreal
  • “[…] scenes that you could call sculpted, they’re so sober and pared down to the essential. Rhythms, movements, and the coherence of the entire program derive from a rigorous process of deconstruction and reworking.” Dfdanse, Montreal
  • “His body is dance. His intelligence and empathy come to life through his movements as he literally exhales his concepts and lets them ripple out.” Dance Profiler, Montreal
  • “Through the mastery on the part of the dancers as well as the beautiful lightning effects, the different scenes fascinate us by the synchronicity of dancers, their unity in the group, and their classico-contemporary technique, which highlights superbly the choreographer’s movements.” Les Méconnus, Montreal

A few words about the show

“On represents the inclusive, collective sense of the French words “we” meaning and the feeling of moving forward from the English.

This show pays homage to my long-time collaborators Marc Parent (light designer) and Alexander MacSween (composer). Over the years, we have made pieces that celebrate the human body and the formality of dance, pieces co-produced by Agora de la danse and presented by it. When Agora de la danse invited me to perform in their new home at Édifice Wilder – Espace danse, my first instinct was to look back and bow in gratitude to the pieces we created together, in order to move forward. A retrospective seems appropriate.

Anchored in a  set design renewed by the visual artist Lino, this new group piece will reconnect with landmark successes of the company. In addition, Torontonian Nova Bhattacharya will perform a solo that I choreographed using as primal material vocabulary from traditional Indian dance, BharatanatyamOn will be presented to original music of Alexander MacSween, who, for each part, recorded the voices of the performers to make them his instruments.”

– José Navas –


  • Artistic Director: José Navas
  • Choreographer: José Navas, in collaboration with the dancers
  • Dancers: Nova Bhattacharya, José Navas, Erin Poole, Lindsey Renee Derry, François Richard, Lauren Semeschuk
  • Music: Alexander MacSween
  • Lighting Designer: Marc Parent
  • Visual Designer: Lino, in collaboration with Sindre Ulvik Péladeau
  • Costume Designer: Sonya Bayer, L’Atelier de couture Sonya B.
  • Technical direction: Pierre Lavoie
  • Length: ± 60 minutes
  • Premiere: October 11, 2017, Agora de la danse (Montreal, Canada)
  • Photos: Valerie Simmons, Nina Konjini
  • Video: Dorian Nuskind-Oder
  • Production: José Navas/Compagnie Flak

On is a production by José Navas/Compagnie Flak in coproduction with Agora de la danse.

This show has benefited from two residencies at Agora de la danse (Montreal, Canada).

Calm Abiding is a co-production with the National Arts Centre, Ottawa (ON), in 2006.