Critical acclaim from the press

  • “There are thus, in total, six perfect fusions of music and movement, of flesh and spirit. It is a self-portrait situated between earth and heaven, accompanied by tailored costumes which expose the dancer’s perfect physique.” La Presse, Montreal, 2012
  • “José Navas is a performer with an undeniable authority of presence, classically elegant, capable of a beautiful precision of lines and of great sensuality.” Le Devoir, Montreal, 2012
  • “We thus pass from the elegant dancing woman who inhabits the choreographer’s memory to the wild dog, from the vulnerable man to the liberated one, all this with much poetry and elegance…”, Montreal, 2012
  • “We devour Personæ like a page of impeccable dance writing, both clear and complex, surprising and elusive.” Le Droit, Ottawa, 2012
  • “José Navas nearly stole the festival.” Irish Times, Dublin, 2011
  • “José Navas attains perfection.” Westfälische Nachrichten, Münster, 2011

A few words about the show

A persona is the aspect of someone’s character that is presented to or perceived by others. Derived from the Latin for mask, it is also a role or character adopted by an author or actor. Personæ is the new solo work performed by José Navas. The six aspects or characters of the show lead the audience through Navas’ intensely personal meditations on desire and divinity, presence and absence, and how they intersect and merge.

Personæ is in many ways continuous with Navas’ preceding solo show, Miniatures (2008). This new piece, too, explores the delicious encounter of solo dance and music, with nothing else besides the performer, his spirit and the space. Here again the performer remains on stage between pieces, rather than breaking the spell by exiting to catch his breath and change costumes. He is always exposed. In a similar vein, Personæ presents solo work in a classic format, intimately and delicately. Yet this new work sings to its audience in a different register, one that is darker and more primal. The brightness and exquisite beauty of the earlier work is back, but at moments the show is more raw, even disturbing. This is very much a show for adult audiences, by a mature performer at the height of his powers. Personæ leads the viewer on a journey through the soul via music by Rachmaninoff, Ravel, Verdi, Vivaldi, and Patti Smith.


  • Choreographer and dancer: José Navas
  • Music: Agustín Lara, Sergei Rachmaninoff, Maurice Ravel, Patti Smith, Giuseppe Verdi, Antonio Vivaldi
  • Rehearsal Director: Ami Shulman
  • Lighting: Marc Parent
  • Length: 60 minutes
  • Production: José Navas/Compagnie Flak
  • Co-production: Danse Danse, La Place des Arts (Montreal)
  • Creation residencies: Cinquième Salle, Segal Centre for the Performing Arts (Montreal, Canada)
  • World premiere: May 15, 2011, Domein José Navas, Concertgebouw in Bruges (Belgium)
  • Photos: Valerie Simmons

Personæ is a production of José Navas/Compagnie Flak in coproduction with Danse Danse and Place des Arts (Montreal, Canada).

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