Lévesque, Danièle

Danièle Lévesque, set designer (b at Montréal 12 Jan 1958). Scarcely out of the National Theatre School of Canada in stage design (1983), this artist's talent was unanimously hailed by critics, and for good reason. She broke the shackles of modern tradition in visual theatre and injected a postmodern spirit based mainly on architecture, choice of materials and the accumulation of objects. She reaches beyond stage directions to the "deeper" text by following in the footsteps of avant-garde artistic developments in visual art installations.

Danièle Lévesque has some 80 set designs to her credit and her work extends to dance (La La La Human Steps) and song recitals (Paradoxale by Joe Bocan). Between 1984 and 1987, during the first years of her career, she created the scenery, costumes and sometimes the lighting for approximately a dozen productions. She then rapidly gained access to major Montréal stages whose policy was to parcel out visual work. She specialized in sets and produced stage designs - each more interesting than the next - collaborating with some 15 directors.

She designed 17 sets for Lorraine PINTAL. Restaging of Réjean Ducharme's works resulted from this collaboration, namely Ha! Ha! (1990), Inès Pérée et Inat Tendu (1991) and L'Hiver de force (2002), a THÉÂTRE DU NOUVEAU MONDE production presented at the Odéon in Paris. This team also took an interest in works by Claude Gauvreau, among them Les Oranges sont vertes (1998) and L'asile de la pureté (2004). In 2002, the duo created an exhibit at the McCord Museum entitled "Molière in the New World."

Lévesque created 10 sets with Alice Ronfard including Mozart's opera Cosi Fan Tutte for l'Opéra de Montréal (1992). Lévesque and Ronfard conceived and set up an exhibit titled Femmes, Corps et me (1996-97) at the Museum of Civilization. The exhibit was praised by critics and repeated in 1999 at the Couvent des Cordeliers in Paris.

Lévesque worked on nine occasions with René-Richard Cyr. Of note are the brilliant sets for Michel TREMBLAY's Bonjour, là, bonjour that earned a Prix de la Critique québécoise nomination in 1987.

Collaboration with Brigitte Haentjens on four stage designs resulted in the exceptional 1996 sets for Quartett d'Heine Muller at l'ESPACE GO, that won the Masque from l'Académie québécoise du théâtre.

Finally, on two occasions she worked with Martine Beaulne including on a splendid production of Molière's Don Juan (2000) in which a tank of water effectively dramatized the seaside scenes.

Lévesque is interested in teaching and has directed stage design projects from 1991 for the CÉGEP Lionel-Groulx's l'Option Théâtre, and from 1992 at the National Theatre School. She has been the director of the set and costume design program at this prestigious school since 2002.

From 1987 to 2004, Lévesque created six other set designs for different directors, all connected with the Théâtre du Nouveau Monde, and which earned nominations at the l'Académie québécoise du théâtre's Gala des Masques and the Prix de la Critique québécoise.