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Paul-André Fortier is an icon within Canadian contemporary dance, particularly in the Montréal community. He began his career in 1973 when he joined Le Groupe Nouvelle Aire as a dancer under the mentorship of dance artists Martine Époque and Fran çoise Sullivan. With the début of his Derrière la porte un mur (1978), Fortier launched his choreographic exploration of the body in motion that has continued for over twenty years.
In 1979, Fortier founded his own company, Danse-Théâtre Paul-André Fortier, which he later renamed Fortier Danse-Création. In 1986, Fortier joined Daniel Jackson in establishing a dance repertory company, Montréal Danse, which he co-directed until 1989. Throughout the 1980s, Fortier increasingly rejected linear narratives in his choreography and instead explored the post-modern themes of ambiguity and indeterminate meaning.
After he left Montréal Danse, Fortier joined the dance faculty at l'Université du Québec à Montréal where he taught for ten years.
In addition to teaching, he has served as an advisor and juror for different cultural agencies, including the Canada Council for the Arts. Between 1999 and 2003 he was the Vice-Chair of the Conseil des arts et des letters du Québec.
As a choreographer, Fortier has collaborated with several other Canadian dancers, including Peggy Baker, and has worked with the visual artist Betty Goodwin in La Tentation de la transparence (1991) and Bras de plomb (1993), which won a Dora Mavor Moore Award for New Choreography.
His Jeux de fous (1998) and Risque (2003) proved popular with younger audiences. Recent choreographic works include Tensions (2001), a duet he created for himself and a younger dancer as well as Lumi ère (2004), which premiered at the Canada Dance Festival in Ottawa.
Massoutre, Guylaine. “A Dancer’s Affirmation: Paul-André Fortier’s Solos.” The Responsive Body: A Language of Contemporary Dance. Ed. Brian Webb. Banff, AB: Banff Centre Press, 2002: 44-54.