The Montreal dance company La La La Human Steps is shutting down.
Its founder and artistic director, Édouard Lock, said the group had no choice but to end its activities after 35 years, citing financial difficulties.
In a letter posted online Wednesday morning, Lock thanked the artists who have worked with the company, as well as the the people of Montreal, who he says provided inspiration over the years:
"It's been an amazing journey full of outsized memories folded over decades. The artists I met, worked with and today hold as friends. The people we performed for and those who made our performances possible. Memories linked one to the other regardless of time or origin. Today this wonderful adventure ends," he wrote.
"I'm announcing my resignation as choreographer and artistic director of LaLaLa Human Steps, a position it's been my great privilege to hold for 35 years. The last tour was a difficult one financially. Though the debt was reduced substantially due to the generosity of many of our creditors, the cuts that followed and the decision not to guarantee more than the current year of subsidy has made it impossible to continue.
"My letter of resignation has been sent to the funders and a resolution dissolving the company has been signed by the board. LHS is no more. It's time to say goodbye and to give thanks."
A spectacular style
Moroccan-born Lock settled in Montreal with his family as a child and, after briefly studying dance with the innovative Groupe Nouvelle Aire at the University of Montreal, ventured into the world of choreography.
In 1980, he founded the troupe Lock-Danseurs, which evolved into La La La Human Steps. He and the company developed a reputation for a distinctively athletic, complex, boundary-pushing, fast-paced and spectacular style.
For years, Canadian contemporary dance icon Louise Lecavalier was the troupe's featured performer and Lock's muse. She starred, for instance, in his 1985 work Human Sex, which launched the company's fame internationally.
Tours abroad followed, along with high-profile collaborations – including with Bette Midler, David Bowie and Frank Zappa.
Other notable works include Businessman in the Process of Becoming an Angel, New Demons, 2, Amjad and Amelia, the latter of which was turned into an award-winning dance film.
Lock has also created work for international troupes such as the Paris Opera and the Dutch National Ballet and earned a host of awards and accolades, including the Order of Canada.