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Florence

Florence recreates the life of lively and heartbreakingly funny storyteller, musician and dancer Florence Leprieur, aged 93, from Black Duck Brook (l'Anse à Canard), Newfoundland. Through video, dance, and Florence's stories in both French and English we also see the Port-au-Port peninsula, on the west coast of the province. It is a place that is not well known by Newfoundlanders, let alone Canadians and beyond.

Florence is an incredible teller of stories of her own life. Her tales of raising eleven children, practically on her own, in the isolated L’Anse à Canard are chilling and beautiful.

She is also a musician. Florence sings 'Chin' music - she sings the tunes of the jigs and reels. This was a fully respected musical form, like playing a fiddle. Florence was world-renowned fiddler Emile Benoit's girlfriend when they were teenagers, and sang chin music with him for many years. She was so good some people preferred her to the instrumental musicians! She'd sing for dances and weddings until she lost her voice for 2 weeks at a time. People would stop her on the road and they'd say 'Come on now, sing us a jig!" And she would. And they would dance right there on the road.

 

Research, choreography and performance: Louise Moyes
Collaborator: Florence Leprieur, Kippens, Newfoundland
Composers: Lori Clarke and Romano Di Nillo (Florence's grandson)

Director: Jo Leslie
Funding thanks to the Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council and the Canada Council for the Arts


Paula Citron of Canada’s Globe and Mail said:

"The enchanting Moyes is always a joy with her eccentric brand of docudance, as she calls it, which links movement and text to oral history. Florence features Moyes's granny both on film and in voice- over, a feisty old lady with a wonderful sense of humour that Moyes lovingly recreates.

Often Moyes is deliciously realistic, rendering Florence's dialogue like a charade, but she also has the gift of giving physical emphasis to certain words or phrases that makes one gasp with delight."