Danse-Cité isn't your average dance company in that it doesn't have any fixed names on its roster. It works as an open partner for Montreal artists as they venture into unknown territory – whether that be by experimenting with a new style or transitioning from dancer to choreographer, as is the case with Audrey Bergeron. Par le chas de l'aiguille (Through the eye of the needle) is her first full length work and it marks the beginning of a new stage in her dance career. An active artist since graduating from Montreal's finest contemporary dance school in 2005, her deep desire to share her passions has translated into this move from interpretation to creation.

Sometimes dance is visceral, or intellectual. Bergeron's piece was both of these at times, but most of all it carried a visual aesthetic that was beautifully detailed and feminine. She wastes no time capturing our imaginations with a quirky opening portrait. Three girls dressed each in a primary colour are perched on the stage, holding large magnifying mirrors in front of their eyes. One is a rocker rebel, one is a modern woman, and one is a real lady. They stare out into the public as if discovering a strange world, and we look in at them seeing only their big, open eyes. I wish I could have taken a picture. In the first second I knew this show would speak to me. When the strobe light goes off, the choreography really starts getting interesting. Something about the jerky yet attractive movements remind me of science fiction. Are these girls highly sophisticated robots that have learned through observation how to come off as women? They are perfect, but flawed, and they fling their arms and shake their hips with mechanical precision. I was constantly recognizing poses from dance classes, club nights, and the kind of stuff I do alone in my kitchen while waiting for the water to boil. Anything familiar had been deconstructed to its tiniest components in this study of dance.  A funny pose kept recurring. A girl would throw herself on the ground and hover her arms and legs up in a wheel, as if she were free falling toward the floor. The ease and arch of the pose made it all the more surreal, like if the world had turned upside down and she were floating. This gravity-defying style came up again when Merryn Kritzinger is left alone on the stage balancing on the edge of a stool, howling with glee and seeming to float. Combined with the reflective backdrop, an amazing multi-layered wall of smoke and mirrors and colours, it looked like a live recreation inspired by Aura, the infrared dance film by Philippe Baylaucq. The space had that same fluidity. Speaking of Kritzinger, it stood out how she did not fit in with the other two dancers, Kim Henry and Jessica Serli. While these last two demanded your attention and played much more powerful roles, each dancing as a soloist before the others, Kritzinger was more laid back. Only when the other two girls left the stage did it make sense. Kritzinger pulled the entire piece together, which had gotten long and lost somewhere in the middle, and made us dream. No longer holding back as she clearly had been doing, she danced with piercing emotion, bringing more theatre into the performance. She held on to the final note of the show until it felt uncomfortable, and she kept holding on until it had come full circle and I no longer wanted her to end the show at all. She had us at her mercy. Bergeron certainly doesn't lack experience, but nobody's first full length show is easy to pull off. Par le chas de l'aiguille totally exceeded my expectations as a memorable show, not for what I saw, but for what it made me feel. The opening was among the strongest I've seen in a long time and though the middle got muddy, either because it felt like Bergeron was trying to say the same thing over again but just in slightly different words, or because sometimes we lost direction, like during a whole moment on a bench trying on shoes, she tied it together with a moving close that ignited our sense of wonder.