Skip to content

Looking for Elvis is much more than a tribute to a musical icon

Contemporary and ballet meet pop culture in Elvis and The Man in Black; Orillia Centre for Arts and Culture presenting show June 28 at Opera House

The Orillia Centre for Arts and Culture (OCAC) presents Citadel+Compagnie's (C+C) anticipated remount of Laurence Lemieux’s Looking for Elvis and James Kudelka’s The Man in Black, June 28, at the Orillia Opera House.

Exploring the life and times of two American music legends — Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash — these acclaimed contemporary works have been applauded by critics and audiences during the original 2014/2015 sold-out presentations.

Hailed as “an unmissable program” by the Fjord Review, this evening celebrates the unmistakable sound of two top Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Famers and channels their lives into two stripped back, gripping performances.

“In response to overwhelming audience demand, we are thrilled to revisit these works which complement one another perfectly,” said Lemieux, artistic director at C+C.

“We pay homage to Presley and Cash for their legacy and impact on artists across many genres," said Lemieux. "The music of these pop culture powerhouses is a starting point, but the choreography is not constrained by that. In both works, we invite audiences to leave their pre-conceptions at the door and encounter these artists in an entirely fresh new way.”

Lemieux is also a choreographer, performer, presenter, teacher, and Dora Award winner. She has danced for some of Canada’s most prominent choreographers and has produced more than 25 of her own celebrated works.

Inspired by a visit to Graceland in 2012, Lemieux decided to create a new work inspired by Presley’s life. She weaved interview and song with movement, as well as investigating the duality in Presley’s life — his public persona versus his private identity.

“Sophisticated and highly self-aware,” according to the Fjord Review.

Looking For Elvis is so much more than a tribute to The King’s music. It’s a representation of Lemieux’s desire to reconcile the place of artists in the public forum, and their capacity to function in society.

Kudelka is considered one of the greatest choreographers of his generation, hailed by the New York Times as “ballet’s most original choreographer.”

He has worked for many of the world’s leading ballet and contemporary dance companies. In 2008, Kudelka became C+C’s resident choreographer.

The Man in Black is an unadorned salute to the American working class and has been praised as a “masterpiece” by the Globe and Mail.

Sporting cowboy boots, four dancers perform movement inspired by classic countrywestern dance styles, such as line, square, and step dancing, harkening back to the era when Cash ruled the airways.

Joyful, humorous, but also sombre, The Man in Black portrays the emotional undertones of Cash’s music in surprising and moving ways.

Contemporary and ballet meet pop culture pastiche in Elvis & The Man in Black, promising to shed fascinating new light on music’s greatest icons.

Tickets are available at the Orillia Opera House box office or online at

The Huronia Cultural Campus is a not-for-profit organization, which began its activities in 2015 in the Orillia and area and is committed to and firmly believes in providing Orillia and area with experiences in contemporary arts.