From 1996 to 1998, Lock was commissioned to choreograph for international dance companies such as Les Grands Ballets Canadiens. At the same time, he laboured over his most recent performance, Exaucé / Salt
(1998-2000), which, much to critics' surprise, uses pointe shoes and classical ballet references. Nonetheless, the piece defies conventional standards by expressing the physical possibilities of ballet and the scope of the body's muscular and dynamic capabilities. Exaucé / Salt
is a multimedia performance employing live music, film, video and dramatic lighting and decor to convey the emotional and dramatic dimensions of the choreography. The multidimensionality of Lock's imagination draws the spectator into a performance world where sweat and muscle interact with the ephemeral.
"This precisely drawn piece, with its total concentration on pointe dance, sustains a remarkable tension. Shorter dance sequences build a chain of movement that evolves to a poetic river, aided by live music for cello, piano and electric guitar (courtesy of David Lang and Kevin Shields). Projected on the back wall of the stage, images by Lock himself lend this otherwise abstract piece a touch of warmth." (1)
Partly funded by the Daniel Langlois Foundation, the audiovisual aspects of the performance have added another dimension to the aggressive and emotional dance style promoted by Lock and La La La Human Steps and have inspired other contemporary dance companies such as Rosas (Belgium) in their search for innovative and experimental modes of expression.