Emerging from a collaboration between Geneviève Salbaing, Eva Von Genscy and Eddy Toussaint in 1972, Les Ballets Jazz de Montréal –BJM– is a repertory company that creates, produces and presents contemporary dance performances based on the technique, rigour and aesthetics of classical ballet. Its work consistently appears on local, national and international stages.
The company offers its artists high-level professional ballet training and gives internationally renowned choreographers the freedom to develop their artistic process in keeping with BJM’s identity. In doing so, the company is able to create an exclusive repertoire that is accessible to all. As a leading ambassador of Quebec dance across the globe, BJM is synonymous with flawless execution. Its distinctive style is at once artistic, sexy, explosive, original and accessible. Since being named artistic director in 1998, Louis Robitaille has reoriented the company toward audiences open to new choreographic forms. He has linked BJM with rising names in the world of contemporary dance, such as Crystal Pite, Aszure Barton and others. The company also regularly collaborates with internationally renowned choreographers, including Mauro Bigonzetti, Andonis Foniadakis, Itzik Galili, Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, Barak Marshall, Benjamin Millepied, Rodrigo Pederneiras, Ihsan Rustem and Cayetano Soto.
In recent years, the company’s artistic direction has favoured multidisciplinary creations that blend ballet with other artistic disciplines such as theatre, video and music. Every piece created for BJM remains faithful to an aesthetic exerting a positive influence. With accessibility and quality as its key values, the company has managed to incorporate enjoyment into creations that are strong, expressive and demanding. The distinctive personality and high calibre of its performers ensure the company’s sustained success and reputation. Through its many productions, performances and educational activities, BJM is able to encourage discovery, stimulate imagination and democratize dance, all while sharing with local and international audiences its deep passion for this discipline. Having presented more than 2,000 performances for over 2 million fans in 67 countries, BJM is a true ambassador of Canadian dance and artistic vitality across the globe.
In 2016, BJM and its artistic director were awarded the Rideau Hommage prize in recognition of the company’s reputation and continued presence on the Québec stage. In 2017, BJM proudly celebrates 45 years of history, ballet, touring and meeting audiences.
Céline Cassone & Alexander Hille
Brandi Baker, Yosmell Calderon, Jeremy Coachman,
Kennedy Henry, Kennedy Kraeling, Pier-Loup Lacour
Andrew Mikhaiel, Benjamin Mitchell, Saskya Pauzé-Bégin
Mark Sampson, Izabela Szylinska, Ashley Werhun
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BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Hélène Lamarre & Paul Juneau
Vasco Ceccon, Matyas Gabor, Marie-Lise Gauthier
Alexandre Lagarde, Jean-François Larocque
Brigitte Nepveu, Jean-Michel Parizeau, Tammy Peddle,
Olivier Perron-Collins, Mathieu Piché-Messier, Yanouk Poirier, Stéphanie Rassam
Benjamin Millepied, Choreographer
Set to composer Philip Glass’s Mad Rush, the duet Closer was created in 2006 for Céline Cassone and Sébastien Marcovici (principal dancer with the New York City Ballet) and presented at the Maison de la Danse in Lyon, France. For BJM, the duet will be performed by the magnetic Céline Cassone and Alexander Hille. Performed and acclaimed on several world stages, Closer is a voluptuous and vibrant exchange, imbued with an intense yet simple sensuality, that of the tension between two bodies. Over the course of twenty minutes, Céline is carried, pulled and lifted with movements of crystalline beauty and delicacy, rousing the sentiments of the audience, who are transported into the couple’s passionate relationship.
Enhancing the work is a live performance of Glass’s piano piece, Mad Rush, reverberating throughout the hall, evoking the purity of the dancers’ emotions. This ballet benefits from the precious support of M. Uriel G. Luft.
Andonis Foniadakis, Choreographer
In this work for BJM, the choreographer draws his inspiration from the world we live in, the frenetic pace of everyday urban life. His observations were the trigger for creating choreography inspired by the movements of crowds, moments of agitation and the hustle and bustle of the city. Andonis searches for a counterbalance, bringing beauty to the fore and turning frenetic movement into a dance that brings people together in joyous, liberating fashion.
This is a dance based on clear movement, where the mingling clan of dancers must come to terms with the presence of others. Unlike the restrictions imposed by modern life, it is a moment for reconnecting, for releasing tensions, for coming together and letting go. Once again this work bears the distinctive BJM signature characterized by pure, festive energy, a celebration of humanity – its beauty and its creative force.
O balcao de amor
Itzik Galili, Choreographer
After a trip to Cuba, Itzik Galili was inspired by this timeless music to create an energetic piece. It is an encounter that Galili infuses with myriad comedic sparks, loose, sexy and full of lovely absurdity.
“Sometimes, as grown-ups, we encounter seemingly trivial details that bring us back to our youth and its hopes. Pérez Prado music, with its lightness, gives me a deep sense of simple joy. It makes me happy to see how the young generation relates to it, and to see the different layers of feelings it awakens in them: Joy, laughs, but also a profound smile…” “Between fantasy and reality, desire to sanity
A borderline as a walking rope, worshipping a dream. At the end of a day, trading happiness with pain Located at the end of each breath Dancing demon soul that flows into the horizon. On the brink of the abyss”.