Barriers fall down: boys discover that they like dancing and see it as an athletic art form, while teachers note that movement is accessible to children and realize the importance of including dance in the curriculum.
Our interventions generate an enthusiastic response. Children establish connections with each other and enjoy a sometimes euphoric feeling of freedom as their bodies move freely in a dynamic exploration of dance!
The choreographer or one of the performers can conduct a creative dance session to prepare the students before the show, or to enjoy the experience of dance themselves in a post-show workshop. The objective is to raise their awareness and appreciation of dance.
Thanks to support from the Fondation du Grand Montréal, in March 2015 Hélène Langevin worked with students in the Pointe-de-l’Île school board (CSPI) as part of a residency for research and creative approaches that resulted in The 26 Letter Dance, the latest piece by Bouge de là. That work with school children served as preparation for audience outreach activities centred on the new show – a danced alphabet – an interactive performance where words and letters become stage characters made larger than life through dance.
In a series of workshops, students go through the process of creating a dance piece based on the alphabet. The concrete objective of these sessions is to assist youngsters in making the alphabet come to life by using words, dance and the visual arts as means of expression.
- The students are introduced to the theme of the alphabet prior to being asked to form all the letters of the alphabet with their bodies, working as a team. Each letter is then photographed and photocopied for use in the visual arts segment.
- In the course of three workshops, choreographer Hélène Langevin and a performer review the entire alphabet with the children, the aim being to find words for each letter. These three dance workshops get the students to work on creative ideas and to explore movement by linking together the words they have come up with (e.g. battle, spying, immobility, mirror, rolling and slithering, flying).
- During the final session, the painter and visual artist Eugénia Reznik and choreographer Hélène Langevin invite the children to participate in a two-stage visual arts workshop. Using photos of their bodies as letters of the alphabet (taken during the first session), each child draws and repeats the design pattern used for each letter (zigzag, spiral, wave, broken lines, etc.). Each child then builds a letter using flexible wire, modifying its shape based on the word it represents. For example, a running “R” could take the form of an elongated “R”. The children then draw freehand the word represented by the wire letter. This activity concludes with an exhibit of their works in their school.
The performance venues where Bouge de là presents its shows often ask the company to give a public workshop geared to a family audience on the day of the performance. Available in English or French, these workshops prior to or following the performance are open to everyone. They provide a wonderful opportunity for a family outing to the theatre enhanced by a hands-on experience with the living arts!
Danse chez toi!
More committed than ever to getting children moving and stimulating their creativity during the lockdown, Bouge de là is inviting budding young choreographers to dance at home.
Twice a week starting in April, @Bougedeladanse is posting an online video to invite young and old alike to explore movement through a theme chosen by Hélène Langevin, our artistic director and choreographer. In the context of a lockdown, most of the themes are inspired by everyday objects. For each theme, our performers get the ball rolling by presenting their own short dance to inspire young people.
A new video is posted every Tuesday and Friday at 3:30 p.m., and everyone is invited to join in the fun because (as we all know) the more the merrier! And remember that dancing is good for body, the mind and the soul!
Dance of the Letters
This parent–child dance activity is inspired by the educational dance game 26 cartes à danser!
Bouge de là has always been true to its mission of enabling as many children as possible to discover dance and expression through movement. In this context, Artistic Director and Choreographer Hélène Langevin is pleased to present Dance of the Letters, a dance workshop based on the game 26 cartes à danser, launched in November 2017. The workshop celebrates the pleasure of dancing together. Hélène provides an opportunity for parents and children to join her for short improvisations inspired by a letter and an associated word.
Starring… You! is an opportunity for parents and children to create a short contemporary dance sequence. Under the leadership of the choreographer or a dancer, this activity introduces them to the creative process, such that participants become choreographers and dancers for the duration of the workshop. Generally related to the show being presented, this playful exercise in movement brings the family together in a spirit of creativity, with the emphasis on communication and sharing.
This activity can take place before or after the dance performance, either in the lobby of the theatre or in a space suitable for movement.
Since 2008 Bouge de là has been offering children in Montreal North a dance boot camp during spring break. The week concludes with the apprentice dancers proudly presenting the fruits of their labours onstage in the Oliver Jones space in the Maison culturelle et communautaire in Montreal North. Participants are introduced by our dance artists/boot camp instructors to performance protocol and to the ins and outs of putting a show together, from the warm-up to adopting a positive attitude onstage, by way of technical elements (stage curtains, the backstage area, dressing rooms), the closing bow, and stage left and stage right.
From February 17 to 28 at 514 328-4000, ext. 5606.
Ages 6 to 9 – Dance and shadow puppets
From 9:30 to 10:30 a.m.
With Hélène Langevin, artistic director and choreographer of Bouge de là.
For ages 11 to 16 – Foundations of Hip Hop Dance (bounce, rock and groove)
From 11 am to 12:15 pm.
With Emmanuelle Martin, choreographer, performer and teacher.
Bouge de là held its first training classes at the start of the 2016 school year. Given the unexpected success of this activity, it is being held ever since, this year in partnership with the Regroupement québécois de la danse, with the financial support of Emploi-Québec and Compétence Culture, a sectoral committee of cultural workers.
Dance Training Classes | Autumn 2019 (content in French only)