Established in 2000 by choreographer and artistic director Hélène Langevin, Bouge de là creates, performs, distributes and promotes prime quality dance pieces for young audiences. The company remains one of the rare professional dance companies in Québec devoted exclusively to creating dance presentations for children. The organization also develops a multitude of cultural mediation activities for youth and families in order to deepen the artistic experience of the spectator and to contribute to the outreach of dance. Bouge de là’s actions are deployed locally, nationally and internationally.
Children are at the heart of the company’s approach: Bouge de là offers them a beneficial and joyful dance experience, eliciting the full range of their senses and awakening in them the desire to embrace movement. The company aims to give as many children as possible the opportunity to discover dance, to express themselves through movement and to experience the thrill of dancing with others. The company hopes that this process of discovery creates a significant and lasting impact on their lives.
By fusing dance with other artistic disciplines (video, theatre, shadow play), the company offers contemporary dance performances full of humour and poetry. It has eight works in its repertoire: La Tribu Hurluberlu (2000), Like the 5 Fingers on your Hand (2003), SSHH!! (2005), Old Thomas and the Little Fairy (2008), The Studio (2010), Bedtime! (2013), The 26 Letter Dance (2016) and Through My Eyes (2018). To date, more than 1,200 performances have been given across Canada; more recently, in China and in Mexico, reaching nearly 300,000 young spectators.
In 2017, Bouge de là launched 26 cartes à danser, a unique educational and artistic cardgame that is very popular with the school community and families and has also crossed the borders of Quebec to find itself elsewhere in Canada, in Europe and in Brasil.
In 2019, Hélène Langevin receives the Pris du CALQ | 2018/2019 Best choreographic work in Québec at the Prix de la danse de Montréal for her most recent creation, Through My Eyes.
Bouge de là has adopted a creative means of introducing young audiences to the world of choreography, thus making dance accessible to children. With a contemporary approach that blends together various art forms, the company presents dance performances that are playful and topical. By fusing dance with other artistic disciplines, the choreographer ensures that the interdisciplinary nature of the experience makes for a show children will long remember. Young audiences of all ages have access to seamless, straightforward and vibrant dance, a major art form that appeals to their artistic sense and their imagination.
Audience Development Activities
Educating young audiences and heightening their appreciation of dance are at the very heart of the artistic mission of Bouge de là. With her extensive experience as a teacher of creative dance, Hélène Langevin offers children a wide variety of dance awareness activities.
At the start of each new dance creation, the choreographer conducts research by presenting dance workshops to children in primary schools. These sessions provide her with feedback as she listens to their ideas and observes their reactions. Hélène Langevin regularly invites school classes to creative residencies with professional dancers so that they too can observe the process of dance creation and respond directly to the choreographic sketch taking shape. This back-and-forth leads her to question her working hypotheses, and to have them either validated or refuted. It favours the creation of a piece that is in harmony with the feelings and experiences of the young spectators.
In conjunction with the Bouge de là performances, Hélène Langevin also designs creative workshops for each show linked to the theme of the work presented.
Through these multiple actions, Bouge de là achieves its objective of offering children an enjoyable contact with dance, an experience that stimulates an emotional response and instills a desire for movement and dance.
Reputation and Awards
Acclaimed by audiences and critics alike, the company has received several awards. In October 2019, Through My Eyes is crowned Prix du CALQ | 2018/2019 Best choreographic work in Québec at the Prix de la danse de Montréal. In October 2008, Old Thomas and the Little Fairy was nominated in the Young Audiences category for a Prix de la critique award from the Québec association of theatre critics. This dance piece, along with Like the 5 Fingers on your Hand, was also nominated for a RIDEAU Touring Award, which the company finally received in 2012 for The Studio.
Bouge de là has also established a strong reputation outside Québec. In 2012, 2015 and 2018, The Studio, Bedtime! and The 26 Letter Dance were nominated for a Dora Mavor Moore Award in Toronto for Outstanding Production, Theatre for Young Audiences category. In 2013 Bouge de là was among the finalists in the category Touring Artistic Company of the Year at the BC Touring Council Annual Awards.
In 2016, at the invitation of Art Space for Kids (ASK) in China, Bouge de là crossed the globe for the first time to present two performances of the The 26 Letter Dance, as well as organising cultural mediation workshops with Chinese children. In November 2019 the company is set to continue its international development with a first visit to four different cities in Mexico to present the Spanish language version of The 26 Letter Dance: “26 letras para bailar”. As a leader in creative choreography for young Canadian audiences, the presence of Bouge de là on the international stage is a fantastic showcase for the quality of dance theatre aimed at younger audiences in Canada, as well as an opportunity to promote the extraordinary talent of our artists and designers.
In 2019, The 26 Letter Dance became the first stage production for young audiences to be filmed by CBC/Radio-Canada. The state broadcaster has acquired the distribution rights to the production for one year on CBC and ARTV, and for two years on the web services TOU.TV, TOU.TV Extra and Illico. A broadcast on ICI Télé will take place at 5.30 p.m. on January 5,, 2020–just in time for the company’s 20th anniversary celebrations!
In 2006 Bouge de là became the resident company at the Maison culturelle et communautaire in Montréal North. Every year the borough offers the company use of its facilities to develop and create new dance works or to remount pieces about to go on tour. Bouge de là is proud to present the world premières of its shows to the citizens of Montréal North.
In September 2014, we organized the first Colloque sur la danse jeune public [young audience dance symposium] in close collaboration with PPS Danse and UQAM dance department [Département de danse de l’UQAM]. The event gathered about one hundred participants and was a forum of reflection and resourcing for field stakeholders, especially distributors, choreographers, performers, cultural workers, teachers, and students. This initiative encouraged us to discuss our industry, describe, name, analyze, observe, highlight, and ensure the recognition of works created for children, and exchange constructive, interdisciplinary views as well as share expertise. In addition to benefitting from extensive media coverage (Le Devoir, the theatre journal JEU, Médium large, a radio program on Ici Première and Entrée principale on Ici Radio-Canada Télé) the Colloque instigated various other initiatives.
Objective carbon neutral
Since the beginning of the 2018-19 season, Bouge de là has chosen to calculate its impact on the environment in terms of the carbon dioxide emissions (CO2) caused by its entire range of activities, from research and creation to staging, as well as mediation and market development. With our environment increasingly threatened by the effects of exponential human development, we believe that in the 21st century, every company must play its part. That’s why, from now on, we will be purchasing carbon credits in an endeavour to offset the CO2 emissions caused by our activities.