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Bouge de là

Photo: Rolline Laporte

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Renowned for its highly contemporary approach and mingling of art forms, Bouge de là presents dance performances for young audiences that are wide-ranging and playful. Each piece is the fruit of extensive research and is directed by Hélène Langevin, and the works provide children with access to poetry, humour and beauty, bringing a breath of fresh air to the world of dance in Quebec. Breaking down barriers and mixing genres, her stagings are characterized by boisterous energy and a rigorous artistic process. Since 2000 the company has been presenting to young audiences scintillating performances with a unique, distinctive style. Creating a structure devoted to dance for young audiences became imperative following the success of Roche, Papier, Ciseaux in 1996, while she was still a member of the collective Brouhaha danse. The choreographer discovered a real passion for presenting dance to children — a demanding yet spirited audience. The company now has a repertoire of six pieces: La Tribu Hurluberlu (2000), Like the 5 Fingers on your Hand (2003), SHH!! (2005), Old Thomas and the Little Fairy (2008), The Studio (2010) and Bedtime! (2013).

Eagerly plunging into fusions of dance and drawing upon a variety of artistic disciplines such as visual art, children’s literature and shadow theatre, the choreographer strives to ensure that the multidisciplinary experience is a memorable one for the audience. The fable remains, but takes on a different form as it is recounted with contemporary staging and modern technology. Young people of all ages thus have access to unrestrained, free-spirited dance, a major art form that stimulates children’s artistic sensibility and imaginations.

The ongoing research is greatly appreciated by audiences and critics alike. In the 2008-09 season, the company was a finalist for the critics’ award (theatre for young audiences) of the Association Québécoise des Critiques de Théâtre for Old Thomas and the Little Fairy. That piece, as well as Like the 5 Fingers on your Hand, was nominated for the Bourse RIDEAU touring award, which the company finally won for The Studio in 2012. Bouge de là has also been making impressive inroads outside Quebec, and indeed was nominated for a Dora Mavor Moore Award (theatre for young audiences) in Toronto. In 2013 it was a finalist for the Artistic Company of the Year award presented by the BC Touring Council, which also gave the company’s general manager Ginette Ferland its “Manager of the Year” award for her professionalism and ethics.

Education and audience development are important aspects that are an integral part of its mission, and the company organizes several cultural mediation activities every year. Focussing on her young audience, choreographer Hélène Langevin presents a variety of workshops in schools, closely monitoring children’s unique perception of reality.

She then puts that workshop experience and observations to use in the studio, combining those perceptions with her expertise as a dance artist and street performer. The themes of her works are rich in meaning — dreams, the five senses, the cycles of life — but each piece has its own particular style and aesthetics. Keenly attuned to children’s desires and the manifestations of their rich imaginations, Hélène Langevin creates a real dialogue with her young audience so that they can recognize themselves in her stories and go on to develop their own fiction, stimulated by the poetry of the images evoked in her work and the way each tale is told. She gives children an entertaining and invigorating contact with dance, an experience that calls on their feelings and emotions and that provokes a desire to dance, to plunge into the pure joy of movement.

Hélène Langevin, Choreographer and Artistic Director

It comes as no surprise that Hélène Langevin — whose work has always been noted for its energy and spontaneity — has chosen to devote herself, through the creation of her own company, to the introduction of dance to young audiences. Her sincerity and the clarity of her themes help her capture and stimulate the imaginations of her young public, while introducing them to simple ideas.

From the very beginning, Hélène Langevin’s work as a choreographer has been based on the power of expression. She studied contemporary dance at l’Université du Québec à Montréal, and has taught creative dance to children for over twenty-five years — which means that she has an intimate understanding of her target audience. She has also pursued her research in a range of movement techniques, including contact improvisation, theatre, vocal exploration and tango. Her tastes definitely lean towards the theatrical, as well as the exploration of different art forms. She was quickly drawn to projects that combine elements of video, acrobatics and dance.

In 1987, she joined Ginette Ferland, Rolline Laporte and Guylaine Savoie, three choreographers that share a similar creative spirit, and together they founded Brouhaha Danse (1987-1999). The company gained attention in a range of venues, presenting their own brand of irreverent, spirited choreography. The four artists challenged each other, exploring and creating, fusing different modes of expression, in theatres literally packed with loyal fans. While a member of the collective, Hélène Langevin created Ça frise la frénésie (1988). The following works were created as a collective: Méfiez-vous des faux frissons (1989), Claire (1991) and La Galerie des horribles (1992). This last work was presented in Montreal, at Ottawa’s National Arts Centre and in Dresden, Germany. Over the next decade, Hélène Langevin worked (whether as part of Brouhaha Danse or as a solo venture) on a number of other choreographies, animations, happenings and street performances.

In 1996, still with Brouhaha Danse and driven by a new impulse, Langevin created Roche, Papier, Ciseaux, her first work for young audiences. Playful, filled with humour and theatricality, the work features four female dancers as four schoolgirls in a friend’s room. The work itself is filled with dramatic twists (both physical and narrative), and the four dancers live up to the challenge.

In 2000, following the disbanding of Brouhaha Danse, Hélène Langevin founded Bouge de là. With her own company, she has created the pieces La Tribu Hurluberlu (2000), Like the 5 fingers on your hand (2003), SSHH!! (2005), Old Thomas and the Little Fairy (2008) and the The Studio (2010). She works full time, going from creating works to teaching creative dance throughout the province of Quebec. Her company proposes contemporary works that draw upon a variety of disciplines: video, acrobatics, theatre, shadow play, etc. Filled with humour and poetry, each performance seeks to create a lasting impression, and to show children the sheer pleasure of movement.

What the media says…

“Langevin has almost 15 years of experience creating for young audiences. Her strength is her ability to be playful or whimsical without being choreographically reductive. Her dance is accessible without being shallow, thoughtful without being intimidating. And she consistently works with skilled dancers.” — The Gazette, Montréal

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