Quebec choreographer helps amateurs to launch their internal dancer

Choreographer Sylvain Emard helps newbie dancers who had been recruited on Saturday to take part in his creation Le Petit Continental.

Pierre Obendrauf / Montreal Gazette

Consideration all movers and shakers eager to launch their internal dancer in a efficiency choreographed by one in all Quebec’s esteemed up to date choreographers. No dance expertise required, however a way of rhythm and a modicum of coordination could be appreciated.


Choreographer Sylvain Émard is recruiting non-dancers and newbie dancers — 10 years outdated and up — for his creation Le Petit Continental on the Centre socioculturel in Île-Bizard, Jan. 19 at 1 p.m. The one-hour session will embrace Émard speaking in regards to the manufacturing and individuals studying a number of of the steps.

Émard created an extended, extra elaborate model — Le Grand Continental — for the Competition TransAmériques (FTA) in 2009 and went on to supply variations in Vancouver, Toronto, Ottawa, Portland, Philadelphia, Boston and New York Metropolis in addition to South Korea, New Zealand, Germany and Chile. Near 200 individuals carried out Le Tremendous Méga Continental at Place des Festivals for Montreal’s 350th birthday in 2017.

“I’ve been doing this for 10 years and I nonetheless can’t determine why it’s so widespread,” Sylvain Émard mentioned.


Le Grand Continental is 30 minutes lengthy and requires three months of rehearsals. Le Petit Continental, with music by Martin Tétreault and John Saga, is 10 minutes lengthy. A shorter choreography means fewer rehearsals. There can be two-hour rehearsals twice every week, for one month. Individuals should attend each rehearsal.

The efficiency of Le Petit Continental takes place within the gymnasium at Cégep Gérald-Godin, 15615 Blvd. Gouin W., in Ste-Geneviève, March 15 at three p.m. The efficiency is a part of the 20th anniversary celebrations for the Cégep and its Salle Pauline-Julien.

“We discovered that lots of people wished to take part, however didn’t have the time accessible to attend three months value of rehearsals,” Émard mentioned. “So we got here up with a extra concentrated formulation.”


Le Petit Continental is a pilot mission of types, taking the idea to the outer areas of the island. Recruitment is underneath means in Mercier—Hochelaga—Maisonneuve and a efficiency has already taken place in Rivière-des-Prairies—Pointe-aux-Trembles. It was successful.

“The idea is impressed by line dancing, however is up to date and gives an actual dance expertise,” Émard mentioned. “Individuals work onerous. You study motion.”

And, to make issues much more attention-grabbing, there is a component within the smaller format that was not included within the grander manufacturing. Individuals may have some sway within the choreography.


“They are going to recommend the actions and I’ll take these strikes and weave them into the choreography,” Émard mentioned.

Émard has choreographed a number of the finest up to date dancers within the province. He first stepped onstage as a solo artist in 1987 and based his firm Sylvain Émard Danse in 1990. He’s received a number of awards for his work.

So what’s it prefer to step into the world of newbie dance?


“It’s refreshing,” he mentioned. “I’ve skilled dancers who assist me with rehearsals they usually adore it too. It reminds us of why we started to bounce within the first place. There’s a sense of discovery. As professionals, we strategy choreography in a really critical method and so we typically overlook the straightforward pleasure of dancing.”

Watching individuals enhance so shortly is a pleasure for Émard.

“They aren’t acquainted with my (choreographic) language in the beginning, so they are saying ‘I’ll by no means get it.’ Then, immediately, there may be understanding they usually start to progress in a short time. It’s extraordinary. And on the finish, they’re so happy with themselves.”


Recruitment for Le Petit Continental takes place on the Centre Socioculturel, 490 Montée de l’Église in Île-Bizard, Jan. 19 at 1 p.m. Put on comfy garments. Registration prematurely is required. Go to