A tribute to dance as a liberating force.

The impetus for the preludes was Rhapsodie, a choreography by Sylvain Émard for 20 dancers to be presented as part of the Danse Danse program in November 2020, but postponed to February 2022. Inspired by the ritual aspect of dance, Rhapsodie celebrates the visceral, instinctive parts of our nature, capturing the driving force of life and the sometimes subversive abandon of bodies in movement.

In response to the pandemic the choreographer conceived of the Preludes as performance event, harmonized overtures that announce the piece about to be presented, using current constraints to explore the very essence of the piece, now deeply shaken. The 20 intertwined, dancing bodies of Rhapsodie, often clutched in an embrace, now avoid coming into physical contact. Like a sudden, unexpected change of course, the Preludes have propelled the choreography into new territories.


Prelude #1  The Circle

The dancers form a big circle on the public space. The circle represents the cycles of nature. It evokes ritual, a spirit of communion, unity. Prelude #1 reconsiders the notion of ritual in a context where the very idea of people gathering together is being called into question. 

Prelude #2 – The Square

A symbol of a fixed, balanced world, the square is a human invention, an attempt at stabilization echoing the urban world around us, where the right angle reigns unopposed. The square suggests more regulated, more orderly behavior than the circle, even if the two forms are, in a way, complementary. With Prelude #2, the quadrilateral comes to life, pulsating in the heart of the townscape.



Captured on film by director Sandrick Mathurin, Prelude #1  The Circle was part of the 39th International Festival of Films on Art (FIFA) and Light Moves Festival 2021(Ireland). Prelude #2 – The Squaremeanwhile, joined the first film at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2021, before being presented at the InShadow Festival Lisboa (Portugal) and at the Athens Video Dance Project (Greece).

FIFA       LIGHTMOVES   InShadow

25 minutes / Prelude



CHOREOGRAPHY  Sylvain Émard 

DANCERS* Rodrigo Alvarenga, Sophie Breton, Charles Cardin-Bourbeau, Luis Cabanzo, Karina Champoux, Matéo Chauchat, Félix Cossette, Dylan Crossman, Marilyne Cyr, Marie-Michelle Darveau, Aurélie Figaro, Janelle Hacault, Mathieu Hérard, Kyra Jean Green, Christopher LaPlante, Nikita Perruzini, James Phillips, Matthew Quigley, Cara Roy, Marie-Philippe Santerre, Camille Trudel-Vigeant

APPRENTICES  Aurélie Figaro, Nikita Perruzini

REHEARSAL COACH  Daniel Villeneuve

ORIGINAL SCORE  Poirier and Martin Tétreault

COSTUMES  Marilène Bastien



Kimberley De Jong, Sara Hanley, Jee Lam, Alexandre Morin, Erin O'Loughlin, Nicolas Patry and François Richard were part of the original cast.



 "Émard’s choreography involves a lot of naturalistic-feeling movements. Watching, it feels as though the dancers are speaking a universal language of physical expression. It’s a nice reminder of dance’s ability to communicate cross-culturally, even when the dancers themselves can’t travel." The Stage, London, August 2021

"Both pieces are hypnotic to watch, and the dancers' technical mastery is tremendous, keeping subtle unity against a fluid, repeating soundtrack. Even as the choreography becomes more curved and intricate, they maintain the crispness of their formation. It creates the effect of a society, individually human, but moving as one." The List, Edinburgh, August 2021



September 29, 2022, 18h – PreludesEsplanade de l'Amphithéâtre COGECO, Trois-Rivières, Canada

December 21, 2021 – Prelude #2 – The Square the film,  Athens Video Dance Project  (Greece), Cinema Trianon

December 2-18, 2021 – Prelude #2 – The Square the film,  InShadow Festival Lisboa (Portugal), Galeria de Arquitectura

October 2021 – Preludes, plaza of the Théâtre Gilles-Vigneault, Saint-Jérôme, Canada

October 2021 – Preludes, Esplanade, Place des Arts, Danse Danse Hors les murs, Montréal, Canada

September 2021 – Prelude #1 – The Circle the film,  Light Moves Festival's official selection (Ireland), online

September 2021 – Preludes, plaza of the Théâtre Alphonse-Desjardins, Repentigny, Canada

August 2021 – Preludes the films, Edinburgh Festival Fringe, online

March 2021 – Prelude #1 – The Circle the film, 39th International Festival of Films on Art (FIFA)'s official selection, online 

This creation was made possible thanks to the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec.