A tribute to dance as a liberating force.

In this ode to the ritual aspect of dance, 20 performers surge into the public space. Surrounded by spectators, the sometimes hypnotic, sometimes rapid pacing of this large ensemble piece captures the trance effect that emerges from movement. The energy of the cast ripples through the audience, gripped by this modern-day fluid, ethereal and intoxicating ceremonial event.


Form determines ritual.

Prelude #1 – The Circle

The dancers form a large circle attuned to the rhythmic, rippling undulations of the urban landscape. Nature's most widespread symbol, the circle, an organic form of gathering, evokes a spirit of communion and sharing.

Prelude #2 – The Square

The incarnation of a fixed, balanced system, the square represents a human concept, an attempt at stabilization that echoes the urban world around us, where the right angle reigns virtually unopposed. The square suggests more orderly behaviour, more civilized than the circle, although both these symmetrical forms project a sense of unity. With Prelude #2 the quadrilateral comes to life, pulsating to the heartbeat of the city.



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).


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



August 2023 – Prelude #1 – The Circle, Centre sportif du Cégep de Rivière-du-Loup, RDL en spectacles, Canada

September 2022 – Preludes, Esplanade de l'Amphithéâtre COGECO, Trois-Rivières, Canada

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

December 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.