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The Ballets Jazz de Montréal: Dance Me/Leonard Cohen

The Ballets Jazz de Montréal (BJM) returns to the stage at Théâtre Maisonneuve with six performances of the show inspired by the remarkable music of Leonard Cohen: Dance Me. A co-presentation with Danse Danse, the show runs from March 14 to 23, 2019. Since it premiered in December 2017 at Place des Arts, Dance Me has been a resounding success wherever it has been performed. It will be performed 80 times in Canada, the United States, Europe and China by the end of the season. A conversation with François Vaqué, president of the BJM Board of Directors.


Francois Vaque


Approved by Leonard Cohen before his death, and under the artistic direction of Louis Robitaille and the dramaturgy and stage direction of Eric Jean, Dance Me/Leonard Cohen combines modern dance, music, videos and lights to pay homage to one of Montréal’s greatest singer-songwriters. “With this show, BJM presents choreography worthy of the world’s biggest theatres. We will perform in more than 80 prestigious theatres, including the Théâtre desChamps-Élysées in Paris,” François Vaqué proudly explains.


Three internationally renowned choreographers were entrusted with interpreting Leonard Cohen’s music: Andonis Foniadakis, Annabelle Lopez Ochoa and Ihsan Rustem. They have created a deep and powerful universe reflective of Cohen’s work, brought to life by 14 of the company’s performing artists. “Dance Me/Leonard Cohen is accessible to everyone, from ballet jazz aficionados to those who are new to dance,” adds François Vaqué.


The show will also be broadcast on screens in performance and movie theatres in more than 40 cities across Quebec on Sunday, March 24.

Revival for the BJM

With Dance Me/Leonard Cohen, the BJM has begun a transition that François Vaqué hopes to pursue. “In the future, we hope to continue developing promising projects like this one that democratize dance and draw larger audiences. We have another show in the works, which will be revealed shortly.”He adds, “Just a few years ago, we were reliant on government subsidies for about 70% of our funding. Today, we’re moving toward a financial model that relies on around 70% independent funding; the rest is from private financing and government subsidies. Our shows are more expensive, but they are building blocks. This is how we will make our major projects happen,” he concludes.
Dance Me Leonard Cohen-2

Dance Me Leonard Cohen

Dance Me Leonard Cohen


Text: Diane Stehle
Photos: Céline Cassone and Alexander Hille © Marc Montplaisir – All artists © Thierry Du Bois – Cosmos Image

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