Laureate 2020

The CINARS jury wanted to underline the tour made by BJM – Les Ballets Jazz of Montréal between July 24, 2019 and December 22, 2019, in 21 cities in six countries: Germany, Brazil, the USA, Spain, France and Switzerland. With the production Leonard Cohen’s Dance Me, the company has been able to rethink its dissemination model with a focus on co-production.  

BJM – Les Ballets Jazz de Montréal

Emerging from a collaboration between Geneviève Salbaing, Eva Von Genscy and Eddy Toussaint in 1972, BJM – Les Ballets Jazz de Montréal is a repertory company that creates, produces and presents contemporary dance performances based on the technique, rigour and aesthetics of classical ballet. Its work consistently appears on local, national and international stages.

From 1998 to 2020, Artistic Director Louis Robitaille reoriented the company towards an audience curious to discover new choreographic forms by collaborating with rising figures in contemporary dance, such as Crystal Pite and Aszure Barton. The company also collaborates with internationally renowned choreographers, including Mauro Bigonzetti, Andonis Foniadakis, Itzik Galili, Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, Barak Marshall, Benjamin Millepied, Rodrigo Pederneiras, Ihsan Rustem and Cayetano Soto. In recent years, the company’s artistic direction has favoured multidisciplinary creations by associating ballet with other artistic disciplines such as theater, video and music.

Every piece created for BJM remains faithful to an aesthetic exerting a positive influence. With accessibility and quality as key values of its approach, the company succeeds in combining pleasure with strong, expressive and demanding creations. The distinct personality and high caliber of its performers ensure the company’s sustained success and reputation. With more than 2,600 performances for over 3 million spectators in 68 countries, BJM is a true ambassador of Canadian dance and artistic vitality across the globe.

In 2016, BJM and its Artistic Director Louis Robitaille were awarded the Rideau Hommage Prize in recognition of the company’s influence and assiduous presence on Quebec stages. BJM’s upcoming season will be a milestone, a celebration of 50 years of history, ballet, touring and encounters with the public.