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Creation Laboratory - Papillon - The process

I have long been fascinated by chaos, and see it as a vector of poetry that is central in my work. I craft interdisciplinary dance performances that intend to trigger states of sensorial overload for audiences in order to steer them away from logical thinking into more affective, visceral ways of experiencing art. Through a layering movement, live music, and text; through a barrage of visual and aural stimuli; through a complex and ever shifting use of rhythm, space, and dynamics; I give space to the messy, the raw, the undefinable, unsettled spaces of life. In a perpetually redefining state of reality, strong images and emotions emerge suddenly, only to be shifted or shattered without notice. Seeking out and embracing chaos allows me to create paradoxical works that are at once beautiful and disturbing, accessible and provoking, familiar and strange.


In this creation workshop, I draw on compositional techniques used to create my latest show, PAPILLON, and invite participants to order to join me as we explore the fine lines between order and disorder in order to touch on notions of metamorphosis, the cyclical nature of the self – change, loss, grief, acceptance and growth – the strangeness that lives inside us, finding freedom in confinement, loneliness and togetherness, singularity and similarity, and the importance of human connection. Together, we will know and unknow. We will do and undo. We will search and we will get lost. We will laugh. We will live. We will listen. We will learn. We will dance. A lot. We will make space for each other in all of our complexity.


Creation Laboratory
The process

May 30 to June 3

2:15 p.m. to 6:15 p.m.

(20 hours)

Wilder Building

Studio: to be confirmed

Pricing and


DAC pro - $ 180 ($9 / hr) | Standard- $ 260 ($13 / hr)


Helen Simard is a choreographer who has been working since 2000 in Tiohtiá:ke/Montreal . After working for twelve years with Solid State Breakdance —  a creative collective in urban and contemporary dance — and participating in nine collaborative creations, she decided in 2012 to lead her own projects. She invites musicians and dancers into the studio to create hybrid, often deafening performances such as: NO FUN (2015), IDIOT (2017), REQUIEM POP (2019) and Papillon (2020). Helen is currently an artist-in-residence at Playwrights' Workshop Montreal until 2022, as part of their interdisciplinary writers' lab; she is using this opportunity to write her first play, When Your Baby Dies. Over the years, she has also collaborated with Ebnfloh, AP&A, Sébastien Provencher, Tentacle Tribe and Parts+Labour Danse as a rehearsal director and dramaturge. Helen holds a BFA in contemporary dance from Concordia University (2000) and an MA in dance from UQAM (2014). In 2019, she founded the company We All Fall Down | Interdisciplinary Creations (WAFD) with the composer Roger White. Under their co-artistic direction, WAFD values live performance as a place for experimentation and risk-taking in order to deconstruct/reinvent the body and its ways of relating to time and space - both for the performers and the audience. Through their creations, the body is speaking, dancing, musical, impulsive, vulnerable, hybrid, powerful, dislocated, emotional.

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