Sylvain Émard Danse Montreal
  • Choreographer Sylvain Émard

Over the past decade, Montreal choreographer Sylvain Émard has won wide-spread acclaim for his work with large ensembles. The international success of its gigantic contemporary line dance, Le Grand Continental, bears witness to this. Inspired by the ritualistic aspect of dance, his new work, Rhapsodie, builds on the experience gained and brings together 20 professional dancers. The choreographer explores the trance states dance can unleash in its raw, primitive state.

Sylvain Émard has always been fascinated by night clubs and dance halls and the people who frequent them, seeing these gatherings as a form of pagan ritual. Taking place in a space, with the audience surrounding the performers, Rhapsodie celebrates the liberated, volatile twists and turns of bodies outside the self, plunged into fervent, swirling movement, capturing the life force and the sometimes subversive abandon of bodies in movement.

Rhapsodie © Valerie Simmons


A prolific and internationally respected artist, Sylvain Émard founded Sylvain Émard Danse in 1990. His repertoire now includes over thirty original pieces that have had a resounding impact all over the world. The quality of his artistic work has also given him the opportunity to collaborate as guest choreographer in theatre, opera and cinema. Sylvain Émard has received numerous prestigious awards, such as the Jean A. Chalmers Choreographic Award (1996). He is also co-founder of the Circuit-Est centre chorégraphique.

Creative team

  • Choreographer Sylvain Émard
  • Composers Martin Tétreault + Poirier
  • Lighting design Alexandre Pilon-Guay
  • Costume design Marilène Bastien
  • Rehearsal coach Daniel Villeneuve

National Creation Fund investment

The National Creation Fund’s investment of $165,000 allowed Sylvain Émard Danse to stage a large ensemble and collaborate with an expanded creative team. This work also benefitted from a greater number of weeks of residencies.


Partners: Danse Danse (Montreal), CEPRODAC/Centro de Producción de Danza Contemporánea (Mexico) and FringeArts (Philadelphia)

Sylvain Émard Danse receives support from the Canada Council for the Arts, the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec, and the Conseil des arts de Montréal.

Developed with support from the National Arts Centre’s National Creation Fund.

Performance dates

February 22 to 26, 2022:  World premiere, Studio-Theatre Wilder Building, presented by Danse Danse.