BJM (Les Ballets Jazz de Montréal)

Dance Me

2019-07-11 20:00 2019-07-12 22:00 60 Canada/Eastern 🎟 NAC: BJM (Les Ballets Jazz de Montréal)

Music by Leonard Cohen  Dance me to your beauty with a burning violin
Dance me through the panic till I'm gathered safely in
Lift me like an olive branch and be my homeward dove
Dance me to the end of love
L.C. Dance Me is an exclusive creation inspired by the rich and profound work of Montreal-based poet, artist and songwriter, Leonard Cohen. The show returns to the NAC by popular demand after a sold out run here in February 2018 and extensive touring...

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Southam Hall,1 Elgin Street,Ottawa,Canada
July 11 - 12, 2019

≈ 1 hour and 20 minutes · No intermission

Our programs have gone digital.

Scan the QR code at the venue's entrance to read the program notes before the show begins.

I can’t think of a better send off into the summer than with BJM – Les Ballets Jazz de Montréal’s Dance Me, inspired by and featuring the work of the incomparable Leonard Cohen, Montreal’s beloved musical hero.

Dance Me has garnered such great attention and audience response since its premiere, touring to 45 cities in 10 countries on three continents, and even appearing on the big screen. I’m very excited that NAC Dance is able to present a return engagement of this remarkable work for those who missed it the first time around, and those who wish to see it again!

As the company’s most ambitious project to date, the program features the interwoven visions of three internationally-recognized choreographers, under the guiding hand of Director Éric Jean, exploring a range of 15 Cohen songs from early to late in his career. The result is a fitting homage to Cohen’s great art, and a stunning example of the power and beauty of dance.

NAC Dance is honoured to bring you these performances on the traditional, unceded territory of the Algonquin Nation, and we gratefully acknowledge them as past, present, and future stewards of this land.


Word from the Artistic Director

Time passes, new creations emerge

In more than two decades with BJM, the Dance Me evening, inspired by the massive talent of Leonard Cohen and the artists of the company, is definitely the production that is most personal to me.

How rewarding it is to return to Ottawa with this unifying dance work, which has now been presented in 45 cities and 10 countries on three continents.

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all the people involved in this production, especially Eric Jean, the show’s writer and director and above all, my faithful comrade in arms.

On behalf of the entire BJM team, I leave you with the words of Mr. Cohen:

We are so privileged to be able to gather in moments like this,

When so much of the world is plunged in darkness and chaos.

There is a crack in everything.

That’s how the light gets in.

Bon voyage, and enjoy the evening.

Dance Me

Last updated: July 3, 2019

Dance Me is an exclusive creation inspired by the rich and profound work of Montreal-based poet, artist and songwriter, Leonard Cohen.

Approved by Leonard Cohen during his lifetime, and under the artistic direction of Louis Robitaille and the strong and bold dramaturgy of Eric Jean, this riveting homage to the famed poet-singer-songwriter evokes the grand cycles of existence in five seasons, as described in Cohen’s deeply reflective music and poems.

Three internationally renowned choreographers were entrusted with putting movement to Cohen’s legendary songs: Andonis Foniadakis, Annabelle Lopez Ochoa and Ihsan Rustem. Their powerful and profound choreographic world reflective of Cohen’s singular work is brought to life by 14 BJM performing artists.

Surrounded by a team of celebrated designers, Dance Me combines scenic, visual, musical, dramaturgical and choreographic writing to pay tribute to Montreal’s greatest ambassador. Dance, music, lighting, scenography and videography all come together in this unforgettable show, for which BJM has been granted exclusive dance rights for five years.

List of songs

Suzanne (1967) – So Long, Marianne (1967) – Famous Blue Raincoat (1971) – Lover, Lover, Lover (1974) – Hallelujah (1984) – First We Take Manhattan (1988) – Tower of Song (1988) – Everybody Knows (2001) – Here It Is (2001) – Dance Me to the End of Love (live in London, 2009) – Boogie Street (live in London, 2009) – Nevermind (2014) – Steer Your Way (2016) – It Seemed the Better Way (2016) – String Reprise / Treaty (2016) – A Thousand Kisses Deep (poem)

Credits: Dance Me

World Premiere: December 5. 2017, Danse Danse, Montréal

Ideation: Louis Robitaille

Dramaturgy and Stage Direction: Eric Jean

Choreography: Andonis Foniadakis, Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, Ihsan Rustem 

Principal Dancers: Céline Cassone, Yosmell Calderón
and dancers of the BJM company

Music Direction: Martin Léon 

Music Conception : Alexis Dumais

Scenography and Prop Conception: Pierre-Etienne Locas

Creation Technical Direction: Alexandre Brunet

Lighting Design and Production: Cédric Delorme-Bouchard, Simon Beetschen 

Video Design: HUB Studio – Gonzalo Soldi, Thomas Payette, Jeremy Fassio

Costume Design: Philippe Dubuc 

Costume Production: Anne-Marie Veevaete 

Assistance Stage Direction: Elsa Posnic

Sound Engineer: Guy Fortin

We would like to thank Judy Bronfman for the support given to the creation of the show.


  • Ballets Jazz Montréal ©
    Featuring Ballets Jazz Montréal
  • Leonard Cohen ©
    Music Leonard Cohen
  • Louis Robitaille ©Christopher Pozio
    Artistic Director Louis Robitaille
  • Eric Jean ©Jean-François Lemire- Shoot Studio
    Dramaturgy and Stage Direction Eric Jean
  • Andonis Foniadakis ©
    Choreography Andonis Foniadakis
  • Annabelle Lopez Ochoa ©Titus Tiel Groenestege
    Choreography Annabelle Lopez Ochoa
  • Ihsan Rustem ©Ida Zenna
    Choreography Ihsan Rustem