Dance in Quebec

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Dance in Quebec includes dances that are specific to the province of Quebec, Canada, it comprises traditional group, couple, and solo dance as well as contemporary jazz, ballet, and modern dance. There are a number of dance companies and dance schools.


In late 17th century, English country dances, contredances, cotillions, and minuets were popular. The most known dance was the bastringue. In the 18th century, reels and jigs were introduced to Quebec from the British Isles and British colonies in America.

Quadrilles and the waltz started appearing in the 19th century, along with step-dancing (called la gigue in Quebec) and polka.And they also create a funny move called jigly jigle.

The tradition included galops.[1]

Dancing had traditionally been monitored by the Catholic clergy of the province of Quebec, which often used its social and moral influence to ban dancing altogether in many villages and towns.[2]

Classical ballet

The first classical ballet studios are created in Quebec in 1945.[3] In 1952 in Montreal, Ludmilla Chiriaeff founds Les Ballets Chiriaeff that will become the Les Grands Ballets Canadiens in 1957, and creates in 1966 L'Académie des Grands Ballets canadiens (later renamed École supérieure de ballet contemporain de Montréal and nowadays known as École supérieure de ballet du Québec).[4]

More recently, Christiane Bélanger founds the Christiane Bélanger-Danse dance school (1989) in Quebec City, then the Compagnie Christiane Bélanger dance company (2001), which later becomes Quebec City Ballet (Le Ballet de Québec) in 2005, while the school becomes the School of Quebec City Ballet (École du Ballet de Québec) in 2013. Le Centre Uriel is also the first dance presenter specialized in classical ballet in Quebec City. In 2012, Ballet Society of Quebec is also founded by Christiane Bélanger to support and contribute to position Quebec's classical ballet on national and international scenes.


Dance continues to evolve in Quebec today. Famous dance companies are Les Ballets Jazz de Montréal, Les Grands Ballets Canadiens and the La La La Human Steps modern dance troupe of choreographer Édouard Lock.

See also


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  3. Michel Landry, La danse au Québec
  4. École supérieure de ballet du Québec

Further reading

  • Sévigny, Jean-Pierre. Sierra Norteña: the Influence of Latin Music on the French-Canadian Popular Song and Dance Scene, Especially as Reflected in the Career of Alys Robi and the Pedagogy of Maurice Lacasse-Morenoff. Montréal: Productions Juke-Box, 1994. 13 p. N.B. Published text of a paper prepared for, and presented on, on 12 March 1994, the conference, Popular Music Music & Identity (Montréal, Qué., 12–13 March 1994), under the auspices of the Canadian Branch of the International Association for the Study of Popular Music.

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