BJM – Les Ballets Jazz de Montréal

24 to 27 July

Photo: Matthias Leitzke


Artistic director: Louis Robitaille
Choreography: Leonard Cohen / Dance Me (German premiere)

24-27 July, 8:00 pm, Hafen 1

Introduction to the work on 24 July, 7:15 pm, Hafen 1 foyer

Duration: approx. 1 hour and 20 minutes



Leonard Cohen / Dance Me (German premiere)

Choreography: Andonis Foniadakis, Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, Ihsan Rustem
Scenery: Pierre-Étienne Locas
Lighting: Cédric Delorme-Bouchard
Video: Hub Studio – Gonzalo Soldi/Thomas Payette
Costumes: Philippe Dubuc

BJM – Les Ballets Jazz de Montreal dedicates its choreography "Dance Me" (title from the song "Dance Me to the End of Love") to poet, songwriter and painter Leonard Cohen. Three internationally-acclaimed choreographers with very different signature styles and personalities – Andonis Foniadakis, Annabelle Lopez Ochoa and Ihsan Rustem – created the concept for the evening performance. They were inspired by the rich, profound work and unforgettable songs of the world-famous Montréal-born artist. Leonard Cohen himself approved this creative homage that depicts five phases that correspond to the five ages described in his work. The result is an impressive, multi-layered world of dance, music, video art and lighting design that more than lives up to Cohen's legacy.

Artistic director

At the age of 16, Louis Robitaille joined the Compagnie de danse Eddy Toussaint, where he gained experience with many eminent choreographers. In 1978 he moved to the Grands Ballets Canadiens, where he was soon cast in leading roles. In the early 1980s, he appeared as a guest dancer at venues including the Opéra d'Avignon. Robitaille returned to the Grands Ballets Canadiens in 1989 as the principal dancer.

From 1990 until he stepped down in 1998, Robitaille appeared in 35 roles in works by Georges Balanchine, Nacho Duato, Michel Fokine, William Forsythe, Ji?í Kylián, Édouard Lock and others. He became artistic director of the Jeune Ballet du Québec in 1994 and was appointed artistic director of the BJM – Les Ballets Jazz de Montréal in 1998. Robitaille helped reorganize the company with a new spirit that continues today. Together with the company he was awarded the Rideau Hommage Prix in together with the Montréal Arts Council's Prix de Reconnaissance.


BJM – Les Ballets Jazz de Montréal is a tradition-rich institution that serves as a respected cultural envoy for French-speaking Canada. Founded in 1972, the company developed new choreographic forms after Louis Robitaille became artistic director in 1998. Many young and well-established choreographers from all over the world have been offered excellent conditions for working with the company. This attracted choreographers Mauro Bigonzetti, Andonis Foniadakis, Itzik Galili, Benjamin Millepied, Rodrigo Pederneira, Crystal Pite, Aszure Barton and many others. It also strengthened the connections to other artistic disciplines, especially to theatre, video art and music. An important criterion for the company's creative work is the balance between aspiring content, dance excellence and accessibility – a quality that has become known internationally as the hallmark of the ensemble. With more than 2,000 performances for millions of fans in 67 countries, BJM is a true international ambassador of dance and of Canada's artistic vitality.