Ballets Jazz Montréal Returns to Victoria for the Company’s 50th Anniversary

Ballets Jazz Montréal in We Can’t Forget What’s His Name. Photo: Sasha Onyshchenko
Ballets Jazz Montréal in We Can’t Forget What’s His Name. Photo: Sasha Onyshchenko

Ballets Jazz Montréal (BJM) returns to the Royal Theatre on April 26 + 27 with Essence, a mixed contemporary ballet program featuring three landmark works by female choreographers that celebrates the company’s 50th anniversary. This engagement follows the success of two sold-out Dance Victoria performances of Dance Me to music by Leonard Cohen in 2018.

The company’s new triple bill pays homage to the BJM’s roots and also serves as a springboard for a new artistic vision: a balance between the company’s DNA and the evolution of its mission into the next half-century. The program includes We Can’t Forget About What’s His Name, a new creation by company member Ausia Jones; Ten Duets on a Theme of Rescue by Crystal Pite; and Les Chambres des Jacques by Aszure Barton. As part of Dance Victoria’s Community Engagement programs, the company will lead a free masterclass at STAGES Dance on April 27.

We Can’t Forget About What’s His Name touches on the idea of uncertainty and how it influences moments of connection. Exploring the concepts of time, community, togetherness, and isolation, the work reflects the extreme emotions that uncertainty creates in our lives, as well as the space it allows for freedom and joy. 

Ten Duets on a Theme of Rescue offers a highly personal take on the theme of rescue between two people. In these duets, each of which highlights a particular aspect of “rescue,” Crystal Pite approaches the human body with theatricality, humour, and a quick-witted movement language. The critically acclaimed work rotates each performer through ten duo combinations, leaving the audience to decide for themselves who rescues whom and from what.

Originally created and performed in 2005, Les Chambres des Jacques is at once physical, wild, and beautifully human. The work was pointedly described by The New York Times as “a rare instance of a dance that feels as if it were plucked straight from the choreographer’s extremely specific imagination and set, full-grown, onstage.”The piece beautifully exemplifies Aszure Barton’s process-driven approach, one that is grounded in dialogue between dancers and   choreographer. In fact, verbal language and communication became the vehicle through which the distinct physical language was able to come through. Dance Victoria’s presentation of Ballets Jazz Montréal is made possible with generous support from Season Sponsor Derma Spa, Lead Presentation Sponsors Jones Emery LLP and Tulipe Noire Clothing, and with public support from the Government of Canada, Canada Council for the Arts, Government of BC, BC Arts Council, and the CRD Arts Development office.

About Ballets Jazz Montréal

Ballets Jazz Montréal is an internationally renowned contemporary dance repertory company that has been evolving steadily and dynamically since 1972. Thanks to the unwavering faith of Geneviève Salbaing and Eva Von Gencsy, this vibrant energy has traced its path over the last 50 years. As an ambassador of Quebec dance to the world, Ballets Jazz Montréal offers the world an explosive, original, and accessible artistic product, renowned for the excellence of its interpretation. The company’s hallmark is its focus on the unique personalities of its performers. With their eclectic backgrounds, these high-caliber artists represent the very soul of Ballets Jazz Montréal. Their distinct personalities and the quality of their interpretation invariably win over audiences and critics from all walks of life.

Ballets Jazz Montréal

Royal Theatre
Friday, April 26, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, April 27, 7:30 p.m.

How to Buy Tickets

Phone: The Royal or McPherson Box Offices at 250-386-6121 or toll free at 1-888-717-6121 Monday to Friday, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (Royal Theatre is closed 1:00 to 1:30 pm)

Visit the Royal and McPherson Theatres website for current Box Office details.



Pay Your Age (ages 12 to 29) and Night Moves (ages 30 to 45) tickets are also available. 

About Dance Victoria

Dance Victoria brings the World’s Best Dance to the Royal Theatre and supports the development of new dance for the international stage from its studios in Quadra Village. Dance Victoria is a non-profit charitable society.

Media Materials

Email a[email protected] to request high-resolution images and other media materials.

Media Contact

Anne-Sophie Cournoyer
Marketing Manager, Dance Victoria

Downloadable PDF media release here.