DanceHouse and Digidance Present Jean-Pierre Perreault’s Joe

Comments 4 by Rebecca Bollwitt

DanceHouse, in partnership with Digidance, announce the exclusive online broadcast of Montreal choreographer Jean-Pierre Perreault’s (1947-2002) milestone work Joe streaming March 17-23, 2021.

Having premiered in 1984 to critical acclaim, the visually arresting work is considered one of the most iconic creations in the Canadian dance canon and showcases the brilliance and scope of Perreault’s vision, as a company of 32 power through a driving commentary on the human condition.

Digidance - Joe - Robert Etcheverry
Digidance – Joe – Robert Etcheverry

Jean-Pierre Perreault’s Joe

When: March 17–23, 2021 (available for 7 days) streaming worldwide
Where: Online
Tickets: From $15 + applicable taxes, purchase online

Despite Joe’s revered status in Canadian dance, the broadcast will mark many audiences’ first opportunity to experience the massive spectacle, in particular for Vancouverites, as the work never toured to the west coast and has not been staged since 2005. 

The broadcast of Joe is due to the coordinated effort of Digidance, a national initiative formed in response to COVID-19 between four of Canada’s leading dance presenters: DanceHouse (Vancouver), Harbourfront Centre (Toronto), the National Arts Centre (Ottawa), and Danse Danse (Montreal), in collaboration with La Fondation Jean-Pierre Perreault and Radio-Canada Archives.

“In its time, Perreault’s work marked a turning point in Canadian dance; it had an immense impact on an entire generation of young dance artists who currently define dance in Canada today – and we could not be more excited to share this iconic work with our audiences.” – Jim Smith, Artistic and Executive Director of DanceHouse and Digidance Partner.

Hailed “as masterpiece for all time,” “a cult piece” and “compared to a Beatles album, a book by Kundera or an Andy Warhol print,” Joe presents a rich and profound image of the human condition that is so accurate and so moving that it remains forever imprinted in the memories of those who have seen it. Driven by the percussive sound of heavy work boots pounding the floor, 32 dancers – identically garbed in overcoats and fedoras – move in a compact mass from which individuals occasionally attempt to free themselves to escape a foreordained destiny. 

The upcoming digital broadcast of Joe was produced in 1995 by Bernard Picard for Radio-Canada and features dancers from Perreault’s own company, La Fondation Jean-Pierre Perreault, alongside artists from Winnipeg Contemporary Dancers and Dancemakers. The film not only pays tribute to one of Canada’s greatest choreographers, but also allows the public to discover or rediscover the striking performance and its profound impact on contemporary dance.

As with all Digidance presentations, the screening will be supplemented with informative, additional content to contextualize and dive deeper into the work. Following the broadcast of Joe, a short documentary film, produced by Filigrane Archives, will shed light on the work’s creation, significance, and legacy.

Win Access

I have a ticket to give away, here’s how you can enter to win:

  • Leave a comment on this post (1 entry)
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I will draw one winner at random from all entries at 12:00pm on Friday, March 12, 2021. UPDATE The winner is Anna!

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4 Comments  —  Comments Are Closed

  1. Jason BMonday, March 8th, 2021 — 2:48pm PST


  2. Alyssa DruckMonday, March 8th, 2021 — 4:04pm PST

    Here’s my comment entry 🙂

  3. CarolynMonday, March 8th, 2021 — 8:51pm PST


  4. Anna HaltrechtMonday, March 8th, 2021 — 9:07pm PST

    I am so excited to see Joe again. If my memory is to be relied on… I first saw it at the NAC Canada Dance Festival.

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