Les Ballets Jazz de Montreal puts movement to Leonard Cohen's words and music in 'Dance Me'
Photo Credit: BJM

Leonard Cohen honoured in BJM’s ‘Dance Me’


Les Ballets Jazz de Montreal (BJM) has a beautiful new show, an homage to the city’s bard, Leonard Cohen.

Since his death, at the age of 82 in November 2016, there has been an outpouring of honours and memoirs to Cohen, the internationally loved poet and singer-songwriter who always kept a home in Montreal.

Leonard Cohen’s likeness towers above Montreal. It’s one of two murals in the city. Now ‘Dance Me’, the new show from BJM, will share Cohen’s words and music with audiences around the world. © CBC

There are two murals now, there was a magnificent concert on the first anniversary of Cohen’s death on November 7th. and an exhibit at the Musee d’Art Contemporaine that runs until April 2018.

But BJM’s new show is a beautiful experience of the words and music of Leonard Cohen in movement.

“I think it was something important for him.”

The much-loved tunes are there, the songs about the women he loved and admired, Marianne and Suzanne, are presented in very different ways, both equally moving.

And Cohen’s Hallelujah, quickly becoming one of the most recorded songs of all time is included as well.

And so is the spirit of Cohen.

The show was originally conceived to coincide with Montreal’s 375th anniversary, not Cohen’s death.

“Never when we started this project did we think about him dying,” Louis Robitaille, artisitc director of BJM, told the Montreal Gazette newspaper in a recent interview.


“We thought Mr. Cohen was eternal.”

Four years ago, when it all began, Cohen was reluctant, at first. But Robitaille explains, Cohen knew the BJM dance company and knew its international reputation.

He did have provisos however; one being that the show not focus on his personal life, and secondly that it not be made up of what could be described as his ‘greatest hits’ but include music from his most recent albums also.

Robitaille says that Cohen’s requests were very much in keeping with BJM’s vision of the work, and he felt that Cohen trusted them. “I think it was something important for him.” Robitaille says, and adds rather wistfully, that he never got to see the show.

“The day he left was a sad day, but also a great, a great loss, great loss for myself, for the project and for the world of course, for all his fans.” Robitaille says he believes Cohen “is still with us”.

The show received enthusiastic responses and accolades in both Montreal and Toronto following premieres in December.

Louis Robitaille says it was an honour and a gift to have received permission to create the show.

Now the company is working on the upcoming schedule for return performances in both Montreal and Toronto, as well as the international tour for 2018.

Posted in Arts and Entertainment, International, Society

Do you want to report an error or a typo? Click here!

@*@ Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

 characters available

Note: By submitting your comments, you acknowledge that Radio Canada International has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Radio Canada International does not endorse any of the views posted. Your comments will be pre-moderated and published if they meet netiquette guidelines.

Netiquette »

When you express your personal opinion in an online forum, you must be as courteous as if you were speaking with someone face-to-face. Insults and personal attacks will not be tolerated. To disagree with an opinion, an idea or an event is one thing, but to show disrespect for other people is quite another. Great minds don’t always think alike—and that’s precisely what makes online dialogue so interesting and valuable.

Netiquette is the set of rules of conduct governing how you should behave when communicating via the Internet. Before you post a message to a blog or forum, it’s important to read and understand these rules. Otherwise, you may be banned from posting.

  1. RCInet.ca’s online forums are not anonymous. Users must register, and give their full name and place of residence, which are displayed alongside each of their comments. RCInet.ca reserves the right not to publish comments if there is any doubt as to the identity of their author.
  2. Assuming the identity of another person with intent to mislead or cause harm is a serious infraction that may result in the offender being banned.
  3. RCInet.ca’s online forums are open to everyone, without regard to age, ethnic origin, religion, gender or sexual orientation.
  4. Comments that are defamatory, hateful, racist, xenophobic, sexist, or that disparage an ethnic origin, religious affiliation or age group will not be published.
  5. In online speak, writing in ALL CAPS is considered yelling, and may be interpreted as aggressive behaviour, which is unpleasant for the people reading. Any message containing one or more words in all caps (except for initialisms and acronyms) will be rejected, as will any message containing one or more words in bold, italic or underlined characters.
  6. Use of vulgar, obscene or objectionable language is prohibited. Forums are public places and your comments could offend some users. People who use inappropriate language will be banned.
  7. Mutual respect is essential among users. Insulting, threatening or harassing another user is prohibited. You can express your disagreement with an idea without attacking anyone.
  8. Exchanging arguments and opposing views is a key component of healthy debate, but it should not turn into a dialogue or private discussion between two users who address each other without regard for the other participants. Messages of this type will not be posted.
  9. Radio Canada International publishes contents in five languages. The language used in the forums has to be the same as the contents we publish. The usage of other languages, with the exception of some words, is forbidden. Messages that are off-topic will not be published.
  10. Making repetitive posts disrupts the flow of discussions and will not be tolerated.
  11. Adding images or any other type of file to comments is forbidden. Including hyperlinks to other websites is allowed, as long as they comply with netiquette. Radio Canada International  is in no way responsible for the content of such sites, however.
  12. Copying and pasting text written by someone else, even if you credit the author, is unacceptable if that text makes up the majority of your comment.
  13. Posting any type of advertising or call to action, in any form, to Radio Canada International  forums is prohibited.
  14. All comments and other types of content are moderated before publication. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to refuse any comment for publication.
  15. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to close a forum at any time, without notice.
  16. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to amend this code of conduct (netiquette) at any time, without notice.
  17. By participating in its online forums, you allow Radio Canada International to publish your comments on the web for an indefinite time. This also implies that these messages will be indexed by Internet search engines.
  18. Radio Canada International has no obligation to remove your messages from the web if one day you request it. We invite you to carefully consider your comments and the consequences of their posting.