In March 2015, visitors to the exhibition Rebel Bodies at Musée de la civilisation, Québec City, were invited to experience contemporary dance through movement. With an accessible approach, the exhibition demystified contemporary dance. In addition to seeing the exhibition, visitors could recreate a seminal work of Québec’s dance heritage, Joe (1983), by Jean-Pierre Perreault (1947 – 2002). Through the multimedia workshop, visitor-dancers immersed themselves in the choreographer's world.
Created with Montreal multimedia company Moment Factory, in collaboration with Fondation Jean-Pierre Perreault, Dancing Joe helps pass on the memory of this piece by recreating the choreography: 20 minutes, 15 visitor-dancers wearing the Joe character’s costume. Guided by the voice of rehearsal director Ginelle Chagnon, who contributed to new versions of the work, participants moved through the sequence of steps in the studio. Images were captured during the session and then combined with original sequences and reflections of Jean-Pierre Perreault and his collaborators.
The comments received were extremely positive. Many visitors said they had a memorable and unique experience. However, shyness and the fear of investing physically in a collective activity seemed to curb participation. If the workshop were to be held again, the Museum would put more focus on preparing visitors to dispel their fears.
With this immersive multimedia experience, Dancing Joe nurtured the memory of the piece in ways that were simple yet engaging. By reaching out to visitors through the experience of contemporary dance, the multimedia workshop contributed to the impalpable transmission of this intangible heritage.
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