Cinédanse 2019 edition – Ottawa


Dances That Go Beyond the Surface: A Ritual for “Healing Scars”

How do today’s artists, who combine dance, cinema and new technologies, free themselves from the shackles of speech in order to relate to others. How can we live less in the accumulation of knowledge, intellect and material possessions and be more in tune with our senses?

We are in the fast-paced digital age of social networks, with a plethora of images and videos that bombard our daily lives. Our event, Cinédanse Ottawa 2019, helps us slow down and better understand each other, counteracting those feelings of exclusion that permeate our society. 

Dancing, in a way, helps us find meaning beyond words and knowledge. A gesture, a touch, repressed tension that reveals itself. The shadow of oneself, movement towards another, against another. A step forward to find your way, a two-person twist in which one gets lost, the excited crowd. They all symbolize our lives. 

The gestures we perform on screen give meaning to our lives and echo our experiences – representing our days, our nights, our dreams and our desires.

Cinédanse Ottawa 2019 is an opportunity to question our relationship to others, how we live and grow old together, whether as a couple or across broader society. It is an opportunity to reflect on the intimacies of our existence, whether at the dawn or twilight of our lives, regardless of our differences.

Sylvain Bleau.

« LE CRI » (the scream) by NACERA BELAZA (PARIS/ALGiERs)

Opening night

“Major reflection on humankind and its desire for spirituality.”

Le Monde (Paris)

© Laurent Philippe

In a time where Algeria is undergoing a social revolution, Nacera Belaza is one of the only female Arabic choreographers to work internationally. Her creations question, disturb, and challenge by their mystery, their slowness, and their trance-like quality.

Her duet, “The Scream” (2008), which she dances with her sister Dalilas, is Nacera’s flagship piece which has shone across Europe, the Avignon Festival, the Biennale de Lyon, deSingel of Antwerp, Roma Europa, New York, and Australia. Nina Simone, Maria Callas, Amy Winehouse, and a Berber singer, This piece of music is a trance that evokes the contemporary feeling of exclusion and the quest for spirituality in our world. century later, to the famous expressionist artwork of the Norwegian painter Edvard Munch.

Projections of the version filmed by Béatrice Vernhes on a rainy evening at the Psalette Cloister will be shown looped on our urban screen, both before and during the performance at the courtyard of the SAW Gallery.

Performance run-time: 45 minutes

Choreography : Nacera Belaza
Interpretation : Dalila Belaza, Nacera Belaza
Video design and soundtrack : Nacera Belaza
Sound and light control : Christophe Renaud

Dir : Béatrice Vernhes | Chor : Nacera Belaza | France | 2016 | 10′

We wish to thank the French Embassy in Ottawa and the French Institute for the reception of Nacera Belaza Company

Our dances in the digital age

Professional day open to the public

With Ariane Boulet (Montreal), Chantal Caron (St-Jean-Port-Joli), Anneliese Charek (Shangaï), Virginie Combert (Paris), Jil Guyon (New-York), Kelly Hargraves (Los Angeles), Édouard Lock (Montreal), Denis Poulin and les TwinsMuse (Montreal), Tamar Rogoff (New-York)l, Hason St-Laurent (Ottawa).

How do today’s artists represent our dances on screens and while using new technologies? From what perspectives do they perceive our world and how do they use them to challenge social issues and reinvent our own perspectives?

This day of professional meetings and networking, interviews, master classes, and conferences is open to the public. At the end of the day, a jury comprised of international members will award the Lumière Prize to the creator of an exceptional work of art.

We invite artists from Ottawa, Canada, and abroad to register for this professional day which aims to build bridges between creators and put them in touch with strategic players in film, visual arts, and in digital and vocational training schools. We also have the pleasure to welcome three producers from Los Angeles, Paris, and Shanghai. During the networking activities that will ensue – breakfast, lunch-meet, and express appointments – you will not only make connections, but especially initiate collaborations, productions, broadcasting projects, and exhibition installations as a solo artist or as a group.

This initiative, baptised “Strategy 2025: Canada Dances on Screen”, aims to bring Canadian dances to new horizons and reach out to a wider audience. Naturally, exchanges with our international partners are intended.

The professional day will be hosted and animated by Sylvain Bleau and Izabel Barsive, videographer and part-time professor for the Department of Communications at the University of Ottawa.


Screening of the documentary in the presence of the choreographer

A remarkable story. (…) Will be of great interest not just to dance enthusiasts but to those whose lives are touched by cerebral palsy.”

The incredible story of young actor Gregg Mozgala with cerebral palsy and New York choreographer Tamar Rogoff. She wanted to create with Gregg a new version of Nijinsky’s Afternoon of a Faun. It allowed him to reinvent his approach, his life.

In the presence of the choreographer, who will discuss with the audience after the screening.

The next day, Thursday, September 19 at 1 p.m., as part of the Symposium, Tamar Rogoff offered a workshop to artists, people with motor disorders and anyone interested in her unusual approach.

The film is subtitled in French,


Dir : Tamar Rogoff | Chor : Gregg Mozgala | USA | 2015 | 68′

“New Perspectives in Dance and in Health in Our Communities”

First Day of the Symposium

Over time, medicine has sought to purify itself. In order not to lose its human characteristics, medicine will need the arts.

Dr Jean Désy,

doctor and poet. He teaches literature to medical students of the University of Laval in Québec and has practiced medicine extensively among the Inuits of Northern Canada.

During the two days of the Symposium, screenings will allow the general public to join the artists and academics in order to exchange, question, and challenge many social and health issues in our modern societies. Through new practices linking dance to well-being, workshops and discussion panels will be presented, relating to inspiring films and documentaries discovered in recent years.

« Healing scars » 

A film by Darian Smith of Kitigan Zibi (Québec)

The film that inspired the theme of Cinédanse Ottawa 2019!

Darian Smith, a young indigenous woman who now lives in Ottawa, wishes to study in Nursing at the Algonquin College and become a physician. Produced by Wapikoni Mobile, the short-film she co-directed inspired the theme of Cinédanse Ottawa 2019.

“Healing Scars” focuses on the teachings of the jingle dress and its healing functions. Following an open-heart surgery, Deedee begins to learn the dance of the jingle dress. This film accompanies four young women as they learn about this dance of healing.

Dir : Naomi Recollet | Nation: Anishnabe | Wikwemikong, Canada | 2017 | 5’26

“Une courte histoire de la folie” (2014)

Short-film by Isabelle Hayeur, inspired by Virginie Brunelle’s chorégraphies (Montréal))

Hailed by critics of the San Francisco Dance Film Festival, this film, directed by filmmaker and visual artist Isabelle Hayeur, will challenge our relationship to mental health.

Dir.: Hayeur, Isabelle | Montréal | 2014 | 27′

“Dance and music create a bond in the community.

The poet Gilles Vigneault (90 years old), who grew up in Natashquan, in the company of the natives, on the North Shore of the St. Lawrence River

Feelings of exclusion abound in our modern societies. We have a murky relationship with old age, with death. We would like eternal youth, but aren’t we getting older every day of our lives?

Medicine has allowed us to live longer than before, but at what cost? A large part of our seniors, excluded from everyday life in our atomized cities, are ravaged by chronic diseases which science cannot overcome.

While the concern for performance and appearances preoccupy our daily lives, degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s overwhelm us all.

During this second day of the Symposium, through the screening of documentaries and art films, exchanges between guest artists and researchers and the public, a workshop, we will see how dance and its practice can regenerate beings, communities, that medicine and scientists can not explain these phenomena, or barely. The artists whose works we are presenting to you today and our guests are initiating a reflection which, no doubt, will allow new perspectives.


A Film by Valéria Bruni-Tedeski and Yann Coridian with Choreographer Thierry Thieû Niang (France)

When it was first released in France, this documentary caused a sensation and attracted more than a million online views on the platform Arte.

This film provides a deep look into the life of a woman suffering from Alzheimer’s, who regains a taste for life after meeting the choreographer Thierry Thieû Niang.

Thierry Thieû Niang has breathed new life into dance in France. A regular at Cinédanse events, Thierry came to Ottawa in the summer of 2017 for the Danser le printemps Quebec tour. Ottawa-Gatineau dance enthusiasts who discovered him on this occasion will be happy to see him again!

Dir : Valeria Bruni Tedeschi & Yann Coridian I Chor : Thierry Thieû Niang | France | 2016 | 85’

Discussion with Thierry Thieû Niang

Following the screening, there will be a talk-back with the choreographer, Thierry Thieû Niang, via Skype from Paris.

« WIDOW » A film by & with Jil Guyon (New York)

“Haunting and wonderful.” Houston Press

« Widow » avec Jil Guyon (New-York)


The Widow Series presents the gradual disentangling of a woman’s inner world. Created and performed by New York multidisciplinary artist Jil Guyon, this series is a burgeoning collection of solo shorts featuring her character as a bereaved woman. The evolving mystery of her psychological condition unfolds little by little through disturbing calm, sharp gestures and extreme emotion.

Jil Guyon’s Widow films follow live performances, or are shot directly for new media platforms. The artist says that Widow was originally adapted from the femme fatale from Blade Runner, a movie by Ridley Scott. Noémie Lafrance, from the Outaouais, is known for her performances in situ in New York and invited Jil Guyon to join one of her unusual performances.

Precise choreographic movements emerge, with the veil sometimes worn by the beautiful character. Electronic sounds, an Italian aria and overwhelming silences create changing images evocative of the dancer’s inner struggle, where she transcends her broken state, her trials and her disenchantments.

In an endless labyrinth, whether in the heart of Times Square, in the Utah Salt Flats or at the foot of a volcano in Iceland, each of her wanderings is an expression of her lamentations. The movie star, the femme fatale, the solitary vagabond and the survivor, are all female archetypes that appear – symbols for this bereaved woman in search of independence.


Dir : Jil Guyon; Perf : Jil Guyon; DP : Valerie Barnes; Comp : Chris Becker | USA | 2013 | 11’57

Desert Widow

Dir : Jil Guyon | Perf : Jil Guyon | DP : Valerie Barnes | Comp : Mihoko Suzuki | USA | 2015 | 10’54


Dir : Jil Guyon | Perf : Jil Guyon | DP : Valerie Barnes | Comp : Chris Becker | USA | 2015 | 2’46


Dir : Jil Guyon | Perf : Jil Guyon | DP : Valerie Barnes | Comp : Chris Becker | USA | 2017 | 3:07

Widow’s Walk

Dir : Jil Guyon | Perf : Jil Guyon | DP : Valerie Barnes | Comp : Chris Becker | USA | 2019 | 6’15

Widow’s End

Dir : Jil Guyon | Perf : Jil Guyon | DP : Valerie Barnes | Comp : Chris Becker | USA | 2019 | 4’45

In the midday rush hour, to the surprise of city dwellers, the mysterious Widow strolled through the Rideau District and its crowded Shopping Center. We are all Widows!

“Procession” by Nacera Belaza (Paris/Algiers)

Ambulatory Performance in the City

Accompanied by the students of the University of Ottawa Department of Theatre

Presented at the Pantheon in Paris, the Mucem in Marseille and in the heart of Tunis, Ottawa welcomes The Procession for the first time in North America!

The First Nations peoples have always held their processions, and Catholics and Protestants still organized theirs with pomp and ceremony, barely half a century ago. 

The Procession, choreographed by Nacera Belaza, is a stroll to which the public is invited, including them in the work in an innovative way that allows them to participate in the artistic process. It invites the public to question what constitutes the essence of a place and the constant bombardment of images in our lives.

Students from the University of Ottawa Theatre Department joined Nacera and her sister Dalila to bring you The Procession, which moved from Nepean Point to the LabO at Arts Court, through the alleys of the Byward Market and Ogilvy Place.

Dir : Lionel Escama | Chor : Nacera Belaza | France | 2017 | 45′

Modern Women”

Closing program

Mixed program of performances and screenings

“The dancing modern woman. In New-York, Montréal, or Ottawa. From Zimbabwe, or over Skype.”

A film by Colin Power (Toronto) and Yvonne Coutts (Ottawa)

The sequined dress of the modern woman cannot hide the pressures of her life. RGS2 is the first on-screen dance creation for Yvonne Coutts, who has led the Ottawa Dance Directive (ODD) since 2010

Dir : Colin Power | Chor : Yvonne Coutts | Perf : Kay Kenney | Ottawa, Canada | 2019 | 11′11

A film by Jessie Lhôte and Harold Rhéaume, with Lana Morton (Ottawa)

Inspired by her mother, Lana Morton interprets the femme fatale who has learned to live through the eyes of others. She is deconstructed.

Dir : Jessie Lhôte | Chor : Harold Rhéaume | Perf : Lana Morton | Canada | 5′

Trou (les beaux jours)
A Skype performance by Manu Roque, with Émilie Morin (Montréal)

Like a cubist painting by Picasso, Trou is a mediated intimacy. This video-performance on Skype is a cross between Beckett’s “Happy Days” and Verlaine’s poem “Sentimental Dialogue”. Hypnotizing.

Desert Widow
A performance by Jil Guyon (New York City)

Haunting and wonderful. -Houston Press

New Yorker Jil Guyon, the muse of Cinédanse Québec in 2015, comes to Ottawa for the first time to present her series of Widow films as an installation (Friday, September 20, 6:30 p.m.), as well as one of her live performances, Desert Widow. Her mysterious Widow character, a sort of bereaved femme fatale, is freely adapted from Ridley Scott’s first Blade Runner. Her performance is combined with the screening of the film of the same name, shot at the famous Utah Salt Flats.

Dir : Jil Guyon | Perf : Jil Guyon | DP : Valerie Barnes | Comp : Mihoko Suzuki | USA | 2015 | 10:54

A film by Alla Kovgan (Russia) and David Hinton (United-Kingdom)

Nora is an immersion into the life of dancer Nora Chipaumire, born in Zimbabwe in 1965. In this film, Nora returns to the country where she grew up and travels to the places of the memories of her youth.

Dir : Alla Kovgan & David Hinton VS | 2008 | 36′

The 2019 Lumière Prize awarded to the following films: ‘Sur ma peau’ by Eric Oberdorff (France) & ‘Waiting for Color’ by Kosta Karakashyan (Bulgaria)

Montréal, October 3, 2019 – For this second edition of the Lumière Prize, the jury selected the films that best respected Cinédanse’s theme, “Healing Scars”. According to them, the two selected short films: Sur ma peau by Eric Oberdorff of France and Waiting for Color by Kosta Karakashyan of Bulgaria, were of high film production quality, in which the viewers feel easily included in the story. Their dances revealed an in-depth knowledge of the physical experience of the choreographers and that of the dancers. Additional elements that helped sway the jury were the themes of respect and hope explored therein.

Congratulations to the winners!


“Sur ma peau”

Short-film by Compagnie Humaine, Eric Oberdorff (France)

This art film made in prison with detainees from the prison of Nice shows a process of engaged artistic research.

Dir : Eric Oberdorff | Chor : Eric Oberdorff | France | 2017 | 12’38

« Waiting for Color »

A short film by Kosta Karakashyan (United States & Bulgaria)

This short shocking documentary reveals the spite hurled against LGBTQ community members in Chechnya and the disturbing persecution they face.

Dir : Kosta Karakashyan | Chor : Kosta Karakashyan | New York & Bulgaria | 2018 | 6’36