Community Dance

Since 2005, I have worked extensively on interaction with public spaces and have created platforms and ways to engage the public in movement and discovery of what can be the experience of dancing. Before bringing the work in the outdoors, I’ve started working with community dancers in 2000 because I was fascinated with the possibility of finding unknown dances with people excited to find out what they could do.

In order to engage a broad spectrum of community members in art projects, my experience has been to start by connecting in very simple and concrete ways: tea talks, brochures with information and simple questions and group meetings. In order to reach to tech-savvy people, a blog or a simple interactive web page is also an option. I am interested in lowering barriers for participation (schedule, place, child inclusion or child minding options, volunteering in other ways, providing snacks, etc). By surveying and getting information on participation, I then evaluate how I can group people who might not otherwise have the opportunity to meet (seniors and new moms, etc.) Once a group or various groups are created I see my role as a facilitator giving the necessary tools and knowledge for them to be able to bring in creative input. As an artist, I am interested in aesthetics and coherence in presentation and will walk the fine line of direction and consultation to find the right visual and emotional impact during showings.

Foolish Operations Ensemble Project ongoing from November 2011. Direction: Julie Lebel, music direction first led by Rachael Wadham and then by Mark Haney (fall 2013- ). Parents and children (0-4) dancing together in a collaborative environment where children input is seriously incorporated.

On January 17 2015, Julie Lebel produced a conference & performance titled Embody (In My Body), Dancing the Early Years. This successful event brought together a community of 95 Early Childhood Education professionals, parents, and artists to unpack four years of dance research through Reggio Emilia principles, embodied learning, and connecting art and parenthood. The performance at the Roundhouse was sold out to a crowd of 200 attendees.

Findings/Trouvailles is a 3 year residency with the Roundhouse Dancers at the Roundhouse Community Arts and Recreation Centre with collaborator Miriam Colvin form September 2013 to May 2016.

The Elder dance Project is specifically for elders (seniors) at Carnegie Community Centre led by Karen Jamieson. I am facilitating with Mirae Rosner, Hailey McCloskey and Lindsey Ridgway under the mentorship of Karen Jamieson.

The Carnegie Dance Troupe is one of the most exciting community engaged dance program in Vancouver. I am facilitating with Mirae Rosner, Hailey McCloskey and Lindsey Ridgway under the mentorship of Karen Jamieson.

Expanding Circles May 2011 Project lead, direction and choreography: Miriam Colvin. Co-direction and co-choreography: Julie Lebel. Soundscape design: Nicole L’Orsa. A performance exploring the sense of belonging, or not, in its relationship to the landscape (Bulkley Valley). 19 participants from 10 yrs old and up, 12 musicians.

Creekside Community Dance Project November 2010 to March 2011. Imagine a large dance Flash Mob with pregnant mothers, moms, dads, grandmothers and caregivers with the baby/toddler in a stroller!

Circles November 2009 Direction: Miriam Colvin, co-choreography with Julie Lebel, music: Nicole L’Orsa. Community dance project involving 25 participants in Smithers BC.

Flash Mob for Neighborhood Celebrations: City Happenings January to March 2010 @ Sunset, Kitsilano & Killarney Community Centres with over 50 multigenerational participants. Choreography: Julie Lebel, facilitation with Sarah Ballard, Melanie Kuxdorf, Caroline Liffmann & Shallom Jonhson.

Mobile Clubbing Project 2007-2009 Direction: Robyn Campbell & Julie Lebel. Site specific & community dance research in different parks in Vancouver. Invitation to participate at Fuse (Vancouver Art gallery), International Dance day (Vancouver Dance Centre), & Festival of New dance of St. Jonh’s, NF.

Drift-Walks 2006- Direction: Julie Lebel Site specific research & community dance. Festival of New dance of St. Jonh’s, NF. Artist-In-Residence at The Dance Centre, Vancouver, 2007-2008, Tohu & Tangente (Montreal) in April 2009.

Scale: Human July 13 to August 25 2005: Vieux-Poste, Sept-Îles. (QC) L’échelle humaine, research on relationship of art with public spaces, Sept-Îles, QC. (In situ performance: Julie Lebel, visual art: Sébastien Cliche, text: Dawne Carleton & Emmanuelle Roy, video: Gabriel Rochette & Myriam Caron.) Project site.

Non-Dancer Research group February 2002: Informal presentation of the non-dancers research work, Salle de Spectacle de Sept-Îles, invited professional dancers: Claudia Fancello & Isabelle Chevrier. May 5 2002: Informal presentation of the non-dancers research work, Salle de Spectacle de Sept-Îles, invited professional dancers: Yves Candau & Luc Tremblay.

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