Axile: the weight of appearances

deslongchamps-catherine-soucyInitially, Liliane St-Arnaud thought create a dance performance on the harsh reality of eating disorders in young people. The theme had to be modified on the way: in schools, we did not want the issue to be tackled head on.

“We worked on the project for a year and a half. We had to remove text, change the thread, erase tables, add others. ”

The year was difficult but profitable, think the choreographer and artistic director of the company of Sherbrooke Axile dance.

“All this was transformed to talk about body image, self-esteem. This is a broader and universal subject that affects everyone, “says St-Arnaud, who worked in conjunction with Securing Estrie to go to meet young people in different schools in the region.

Two workshops were conducted with school children: one who asked to name what they were and what they were feeling, one that invited them to movements they had identified. In one case as in the other, the youth participated with an alacrity that surprised Liliane St-Arnaud.

“I never thought they would be generous to the point, it would be so intense! In fact, I arrived with prejudices, I thought even that would not be very open to sharing their experiences. Instead, they named many things, they have proven with great authenticity and spontaneity. They took me elsewhere. And that creation is always nice. ”

Take the mask

During the various activities in multipurpose, there were lighter moments, but others where the masks have fallen. The choreographer tells the time when teenagers were asked in turn why they were good about themselves. And, then, why they were not. One of the young participants revealed to the group that she felt bad because people around her said she was fat.

“It sparked a huge reaction from his classmates. After they all had a good discussion. The approach was very positive. ”

Liliane St-Arnaud wants the benefits of all this adventure to be small. The young people she met, she asked what message they would like to convey to adults. Their answer is simple and strong at the same time: “They want us to accept them as they are. They said they had flaws, but they did their best. The older also noted that beauty, it was not just outside. ”

These young people who she been listening, she wanted to give them space during performances of the show that she finally called Behind Me. Video projections and excerpts of interviews will be aired during the show in which four performers.

“Dance lets say a lot. Setting movements accurately reflects what has been appointed, which was felt. Among students but also among the performers and home. Because the issue affects everyone, every day, I could not approach it anyhow. It was a common thread. ”

It took the efforts put. And the time. After working for two and a half years of its creation, Liliane St-Arnaud is ready to present to the public. She does not hide, she hopes Behind me traveling. Here, first, since it wants other representations are added next year to three scheduled this year. And then outside, then, as the show could easily find a positive echo elsewhere in Estrie.

Dance for All

She says the more than once: it was initially thought for teens, the show is not addressed to them alone. On the contrary.

“Adults will also be affected by about choreography. I hope parents will see their children. They will then be able to talk together, it will open a dialogue, perhaps. ”

The establishment proposed by the company, which will celebrate its 30th anniversary next year, comes in different tables in which we find a main character, played by Zoe Hockhoussen. The dancers Annie Deslonchamps Amélie Lemay-Choquette

Catherine Soucy and embody them various facets of the same character.

Dock Stevedoring

Founded three years ago, Stevedoring Estrie advocates the development of a positive body image and assists people affected by eating disorders (anorexia, bulimia, etc.). The body was still green when Liliane St-Arnaud proposed a partnership.

“We do a lot of prevention and education in schools. often used art therapy in our workshops, but the dance, it was a first experience. I was surprised at first, but I saw on the field all the possibilities that it allowed. It fed the way we speak to youth on the ground. It’s crazy how the movement brings out certain things! “Expresses the coordinator Stevedoring Estrie, Witty-Julie Chagnon.

It takes a very good eye and approach the spectacle of Axile. Because things are said, the problems are named. And this speaking is healthy.

“It is the silence, always accentuating the discomfort. Body image, it concerns everyone. All social pressure it undergoes. Young and old, men and women. Young people are very aware, they just do not know what to do with that. Even we, as adults, we do not always know how to handle it all. Speaking of body diversity, we are able to develop a critical mind, to step back, “notes Julie Chagnon Witty.

Choreographer engaged

In addressing the issue of deafness in 1997 in its creation Sweet silence, Liliane St-Arnaud has taken a first step in the engaged dance. Ever since, she has left this niche. This registry is somehow become a signature. A niche of its own.

” I have no regrets. It gives me the opportunity to touch various social phenomena, digging topics in depth. And it also allows people to see that contemporary dance can be accessible, “expresses the designer.

Over time and choreography, she touched on topics as varied as women victims of violence, aging, disability and difference.

“There have been meetings of rich through it all, really promising projects. I think, for example, Old Age and prowess, a tale danced we presented nearly 50 times in unconventional places, that is to say in retirement homes. I saw people crying during the show. This was followed by a workshop where it was named was often touching, sometimes upsetting. Of such experiences is invaluable. ”

The next vein she could dig is cancer. Those who have it, those who have to live with the illness of their loved one.

“All that remains to be defined, but already under Quebec Dance, I will offer a workshop related to the idea. ”

Want to go?

The other side of me

The perfect body, the body that nobody ever will

April 5, 11 h 15

April 6, 13 h 30

April 7, 20 pm

Quebecor center

135, Don Bosco Street North,


Admission: $ 20 (students) $ 12

The Stopru