FLIPSTAR: Sylvie Bouchard

Full given name: Sylvie Bouchardoie_oie_twinkles

Nickname(s): Vi

Hometown: Montréal

Special skills: Badly translating French expression into English. For example: Lets put all the information we have on the carpet (in French we put it on the carpet, in English, you put it on the table).

First dance show you ever saw: A performance of Desrosiers Dance Theatre (Robert Desrosiers Artistic Director) when I was about ten. The company performed in Montreal, and I vividly remember the feeling of awe, wonder and excitement as I watched Robert Desrosiers and Claudia Moore dance. It is this show, in part, that constructed the foundation of my love of dance, and my passion for the magic of the theatre.

Best gig: As a performer, truly, I am blessed with each and every project and performance I do and have done. With Dusk Dances, I get to dream each year’s programming and work with a fantastic team of people to make the season come true. Between the work I do at Dusk Dances and my work as an artist, I am definitely living the best gig. When I was in 3rd grade, my teacher asked the class: “What do you want to do when you grow-up?” My classmates answered one by one, and when my turn came, I had two answers side by side in my mind: “A secretary like my mom” / “I want to be in the circus”. I answered “A secretary like my mom” but nevertheless, I managed to live my dream as I feel I am “In the circus” so to speak!

Worst job: Cold calling people to tell them that they have won a coupon for a free pizza, and then having to tell them that in order to get their free coupon they have to let a sales person in their home and watch them do a vacuum cleaner demonstration.

Artist(s) you want to collaborate with: Everyone I am working with are incredible artists I want and love to collaborate with. A secret dream of mine is to work with Robert Lepage.

First stage kiss: With William Yong, in Two is Company (2006). Very late bloomer…

Best/Worst on stage mishap: When I was a young artist, I was in a non-professional musical. The cast was huge. I was backstage waiting for my turn and I accidently bumped a roll of toilet paper and made it roll on stage. I tried to pull on the loose toilet paper roll to make it come back, but as you can imagine, the more I tried, the more the toilet paper roll kept rolling further and further on stage.

If you weren’t a dancer/choreographer/producer, you would be: I would practice psychotherapy, more specifically I would work with children with trauma – I already have completed my psychotherapy training but decided that it was too much of a split focus to both be an artist and practice psychotherapy. We often say: The art of psychotherapy and I really feel that this is true, so many common grounds… Or, I would work with animals. I love them so.

Who would play you in the movie of your life: Michele Pfeiffer.

Worst costume ever: A white cotton unitard (a one piece tight to the body and legs).

Desert island CD: Harmonium.

Favorite cereal: Good old granola… or porridge… I love oat. I am boring that way, and try to be health conscious too.

Dog or Cat: I have a cat, I love her, she chose me… I love dogs, but don’t have the time to have one right now.

Dream Vacation: A real vacation 🙂 being able to cut all connection, which I have not been able to do for a long while. Maybe the Camino walk. Maybe a pilgrimage walk in Japan.

Last great book or blog you read: The text from the play AmericanDream.ca written by Claude Guilmain (Théâtre la Tangente) which was just published.

Performer/Artist you would drop everything to see: Robert Lepage

Your proudest moment at Dusk Dances: Dusk Dances 20th anniversary season (2014). What a high to watch the festival turn 20 and to listen to between 800 and 1,100 people sing “Happy Birthday Dusk Dances” every night, while our host, Dan Watson, held a sparkling stick in his hand… I cried every night!

Biggest challenge of producing an outdoor dance festival: The rain. The hardest part of my job by far is to have to turn 800 people away because we had a downpour and we can’t continue with the show… My heart breaks in a million pieces every time, especially when I hear people say that they cannot come back another night. At the same time, this is the beauty of outdoor performances in public parks, the strong presence of nature and the elements.

Are you a Feminist: I believe in empowering all women (namely by supporting them while they find empowerment in themselves, not by judging them when they cannot yet find it). I get particularly upset by the objectification of women, which still happens a great deal. I try to support women to move towards and realize their dreams, to believe in themselves, and to build confidence, as I myself struggle to do every day.

Upcoming Projects you want to promote with this column?   Dusk Dances is a dance festival that presents dance in public parks. We program an array of dance artists from Toronto and from outside the Province, and present excellence in dance. 2016 is Dusk Dances’ 22nd season, with events in Hamilton (July 28-30), Toronto (in Withrow Park August 1-7) and Repentigny, Québec, (August 18-20).

Sylvie Bouchard is a dancer, interpreter, choreographer, producer, Artistic Director of BoucharDanse, and Festival Director of Dusk Dances. @duskdances FB/duskdances

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