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“An enormous wave of pleasure flows from Sylvain Émard's Le Grand Continental. Sylvain Émard carefully combined contemporary dance and country line dancing with skillfully directed figures and steps, including some touching duets.” Danser, Paris, France
“When I travel with Le Grand Continental, I like it to be a cultural encounter. Each city brings a different color.” Sylvain Émard, choreographer of Le Grand Continental
Watch the world’s most glorious contemporary dancing event from the front steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Le Grand Continental is a festive—and FREE—30-minute outdoor adventure that has assembled nearly 200 local dancers of all ages and backgrounds to show off the talent, charisma, and personality of Philadelphians. First created for Montréal’s renowned Festival TransAmériques, the Philadelphia version promises to be one of the largest presentations of its kind in the world.
When choreographer Sylvain Émard began these large-scale dance events he had no idea of the enthusiastic audience response he would unleash. Le Grand Continental is an infectious art spectacle that combines exuberant line dancing with the fluidity and expressiveness of contemporary dance. As a child Émard discovered the pure pleasure of movement through line dancing, and with this captivating presentation he pays tribute to this popular art form.
Choreography Sylvain Émard Sound Martin Tétreault, Michael Kiley, DJ Mini, El Instituto Mexicano del Sonido Rehearsal Director and Dancer Sarah Gladwin Camp Rehearsal Assistants and Dancers Jacelyn Biondo, Bethany Formica, Duane Holland, Megan Mazarick, Rhonda Moore, Gabrielle Revlock, Les Rivera, Kristen Shahverdian
Sylvain Émard danced for choreographers such as Jean-Pierre Perreault, Louise Bédard and Jo Lechay. When he founded his own company Sylvain Émard Danse in 1990, he concentrated initially on highly theatrical solo pieces before opting for a dance more formal in tone. His repertoire of more than 25 unique pieces has been critically praised at home and abroad. A recipient of numerous awards, Sylvain Émard often works as a guest choreographer in theater, opera, and film.
Le Grand Continental is a Sylvain Émard Danse and Festival TransAmériques co-production.
Le Grand Continental is presented with support from The PNC Foundation through PNC Arts Alive with additional support from the Philadelphia Office of Arts Culture and the Creative Economy. Sylvain Émard Danse gratefully acknowledges support from the Canada Council for the Arts, the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec, and the Conseil des arts de Montréal.
Sandra Betner and Marc Chaiken