At La Chapelle Scènes Contemporaines
A show about chaos, created partly on ZOOM, during a pandemic.

Montreal, October 8, 2020 — The second Danse-Cité show of the season, PAPILLON, a new creation by Helen Simard, juxtaposes three solos and a live experimental soundtrack in a complex trio that explores the tenuous boundaries between order and disorder. 

The eight performances at La Chapelle Scènes Contemporaines planned for October 28 to November 7, 2020, were already SOLD OUT before the recent announcement closing the theatres. The show will finally open on October 29 at 7:30 p.m. If no restrictions due to the pandemic are announced, the performances will continue until November 7. Stay tuned for possible additional performances! Also, to fulfill its desire to reach a broader audience, Danse-Cité is inviting spectators of all stripes, young and old, to watch a LIVE STREAM of the 60-minute piece on November 5 at 7:30 p.m., co-directed by Frédéric Baune and Helen Simard from the La Chapelle stage. Also available on the Web from November 13, noon, to November 15, 6 pm. Tickets at

Mecdy Jean-Pierre, Victoria Mackenzie  © Claudia Chan Tak


Last March, Helen Simard and her team quickly readjusted their creative processes and threw themselves into the research of PAPILLON on Zoom. Now in the last stretch of creation, the work is woven through with all the restrictions required by the pandemic, but above all with all the possibilities that emerged from it. It was built on a shifting surface, in a changing and uncertain reality. The work is supported by three dancers and three extraordinary musicians: Nindy Banks, Victoria Mackenzie and Mecdy Jean-Pierre, as well as Rémy Saminadin, Roger White and Ted Yates. This is no longer merely a show, but an entire process of adaptation and living. From the aridity of mandatory physical distancing, and the suddenly apparent lack of empathy in our society, PAPILLON emerges wings beating.

The concepts of repetition, fractals, strange attractors, feedback loops and spontaneous order – all constitutive elements of chaos theory – were sources of inspiration that oriented the composition of the three distinct but complementary solos and an improvised musical score. 

Like a puzzle, PAPILLON speaks of metamorphosis, the cyclical nature of the self – change, loss, grief, acceptance and growth – the strangeness that lives inside us, finding freedom in confinement, loneliness and togetherness, and the importance of human connection. The piece is a structured improvisation. The work brings together movement phrases, concepts, embodied states and poetic images. Starting from common movements, the initial material has been stretched and manipulated by each performer’s reinterpretation, bringing to light their singularity. 

Watch the trailer:


A compelling personality in contemporary dance, Helen Simard holds a BFA in Contemporary Dance from Concordia University (2000) and an MA in dance from UQAM (2014). Since the beginning of her career, she has been interested in street dance, contemporary dance and performative practices. From 2000 to 2011, she worked with the urban contemporary dance collective Solid State Breakdance, where she emerged as a unique creator. With Solid State, she collaborated on nine shows that were presented throughout Canada and Europe. Since then she has worked with dancers and musicians in studio on unconventional interdisciplinary performances. Her works include On the Subject of Compassion (2011), Can You Hear Me? (2017) and Dance Side of the Moon (2018), as well as the trilogy of NO FUN (2014), IDIOT (2017) and REQUIEM POP (2019), inspired by the American punk icon Iggy Pop. Helen is currently artist-in-residence at Playwrights’ Workshop Montréal until 2021. She is using this opportunity to write her first play, when your baby dies. She recently founded her own company, Créations Interdisciplinaires We All Fall Down, with musician and composer Roger White. Under their joint artistic direction, WAFD promotes live performance as a site of experimentation and risk-taking to deconstruct/reinvent the body and its ways of relating to time and space. 


For the last 39 years, Danse-Cité has contributed to the evolution of dance practices and contemporary creation. The organization supports artists as they develop and unfold their artistic process, from the inception of an idea to its presentation before an audience. It supports the emergence of new authorship, is invested in self-critical and sustainable structural work, with a view to redefining its relationships with racialized and Indigenous artists. It also seeks to promote universal access to the arts. 



Oct. 29. 30. > 7:30 p.m. | Nov. 1 > 2:00 p.m. + 7:30 p.m. | Nov. 2. 6. 7. > 7:30 p.m.
La Chapelle Scènes Contemporaines, 3700 Saint-Dominique, Montreal
Tickets: $20 to $30 | | 514 843-7738


Nov. 5 > 7:30 p.m.
Co-directed by Frédéric Baune & Helen Simard, from the stage of La Chapelle Scènes Contemporaines
Tickets: $6.50 |


Nov.13 > Noon, to Nov.15 > 6 p.m.
Tickets: $6.50 |


PAPILLON will be preceded by a performance by Marie-Reine Kabasha on November 2 


French-language media
Francine Arsenault   
Communications, Danse-Cité  
514 525-3595 |

English-language media
Sarah G. LaForce
Créations Interdisciplinaires We All Fall Down
438 350-0212 |