Helen Simard

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New broadcast
From February 12 > noon, to February 14 > 11 pm
Tickets: $10 (taxes included)

For partner schools and educational institutions (access with code)
From February 12 > 9 am, to February 19 > 10:30 pm
Tickets: $5 (taxes included)


First broadcasting
From November 13 > noon, to November 15 > 6 pm


Live Streaming
November 5, 2020 > 7:30 pm


Co-directed live by Frédéric Baune and Helen Simard,
from the stage of La Chapelle Scènes Contemporaines


What can we expect from the unexpected? What can we recognize in the chaotic, in a world governed by unpredictability? Drawing on the aesthetics of street and contemporary dance, PAPILLON juxtaposes three solos and a live experimental soundtrack in a complex trio that explores the delicate balance between order and disorder.

in collaboration with the performers Nindy Banks, Mecdy Jean-Pierre, Victoria Mackenzie, Rémy Saminadin, Roger White, Ted Yates

Roger White musical director
Jody Burkholder sound engineer
Robin Fisher set design
Stéphanie Fromentin rehearsal direction
Hannah Kirby technical direction and lighting design
Alexandra Landé artistic consultant
Mathieu Leroux dramaturgy
Nalo Soyini Bruce costume design

Helen Simard  © Roger White 2020Mecdy Jean-Pierre  © Helen SimardNindy Banks  © Helen SimardRoger White  © Helen SimardTed Yates  © Helen SimardVictoria Mackenzie  © Helen SimardWalid El-Mounzer  © Helen Simard

"In common language, the word “chaos” is understood to refer to a state of total confusion or disorder. But in mathematics and physics, chaos refers more accurately to the complicated relationship between order and disorder, considering the elements that contribute to a delicate balance of the two. Chaos Theory examines the complex patterns all around us, questioning how tiny changes or adjustments in the initial conditions of a complex system can lead to drastically different and seemingly unpredictable results. Understanding chaos allows us to expect the unexpected, recognize the order in randomness, and realize that what we perceive as disorder is in fact a series of interlaced levels of order, interdependent and folding in upon each other.

It is this nuanced comprehension of chaos that serves as the conceptual starting point for PAPILLON.

I’ve long been fascinated by chaos, and have seen it as a vector of poetry that’s central in my work. I strive to create interdisciplinary dance performances that trigger states of sensorial overload to steer us away from logical thinking into more affective, visceral ways of experiencing art. My hope is to give space to the messy, the raw, unsettled spaces of life. In this new creation, the dancers and musicians will perform together in a perpetually redefining state of reality, where strong images and emotions emerge suddenly, only to be shifted or shattered without notice. Exploring chaos has allowed me to embrace the paradoxes of the world around me and accept all that is beautiful yet disturbing, familiar yet strange.

With PAPILLON I’m working with three very different dancers — Nindy Banks, Victoria Mackenzie, and Mecdy Jean-Pierre. I had to quit b-girling four years ago because of chronic injuries, and rediscover the way I danced after training in one specific way for so many years. With this project, I’m interested in exploring how my movement signature can be worked into the expression of a unique, imagined collective body or identity that exists between myself and the interpreters: to recognize myself in their dancing, while simultaneously recognizing the space that the dancer occupies in me."

Helen Simard

Helen Simard is a choreographer who has been working since 2000 in Tiohtiá:ke, or Montréal. After working with Solid State Breakdance for twelve years, an artist collective that combined street and contemporary dance, and participating in the creation of nine shows, she switched gears in 2012 to lead her own artistic projects. Helen Simard collaborates with musicians and dancers to create raw, visceral interdisciplinary shows, including On the Subject of Compassion (2011), Can You Hear Me? (2017) and Dance Side of the Moon (2018). She uses the codes and aesthetics of rock music, creating lively, interactive, performances that challenge the conventions of stage dance forms. For 6 years, her research was focused on the icon of American punk rock, Iggy Pop. Inspired by the music, persona, and cathartic dances of this legendary performer, she created a hallucinatory trilogy of interdisciplinary works — NO FUN (2014), IDIOT (2017), and REQUIEM POP (2019). Helen is currently artist in residence at Playwrights's Workshop Montreal for the 2019-2021 season, through their interdisciplinary writers lab. She is using this opportunity to write her first play, when your baby dies . In 2019, she founded with the company We All Fall Down Interdisciplinary Creations, with the composer Roger White.

A graduate of the BFA in Contemporary Dance from Concordia University (2000), Helen Simard also holds a MA in Dance from UQAM (2014).

We All Fall Down (WAFD) is a non-profit organization that supports and promotes creation, research, presentation and innovation in dance, music and theatre, through interdisciplinary artistic propositions. Founded in December 2019, WAFD formalizes the 20-year collaboration between choreographer Helen Simard and composer Roger White. Under their artistic co-direction, the company has made the performing arts a site for experimentation and risk-taking, allowing the deconstruction and reinvention of the body and the ways it interconnects with time and space, as much for the performer as the spectator. In their interdisciplinary creations, the body is a speaking, dancing, musical entity, at once impulsive, vulnerable, hybrid, vigorous, dislocated, and emotional.

Roger White is a musician, composer, and record producer from Tiohtiá:ke, or Montréal. He is a member of Dead Messenger, whose music has been featured in several television and web-streaming services, as well as in the critically acclaimed French language film Chien de garde . Roger worked as co-producer and session player with Kingston Allstars, a project featuring an all-star cast of Jamaican musicians who were at the vanguard of early Rocksteady and Reggae music. He also composes music for dance. In 2019-2020, Roger White was an artist in residency at the Segal Centre for Performing arts, through the Jewish Arts Mentorship program. He used this opportunity to begin research for an interdisciplinary sound project, Because You Never Asked , based on his family’s German and Polish- Jewish roots, exploring their history in pre and post-war Europe.

Remy Sminadin: Originally from Guadeloupe, it is the gwoka, a traditional instrument that brings Remy Sminadin to music from the age of 6. A few years later, he became interested in drums. At the age of 18, Remy Saminadin leaves to study in France and joins several groups of varied musical styles. In 2006, he is one of the founding members of the Lyon-based band Electrophazz; he enters the Hector Berlioz Conservatory in Jazz Drums in 2008 and starts teaching music. In Montreal since 2011, he has progressively integrated the local scene: he has been seen with Greg Noël, Future Flight and BodySlam, among others. Since 2014, he has been working on various projects by Hélène Simard such as 100 Manifestes, No FUN and IDIOT.

Walid El-Mounzer was born into a musical family: of his father’s seven siblings, there wasn’t one who didn’t know their way around an instrument or a vocal harmony. Family get- togethers usually turned into group jam sessions, and it was at one such jam session, when he was five years old, that Walid first fell in love with percussion. Walid El-Mounzer studied Jazz Composition at Vanier College, and soon after graduation, began touring across Canada with many different artists like The Skinny, Patrick Lehman, Venus Furs and in Europe with accomplished singer-songwriter Cécile Doo-Kingué.

A vocalist, songwriter, guitarist, producer, and of course, drummer, Walid El-Mounzer is happiest when he’s making good music with good musicians.

Victoria Mackenzie - aka Vic Versa - started dancing at a very young age. After exploring several styles, she completed her studies at L'École de danse contemporaine de Montréal in 2013. She has also been active in break dance since 2008. She dances for different companies and choreographers such as Tentacle Tribe, Helen Simard, Le Cirque du Soleil and Alias Dance Project; and for festivals / producers such as Breakin' Convention, Summer Dance Forever, Urban Moves, PamAm Games, Festival 100Lux, Tangente and Festival Quartiers Danses.

Her solo works TheStoryProject (2014) and Identity Binding (2017) have been presented in Montreal and Toronto by 100Lux, TUDS and Tangente. As a choreographer, she created Hexad Myriad for the École de danse contemporaine de Montréal (2016).

Mecdy Jean-Pierre: Montrealer Mecdy Jean-Pierre - aka Venom - first discovered traditional Haitian dances, such as zouk and konpas, at family gatherings and celebrations. As a teenager, in 2001, he was a founding member of the dancehall group Kinemon.

It was after the discovery of the popping style in 2005 that Mecdy Jean-Pierre - under the pseudonym Venom - began to make his mark in the street dance scene. Mecdy Jean-Pierre is also one of the founders of the group Symbiotic Monsters, which represented Canada for two consecutive years at the international Juste Debout competition in France, where he was a finalist in 2012 and a semi-finalist in 2013. He has also collaborated with several Quebec singers such as Lukay and Marie-Mai and was principal dancer in the Art-Terre company's production Temnein (2013), presented in Haiti and Montreal at Théâtre Le Gésu.

Nindy Banks began her training in hip hop in 2006 with several of Montreal’s and the Unites States’ hip hop pioneers. From 2010 to 2014, she danced for the 24K [Ör Pür] dance company directed by Cindy "GoldyLocks" McAuliffe. In 2015, she completed her bachelor's degree in contemporary dance at UQAM where she learned from internationally renowned contemporary dance choreographers: Victor Quijada, Danièle Desnoyers and Fred Gravel, just to name a few. She also trains in Krump with Vladimir "7Starr" Laurore and Valérie "Taminator" Chartier and joins the 7 * Skopez collective. In 2017, Nindy joins Alexandra "Spicey" Landé's Ebnfloh dance company in which she continues to develop her artistry. She juggles with contemporary dance, hip hop and krump through various projects allowing her to travel around Canada, the United States and Europe.

Ted Yates has been a musician on the Montreal music scene for 25 years. In addition to the many bands he has been a menber of ( Dead Messenger, Rhythm Mercenaries, Rothchilds), he has also worked with a variety of top talent in Canadian music including Jordan Zadorozny (Blinker The Star), Tim Doyle (Planet Smashers), Johnathan Cummings (Doughboys, Bionic, USA Out Of Vietnam), Jace Lasek (The Besnard Lakes) and Ian Blurton (The Cowboy Junkies, Change Of Heart, C'mon) and performed and written music for choreographer Helen Simard (NO FUN, IDIOT, Reqiem POP, Can You Hear Me). He is currently eating a pizza pocket and staring out of his window instead of doing that thing he was supposed to do.

Marie-Reine Kabasha: Active on the Montreal dance scene since 2013, Marie-Reine MQueen Kabasha combines her love of movement of all kinds with her pleasure of sharing in all her practices. Whether she be working freestyle, or in the theater, every opportunity for expression nourishes her. Her collaborations lead her to work with leading figures in urban dance in Montreal and internationally. She joined the company EBNFLOH (founded by Alexandra Spicey Landé) in 2014, and became a part of the company Tentacle Tribe in 2016. In 2019 she also collaborated with the Parisian waacking collective Ma Dame Paris. Marie-Reine Kabasha has a growing interest in research and creation. In 2013, she co-created the piece TNM with Christina Paquette, which was presented at the Festival de danses urbaines 100Lux and Orbite, in 2018, as part of the OFFta festival. She is currently undertaking a research project on her own language called Trigger point.

Nindy Banks  © Do Phan HoiMecdy Jean-Pierre, Victoria Mackenzie  © Claudia Chan TakMecdy Jean-Pierre, Victoria Mackenzie  © Claudia Chan TakNindy Bank  © Claudia Chan TakMecdy Jean-Pierre   © Do Phan Hoi

" How do we create under confinement? How are we together while alone? How can we generate empathy, not images? How can we travel through time while being in the present moment? How will we grieve what we've lost while moving towards the future? How can we learn to sit comfortably in friction? How can we be three dimensional in a two dimensional frame? "

Helen Simard

coproduction Danse-Cité & Créations Interdisciplinaires We All Fall Down

Centre de création O Vertigo, Carrefour culturel de Notre-Dame-des-Prairies, in collaboration with Diffusion Hector-Charland, Danse à la Carte, La Chapelle Scènes Contemporaines, Playwrights' Workshop Montreal, Maison de la culture Notre-Dame-de-Grâce

financial support
Canada Council for the Arts, Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec, Conseil des arts de Montréal

photo : Mecdy Jean-Pierre © Claudia Chan Tak

La Chapelle Scènes Contemporaines
3700, Saint-Dominique street
LA CHAPELLE Ticket Office : 514.843.7738
Unfortunately, the venue is not wheelchair accessible.