Cultural mediation refers to the process of bringing together and building new links between the cultural and social spheres. It encompasses a vast array of practices, and ultimately aims to turn everyone into a cultural player. It is characterized by encouraging diversity in the forms of cultural expression and participation in cultural life while broadening and deepening access to culture for the entire population, particularly to the most disadvantaged.
Mediation creates meeting places between artists and citizens, fostering interpersonal exchange, learning and commitment. It can also help reduce the psychological and social barriers surrounding the exclusion of targeted groups. Mediation serves as a tool for social inclusion and contributes to the enhancement of the physical or social environment or the creation of social links.
How has Ballets Jazz Montreal approached cultural mediation?
Ballets Jazz Montreal offers members of our local and international community an array of activities with the aim of further concretizing its mission to democratize contemporary dance and widen the reach of our beloved artform. We believe it is essential for everyone to have access to culture and the company offers these activities as a small contribution to the greater public and artistic community, who have given us so much.
Over the years, our approach has been centered on building long-term and sustainable links between organizations, target populations, and artists/mediators, facilitating the transmission of expertise, democratizing culture, creating contexts for cultural exchange and developing artistic knowledge for new audiences.
We have accomplished this by establishing regular workshops, open rehearsals, open classes, discussions/question and answer sessions before and after shows, as well as specialised workshops for the elderly, students, and other marginalized communities or groups of people. The company most recently partnered with Danse Danse and Danse-Cité to welcome an audience of blind and partially sighted people, and their companions, to attend one of our shows that included live audio description – a very profound experience and one we hope to further develop.
In the last two years alone, our mediation activities have been enjoyed by over 3,500 people – a number that we hope to multiply each year.
What ways does Ballets Jazz Montreal give back?
Pre and Post Show Discussions or Q&As
Often organized in partnership with the local theaters while on tour, pre- and post-show discussions are a way for audience members to ask questions and to gain a deeper understand of the underpinnings of the specific piece being performed, the choreographic process, the inspiration behind the particular movement language or the day-to-day activities of a professional dance company. Often led by our Artistic Director and numerous of our company dancers, these intimate sessions aim to break down possible barriers between the audience and artists and make art for accessible.
You can experience the excitement and intensity of the rehearsal studio when the company is in Montréal or while on tour! Ballet Jazz Montréal invites anyone to come and share a moment in the studio with our entire artistic team. This is a unique opportunity to see the various phases of the artistic process and to catch a glimpse into the world of a professional dance company.
Workshops for Older Adults
Ballets Jazz Montreal is committed to involving as many people as possible in dance, and movement workshops are a great opportunity to inspire a range of older adults to get involved with dance activities.
Dance is a great way to get your body moving, have fun, be creative, and increase your circle of friends. These workshops give us a chance to meet enthusiastic, open-minded people who are interested in movement and the benefits dance can have in their life. Absolutely no experience is needed to fully benefit from these intimate meetings.
Essentially, this experience is an introduction to dance often starting by a discussion, followed by a warm-up. The dance teacher will lead the group through a series of creative tasks to give everyone the chance to explore different styles of dance and ways of approaching movement. Participants will also have a chance to ask us any questions they may have about the movement or about the instructor.
Schools and Young Audiences
In an effort to share our knowledge, pass on our passion, and democratize dance to younger generations, Ballets Jazz Montréal offers a variety of activities to young people. We are equipped to provide various educational and engaging tools adapted to each age group (elementary, high school, and CEGEP) and to each need (open studio rehearsals, performances, meetings, workshops, etc.).
To learn more on how to participate or organize these activities, please contact Alexandra Kukuc at firstname.lastname@example.org.