Dancing in Montreal: Seeds of a Choreographic History

by Iro Tembeck

Translated from the French and revised by the author

French couple dancingThis volume examines the history of professional dance in the province of Quebec, and specifically in the city of Montreal, during the past six decades. As a cultural metropolis, Montreal has been the site of virtually all of the province’s creative activities in dance, to the point that the terms Quebec dance and Montreal dance are often used interchangeably in this book. Beginning with the Great Depression of the 1930s, Iro Tembeck investigates the origins of dance creativity in Montreal, traces its growth and increasing diversity over the years, and describes the explosion of dance activity during the 1980s that excited such national and international attention.

In the course of sowing her "seeds of a choreographic history," Tembeck examines the complex web of artistic, social, and political forces that have made Montreal one of North America’s most vibrant dance centers. She moves easily within the many dance worlds of this most cosmopolitan of Canadian cities, at once Francophone and Anglophone, and among its practitioners of dance idioms ranging from ballet to modern dance and its many postmodern progeny. Tembeck writes with the eye of a critic, the judiciousness of a historian, and the sensory radar of an ethnographer. The result is an exemplary study of multiple cultures inhabiting, not always amicably, a contested urban space.

Iro Tembeck is an international scholar with an international reputation. Born in Egypt and educated there and in the United States, she lives in Canada and has been writing prolifically about Quebec dance, in French and in English, since the early 1980s. This is her first book.

Title: Dancing in Montreal
Author: Iro Tembeck
Pub date: 1994
8.5 x 11 in., 160 pp., 60 illus.
ISBN 0-9653519-3-9

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