À petits pas: Meeting between Children and Elders (Part 1)

Festival Quartiers Danses (FQD) takes as its mission to democratize contemporary dance. In order to do so, our cultural mediators visit people who have limited access to dance all year-round. The FQD therefore offers regular workshops and special projects to various community centres, CPEs (daycare centres), and senior’s residences. These special projects unfold over several months and are tailored to a specific organisation, to its members needs and capacities. This year, we chose to further develop À petit pas,  a project nominated by Intergénérations Québec during its «Semaine québécoise intergénérationnelle».

A pilot project in 2018 brought together residents of Saint Henri CHSLD and children from CPE De la Dame. À petit pas is workshop series which aims to encourage the discovery of physical expression and movement for children and elders, first in separate groups, then through intergenerational gatherings.

Thanks to financial support from Caisses Desjardins Coeur-de-l’Île and Plateau-Mont-Royal, as well as Sud-Ouest Borough, the intergenerational workshops have now taken place in four neighbourhoods: Saint-Henri, Petite Bourgogne, the Plateau, and Rosemont. À petit pas 2019 thus brings together CPEs De la Dame, La Garde Amis, St Louis, Les Gardelunes, and Galijode with CHSLDs Saint-Henri, Des Seigneurs, Bruchési, Auclair, and Robert-Cliche. Cultural mediators Laure Barrachina and Letizia Binda-Partensky have traveled to these centers along five guest dancers: Cara Roy, Kristen Cere, Julie Tymchuk, Roxanne Dupuis, and Maryline Cyr.

Each workshop series begins with three or four meetings in CPEs and CHSLDs around the theme of emotions. For children, these workshops explore movements that express joy, fear, sadness, or anger, and raise awareness to surrounding space, rhythm, and working with one or two partners. For elders, exercises are designed to awaken often forgotten body parts, inviting movement through mirroring and through music from then and now.

The meeting between the groups occurs during an initial informal workshop, allowing paticipants to get to know one other in a relaxed atmosphere. Children are gradually invited to work with the elders, letting dance bring the generations together.

Next : Breaking Isolation (Part 2)