A word from the artistic director

Two years ago, I started my word with: Contortion is not a gift! Contortion is a technical movement of the spine that is learned and controlled.

I still agree that contortion is not a gift, but I will no longer assert that contortion is a learned and controlled movement of the spine. For me, it is no longer an act, a knowledge, or a mastery, quite the opposite! It quietly becomes a release, an abandonment and a singular trust that we build with our body.

In recent years, thanks to the many encounters during workshops, travels, creations and their processes, contortion has certainly become for me an amplitude of the body, but an amplitude allowed thanks to an amplitude of the perception we have of the body. Discipline is defined in the way we wanted (by choice or against our will) to format our brains and, consequently, our bodies to evolve in society and meet the needs expected of our socio-historical-political environment. The body, governed by its inherent structure, has been built by ideologies, conditioning, myths and traumas. When I observe my learning of contortion, as it was not a gift or a malformation, I realize that it consisted mainly of reprogramming the brain in response to the survival signals my brain was sending me. It was a question of silencing the conditioning that had been integrated until then and restoring confidence in my body: letting it open up in its extremes as a place of renewal instead of a requirement of openness for a result. In this particular listening and in constant dialogue where my body becomes a real partner, I realize that what we conceive as extremes is ultimately a possibility of unlimited movements. Extremes, boundaries and delimitations therefore do not exist. These humanly created concepts establish a framework for a movement to constantly evolve between macro and micro. From now on, I speak of body arrangements (frequency relationship) rather than composition (image or defined figure). I still believe that the meaning of these bodies becomes more complex through their movements and their future in relation to space and the elements of representation and that the interpretations that are open to us are infinite.

Contortion as philosophy allows me to approach the space of the body, the black box and representation (meeting the spectator) by fundamentally questioning my relationship to them to open up an amplitude of possibilities, both immense and intimate, of interpretation. While this questioning intimately animates my next creation, I realize that this awareness informs and deeply transforms my practice towards a rather transdisciplinary research. It is the human being as part of nature that is at the heart of the process, and no longer discipline.

I create pieces so that they can be experienced and so that they can be immersed in the individual and collective imagination of both the creative team and the public. The multiple interpretations are for me immeasurably rich and stimulate the multiplicity of points of view, voices, and ideas. Dissensus is a much more important fertile ground than consensus, because dialogue opens without ever closing and remains dynamic as long as respect and listening are at the heart of all meetings.

I do not believe that we have a fixed identity, because we become through and in relation to others. The encounter, intergenerational, intercultural, intercommunity, interdisciplinary, can be conceived as intragenerational, intracultural, intracommunity and intradisciplinary, because we are ultimately made up of all those “others” without whom we do not exist.

In contrast to the simplistic and populist wave of global consumer and entertainment, the complexity of the nuanced discourses that lead to critical reflection is essential to me. Complexity and nuances do not in any way mean elitist, but open with discernment to a real inclusion that gives a voice to all, without reducing an idea in a generic way to finally flatten all the beauties of this world.

Andréane Leclerc, director & choreographer
Montreal, February 2019


Interested in interdisciplinarity and decompartmentalization of disciplines, Nadère arts vivants creates innovative and unique circus works that seek to question forms and genres.

Nadère contributes to the advancement and the recognition of the performing art, in Montreal and internationally, by placing research at the very center of its creative process and foster unusual artistic collaborations.

Under the artistic vision of Andréane Leclerc, Nadère wishes to become an independent experimentation platform; unconventional, experimental and open to other artistic approaches.

* Nadère arts vivants is a non-profit organization based in Montreal.

Nadère arts vivants

In 2013, in response to an international touring demand for the play Cherepaka, Andréane Leclerc, Geoffroy Faribault and Miriam Ginestier founded Nadère arts vivants.

Through inter-artist encounters and unusual collaborations, Nadère arts vivants keeps questioning and research at the heart of its mission. The works created by Andréane Leclerc are first presented at the Chicago Contemporary Circus Festival and then at Autopistes, and quietly make their way onto the contemporary interdisciplinary scene: Sismogràf Festival in Olot, Sala Hiroshima in Barcelona, Grand Cru Festival in Montreal, Palak Acropolis in Prague, Les Plateaux in Paris, Can Monroig in Mallorca. With original music by the English band The Tiger Lillies, The Whore of Babylon (2015) is co-produced by the Republique Theater in Copenhagen and performed at the Skirball Center in New York on the sidelines of APAP (2016). A work co-choreographed with the artist Dany Desjardins lead to the presentation of the play Sang Bleu at La Chapelle in Montreal in February 2018.

Nadère arts vivants begins today a process towards a large piece inspired by contortion not as a form or a knowledge, but rather as a philosophy. In this project, Nadère arts vivants collaborates among others with CEPRODAC in Mexico.

Nadère arts vivants is supported by choreographic residencies in Montréal (Théâtre LaChapelle, Studio 303, Maison de la Culture NDG) and international (La Métive en Creuse, Centro de las Artes de San Luis Potosi, Centro Arti Opificio Siri in Terni) and offers contortion workshops to physical artists – all disciplines combined, and acrobatic dialogue workshops to circus artists.

Andreane Leclerc

Choreographer-director and performer, Andréane is interested in human encounters that bring her into processes and interartistics, beyond disciplinarity. In an approach that deconstructs the spectacular, she seeks a material body devoid of form that evolves in sensation rather than sensationalism. Inspired by her 20 years of circus practice, she now thinks contortion as a philosophy and not as a skill. Politic by its non-conformity and its independence, Andréane likes to question and to reverse the concepts and the preconceived ideas, which form our reality, so to deconstruct the relations towards binary power and to see an attempt of humanity which reveals itself.

In 2013, she obtained a master’s degree from the theater department of UQAM treating of the dramaturgy of the contortionist corps. That same year, she founded the Nadère arts vivants company with her partner, Geoffroy Faribault, in order to continue her practice of research on the body by creating conceptual stage works (Di(x)parus, InSuccube, Bath House, Cherepaka, Mange-Moi The Whore of Babylon, Sang Bleu).

Andréane is regularly welcomed in a creative residency in Montreal (Studio 303, La Chapelle Theater, Notre-Dame-de-Grâce House of Culture, Espace Marie-Chouinard, O Vertigo Creation Center) and internationally (Main d’Oeuvres) in Paris, La Métive in Creuse, La Grainerie in Toulouse, CAOS in Terni, Centro de Las Artes in San Luis Potosi, New Dance Alliance in New York City).

At the same time, she develops a pedagogical practice (Studio 303 in Montreal, La Gata Circo in Bogota, CEPRODAC in Mexico City, La Grainerie in Toulouse), is guest choreographer for Anamdam Dance Theater in Toronto, acts as a dramaturg (Dialogue of Disobedience of/with Dana Dugan, 2018), creates Cirque OFF, a living manifesto for circus arts biodiversity in Montreal (Studio 303, 2017), and is a performer for various international projects (Variations pour une déchéance annoncée of Angela Konrad, The Tiger Lillies Perform Hamlet of Theater Republic, Cleopatra by Gerard Reyes).

To this day, she is starting a research project around the limits and delimitations.

Board of directors

President — Andréane Leclerc, Artistic director & co-général director, Nadère arts vivants
Vice President — Miriam Ginestier, Artistic & General Co-Director, Studio 303
Secretary — Geoffroy Faribault, International representative & co-général director, Nadère arts vivants
Treasurer — Constance de Grosbois, director, M&A at BMO Capital Markets
Administrator — Marie-Ève Poirier, CPA, CA, CFE, PSL Group
Administrator — Sarah De Rose, lawyer, Fasken Martineau