La gigue en souvenir makes the past come alive through a journey inspired by the energy, the complexity and the vigour of the traditional dance from Québec. Six dancers perform on the music of Les Charbonniers de l’enfer, reinventing the folk tradition of the “gigue” in a contemporary fashion. This dance, created by Sylvie Bouchard (with Mélissandre Tremblay-Bourassa for the final section) becomes a bridge between past and present and an ode to this most expressive of heritage. Join us for this rich and invigorating experience.


  • Choreography: Sylvie Bouchard
  • Musique: Les charbonniers de l’enfer
  • Costumes: Nina Okens

We offer three ways in which to present La gigue en souvenir:

A- The performance
This 10-minute piece includes 6 dancers (3 men and 3 women) and is choreographed on music by Les Charbonniers de l’enfer. Rhythmic and unifying, La gigue en souvenir can be danced on concrete, cement, or on a flat lawn surface.

B- Square dance workshop with a caller, followed by the performance
A 45-minute square dance workshop is offered just before the performance. Any person of any age can attend the workshop. No dance or square dance experience is required, nor particular clothing; people are only advised to wear comfortable shoes and clothes. Participants don’t have to register in advance. Come and take part in the workshop and then watch the performance.

C – Dance workshop with a group of local young dancers, and the performance that includes these young dancers.
This workshop is made for young members of a local school of dance, aged 12 to 14. These young dancers will learn one section of La gigue en souvenir that will have been choreographed especially for them. This section will then be integrated to the piece and will be presented during the show, with the professional dancers. An even number of participants (between 8 and 12) is required.


Sylvie Bouchard’s wonderful La gigue en souvenir evokes a summer evening in a francophone community centre. The dance is lively and celebratory, a hoedown for particularly light-footed and strong-limbed performers. Seated at the picnic table, Neena Jayarajan was no wall-flower. When her turn came, she performed alone, doing classical Indian dance moves to the same music. It was a surprising development, the music somehow making the perfect accompaniment to the eastern dance. The sense of community expressed in this dance makes an appropriate wrap-up to an evening of dancing for families in the park.” – Susan Walker, The Toronto Star

Dusk Dances founder Sylvie Bouchard’s La gigue en souvenir, animated by the lively Quebecois folk songs of traditionalist a capella group Les charbonniers de l’enfer, is so infectiously spirited that two girls in the crowd on Tuesday couldn’t resist dancing along.” – Michael Crabb, The National Post

Performance history

First commissioned by Dusk Dances in 2008, and was then remounted for Dusk Dances 2010.



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