Christiane Bélanger, is a Canadian ballerina, choreographer and ballet director. She created fourteen ballets and founded four classical dance organizations.
Christiane Bélanger trained in classical dance, taking courses at the Kataline Molnar Ballet School. She danced in Quebec with the Kataline Molnar Ballet Theatre in 1979 (ages 4 to 14), Frances James (of the London Royal Ballet) in 1982 (ages 14 to 17), the École supérieure de danse de Québec (under the direction of Sylvie Pagé) in 1985 (age 20), as well as the Ballet Pavillon and L’Entrechat (under the direction of Diane Thibaudeau) in 1987, while perfecting her classical training in Toronto from 1979 to 1982. She also trained with José Limón (1986), Lynn Simonson (1986-1987), Eugene Louis Falco (1988) and Louise Lecavalier (1998).
Career as a Dancer and Choreographer
In 1979, she became a soloist with the Ballet Pavillon company under the direction of Frances James (of the London Royal Ballet). She danced in Quebec, Canada and France. In 1982, after a serious accident, she discovered contemporary dance, which she incorporated in classical ballet to create a more modern approach that was best suited to her body. Since 1995, Christiane Bélanger has created and produced classical ballet productions as artistic director and choreographer. Her first ballet was Dracula, created for Marilène Fortin, a talented young student who then left for Russia to study at the Mariinsky Theatre. She worked closely with several professionals from the arts industry, including Dominique Martens, Sylvie Roussel, Dominic Laprise, Marie Dumais, Jean Gaudreau, Carole Baillargeon, Daniel Gougeon, Daniel Bélanger and Pierre Poulin, her spouse and founder of ISF Entertainment, to stage her productions.
Christiane Bélanger was also assistant director at Quebec City’s Ballets Dansart under the direction of Loraine Lefebvre.
She also worked as a choreography director for international productions: Salute to Broadway (2007), an ice show at the Ricoh Coliseum in Toronto (with ISF Entertainment), a diving show at Water Country USA, a site linked to Busch Gardens Williamsburg in Virginia, as well as Six Flags amusement parks in Texas and New Mexico in collaboration with ISF Entertainment.
Founder of Ballet Companies and Schools
In 1989, Christiane Bélanger founded a dance school called Christiane Bélanger-Danse, exclusively dedicated to classical ballet and using the Vaganova method. That school is certified by Quebec City. It offers integrated arts programs in collaboration with some Quebec primary and secondary schools and colleges, as well as professional training in classical dance, to students interested in pursuing a career. Since 2013, the integrated arts program has been offered in collaboration with the Cégep Garneau. In April 2017, the school was renamed École du ballet de Québec.
In early 1996, the end of activities at the Danse Partout company created a void in Quebec’s dance community. In November 1997, Christiane Bélanger, in partnership with Sylvie Roussel, developed a dance promotion and outreach project called Ancrage, a collective of eleven independent choreographers from the Quebec City area, presented by the choreographic centre La Rotonde.
Contemporary dance was then burgeoning and a neoclassical company was created in 2001, the Compagnie Christiane Bélanger. This company produced shows until 2008. In 2005, the Ballet de Québec was born out of the Compagnie Christiane Bélanger, becoming dedicated to classical ballet. On August 1, 2002, she inaugurated the Centre Uriel, which has a multidisciplinary focus and would officially become the leading specialized presenter of classical ballet in Quebec City in 2014.
In 2015, she also established the École de mécanique corporelle du Québec in response to requests from different athletes to help them better control their body. Among other things, she teaches freestyle skiing teams from Quebec and Canada, as well as synchronized swimmers from Québec Excellence Synchro for the Quebec and Canada teams. .
In 2012, Christiane Bélanger partnered with French dancer and choreographer Jacques Marsa, who occasionally gave master classes at her school, to create an international ballet competition in Quebec. In May 2015, a first edition of the Petipa International Competition was held. She subsequently ended this collaboration and set up a new competition called International Ballet Competition of Canada in Québec.
Source : Wikipedia (May 6th, 2019) (translated from French)