Isabelle Kirouac is an award-winning interdisciplinary choreographer, dance artist, acrobatic stilt walker and movement educator. She holds an MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts from Simon Fraser University, and taught as well as presented her artistic work across Canada, in the USA, Spain, Germany, the UK, Estonia, Colombia, Mexico, Senegal, Palestine and Israël. Isabelle has been teaching movement practices to young people of all ages since 2004, often leading to the creation of performance work in collaboration with the students. Isabelle shares her artistic practice in an innovative, stimulating and non-competitive environment. As a movement educator, her approach is inspired by various techniques, including dance improvisation, contemporary dance, partnering techniques (Contact Improvisation), partner acrobatics, physical theater, site-specific installation, somatic practices, stilt-walking and voice work. She offers students the opportunity to move together, create artistic material that respects their interests and their bodies, and develop new technical skills through play. Isabelle taught youth workshops through the Dance Center, Vancouver International Children's Festival, North Van Arts, Port Moody Arts Center, Still Moon Arts Society, Runaway Moon Theatre, Conseil Scolaire Francophone de la Colombie-Britannique, CCAFCB, Franco-Cultural Association of Yellowknife, Association Franco-Yukonnaise, Arcata Playhouse (USA), and more.
For a decade Isabelle has taught dance and acrobatic stilts to youth through Still Moon Arts Society, creating interdisciplinary shows in collaboration with them for the annual Renfrew Ravine Moon Festival. She proved herself to be an intelligent and sensitive teacher, equally comfortable in developing solid technique and in exploring unusual pathways and challenging her students to also work outside the box. Over the last two years, I also hired her to create a performing arts training for a group of kids hired to perform at the Vancouver International Children's Festival. She co-directed Lost & Found: Stories of Still Creek with me, a site-specific interdisciplinary performance mixing professional artists and youth, inspired by the landscape and residents of Still Creek. The artistic work that Isabelle creates is thoughtful, skillful and extremely appreciated by the local community. She has been significantly impacting the creative development and education of youths in our neighborhood. Carmen Rosen, Artistic Director, Still Moon Arts Society
We had the pleasure to collaborate with Isabelle on several occasions, in particular during the artist residency Caravane des Arts. In this project, she toured across francophone BC schools, teaching in collaboration with five other artists. Working with Isabelle was a great experience. She is dedicated, professional and at ease working with various age groups. Isabelle brings her art with passion and it shows! Jean-François Packwood, Executive Director, Conseil Culturel Artistique Francophone de la Colombie-Britannique
It has been a joy having Isabelle at our school as we explored being Birds on Stilts. She has infused our classrooms with a sense of wonder, play and curiousity. Through collaborating with Isabelle, it was clear that she is flexible, dependable and well organized. Isabelle is a skillful and passionate artist. She is knowledgeable about her craft. She is able to communicate clearly and fluently in both English and French. Isabelle has a caring rapport with the students. The students were able to take risks and trust her completely as they explored the stilt work. Isabelle provided encouragement and fostered creativity as the students worked on their bird choreographies. Isabelle is a true professional, a dedicated artist and an engaged educator. Anita Lau and Lisa Chang Dar Woon, Teachers, Grade ¾ , English and French, Mitchell Elementary School, Richmond
Depending on the students' interests, I can offer classes in creative dance, movement improvisation, physical theatre, acrobatic dance and/or stilt-walking. Movement scores in relationship to a specific theme or curriculum subject chosen by the school can be integrated into each class. In addition, several short performances featuring the chosen theme can be created in collaboration with the students and presented in front of a school audience. Depending on time, ressources and interests, the performance may incorporate props and/or costumes. Suitable for Kindergarten to Grade 12.
Through this workshop, students will work indoors and/or outdoors, exploring the way in which architecture, space and the ecology of a place influence their moving bodies. Guided through warm-ups, movement improvisations, task-based scores, experimental map-making, drawing and writing exercises, students will tune into all of their senses and create artistic material in response to a chosen site. This workshop can lead to a series of short site-specific performances presented to classmates or be offered as a longer residency and culminate in a school presentation. The site(s) will be chosen in collaboration with the teachers. Examples of sites: park, playground, classroom, library, etc. In order to contextualize this work and encourage place-based learning, an Indigenous guest artist will be invited to share their knowledge of the chosen site and their relationship to its ecology. This workshop can also be offered in collaboration with a naturalist and/or with a focus in mycology if desired. Suitable for Grades 3-12.
Through the Bird Project, students develop a series of short performances inspired by local birds. In this process, students will learn how to walk on stilts and explore bird anatomy and migration patterns by embodying specific bird movements and behaviors. They will create bird choreography, animate costumes and masks, build original bird puppets, learn bird songs and dances from a guest Indigenous artist, research their chosen bird with a guest ornithologist and devise collaborative performances integrating these elements. The project will culminate in a bird celebration, including short original performance presentations, which will showcase what they have learned through the process. Suitable for Grades 3-6.