For two years of her employment with UQAM, the university lent her to Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, which was having administrative difficulties. Renaud initially did not want to go because she did not think she was the right person for the job, but eventually was convinced by her employers and friends, and perhaps her own restless sense of adventure, to see what she could contribute to the province’s major ballet company as its co-director with Linda Stearns. As dance historian Iro Tembeck has noted, “the situation was certainly paradoxical: here was an acknowledged experimentalist heading Quebec’s most established classical company.” Wanting to encourage Les Grands Ballets to present more contemporary choreography, she commissioned works by artists such as Paul-André Fortier, Linda Rabin and Ginette Laurin. Renaud was able to program some of these less traditional works into Les Grands Ballets Canadiens’ seasons, but for the most part the audiences were more interested in the classical ballet repertoire. Full evenings of avant-garde work were not successful with the subscribers, and Renaud was asked by the company’s Board to leave. She returned to UQAM to teach for one more year and then decided to retire.
©2009, Dance Collection Danse
Jeanne Renaud Exhibition Curators: Ray Ellenwood and Allana Lindgren
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Montreal Mayor Jean Drapeau With Renaud and Stearns, 1985