Founded by choreographer Hélène Blackburn in 1989, Cas Public is dedicated mainly to creating and producing choreographic works in the contemporary dance segment for young audiences. After more
than 25 years of research, the company’s work manifests as a condensed series of observations on the enigma that is the human condition. Hélène Blackburn’s fiery choreographic language, where
intense physical engagement meets an innate theatrical sense, breaks intentionally from established codes and brings a critical yet compassionate eye to bear on humanity.
Cas Public is recognized for the intensity of its dance and its virtuosity. Its team practices a demanding dance that questions the role and renewal of creative techniques used in classical and
contemporary dance. Keeping a distance from conceptual currents, Hélène Blackburn and her collaborators endeavour to create a vibrant art fully invested in the dancing body. This bias is rooted
in a desire to keep the art accessible, intelligent and intelligible. Cas Public has earned widespread recognition both in Canada and on the international stage. The company gives more than 100
shows per year, half of which are presented internationally. Cas Public has also developed a vast expertise in cultural mediation.
“I believe the creator’s approach revolves around one or two obsessions. From my beginnings as a choreographer, the notion of testing physical limitations and the issue of virtuosity and its
effects on the audience member’s perception have always gone to the heart of my artistic approach. Articulating this guiding principle drives my research on movement via dance technique. My
choreographic approach is to question the dancing body’s limitations and expressive abilities based on the mechanics of danced movement. This anchoring in technique can defy classification;
neo-classical for a contemporary perspective, contemporary from a classical perspective. Steeped in the contemporary, at first, I gradually gravitated back to the classical roots of my training,
developing a language that blends classical and contemporary dance techniques.
Conversely, it seemed necessary, from the outset, to mark this clear difference between my works for adults and those for children. With time and practice, however, I was able to forge a
different path, that of inclusion. Cas Public found a unique path where dance for the greater public meets dance for children and youth. We advocate for a shared art for adults and children
alike. In articulating this principle, our dance has taken on its shape and meaning. Our intention is to venture out and meet new audiences at the local level and put forward innovative projects
that promote the development of dance. Drawing on these principles, therefore, my next creative cycle, for the first time since the company was founded, will be dedicated entirely to childhood
and youth, albeit within this broader inclusive vision that allows me to appeal to young and adult audiences alike.”
— Hélène Blackburn, General & Artistic Director