Canada’s Ballet Jörgen has always been dedicated to supporting the advancement and appreciation of original Canadian choreography. Throughout our 30 years we have worked with some of Canada’s best choreographers to support the creation of new works, many of which we have been include in our Mixed Repertoire performances over the years. The Mixed Repertoire program allow us to feature new and exciting contemporary works, and since it’s debut in 2013 Robert Desrosier’s Bouffonia has been a staple of the program. Robert Desrosiers is an internationally renowned dancer and choreographer, known for his imagination and artistry. Canada’s Ballet Jörgen is honoured to have in our repertoire two of Robert’s original works, commissioned specifically for our company. On Saturday, October 14 CBJ will be bringing this year’s mixed program, Bouffonia and other Classical & Contemporary Canadian Works, to the Roxy Theatre in Owen Sound, ON. In advance of the performance we asked CEO and Artistic Director Bengt Jörgen about the creation of Bouffonia and working with Canadian dance legend Robert Desrosiers.


Canada's Ballet Jörgen Bouffonia
Bernhard Rea Taylor


I first met Robert in the early eighties when he had his own dance company Desrosier Dance Theatre – I would go and see their shows and knew several of his dancers. I had seen a beautiful dance piece that Robert had showcased at an Ontario Contact very late in his company’s existence – it stuck with me and I knew that I would like Robert to create something similar for Ballet Jörgen.

Robert Desrosiers back in the limelight with Bouffonia (Michael Crabb, The Toronto Star)

When I approached Robert in 2007 I asked him to choreograph a pure dance work, rather than one using a lot of theatrical imagery which is one of his hallmarks. That work became Rendezvous; it was very moving and as with most of his works very well received. Robert and the dancers seemed to work very well together too, so I approached him again in 2013 and asked him to create a much larger work and longer work that would become Bouffonia.

Ballet Jörgen’s Formation is full of energy and expression (Paula Citron, The Globe & Mail)

Bouffonia brings ballet to the Anne Portnuff (Devin Wilger, Yorkton this Week)

After seeing the first full performance of Bouffonia I was so moved, and I really want the audience to feel that too. I hope that the audience will recognize through this piece that dance is fun, touching and inspiring – this is what I walked away from Bouffonia with, and I hope they will too.

Get a sneak preview of Bouffonia:


Our anniversary marks 30 years of supporting the appreciation and development of original Canadian choreography. Learn more about our choreography support programs here. Please consider joining us in our 30-year birthday celebration with a gift of $30!