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Partnering Workshop: Level 1

1:30PM to 5:00PM

Parbleux Studio, 5425, Casgrain Avenue, #200, Montreal

The registration period is over

Whether you are a dancer, choreographer, dance teacher or rehearsal director – beginner or advanced – this workshop is an opportunity for you to learn or deepen important partnering notions. We want to understand and explain how to execute different kinds of partnering work expressively, efficiently, and safely.

We will present important biomechanics principals and introduce language to become aware of, name and share different experiences. The work isn’t to learn a couple of lifts, but to develop tools and a practice that will allow us to execute all lifts.

We will offer the pedagogical digital book Art et technique du travail de partenaires to be used as a reference and learning support throughout the workshop. The cost of the book is included in the workshop fee.



The workshop runs for twenty-one (21) hours, alternating between theory and practice.

For those who observe professional dancers in their work – choreographers, teachers, and rehearsal directors – special attention will be given to developing observation skills to better support the dancers they work with.

As partner work requires a partner, the instructor will work with an assistant. This person will demonstrate exercises and can partner with a participant if an uneven number of dancers are present.


  • Classify lifts and their different mechanics.
  • Divide lifts into stages.
  • Learn important biomechanics principals.
  • Watch videos to learn or deepen lift analysis.
  • Consider the inherent esthetics of the mechanics of each type of lift.
  • Watch videos to understand the relation between mechanical choices and artistic proposals.


  • Experiment to illustrate different types of lifts.
  • Experiment to illustrate the biomechanics of different lifts.
  • Experiment to understand the incidence of different applications of biomechanics principals on lift execution.
  • “Bring a lift” workshop: a practical application of theory on examples from the dancers’ repertory.

Observation Work (for those working as outside eyes)

  • Observe practical exercise described above to develop one’s capacity to:
    • Identify different issues,
    • Use theory to determine the possible causes of these issues,
    • Suggest relevant solutions.
  • Discuss with the instructor how to support dancers in resolving issues.

Learning Objectives

  • Recognize, name, and classify different types of lifts and their primary biomechanics.
  • Associate the important biomechanics principals to consider in the execution of each type of lift.
  • Discuss different phenomena at play in partner work, in one’s own experience or as experienced by others.
  • Adapt an efficient and safe working method for any lift situation.
  • For those working as outside eyes, effectively support dancers working under your supervision.


  • Monday, February 20, 2023, 1:30 PM to 5 PM (3.5 h)
  • Wednesday, February 22, 2023, 1:30 PM to 5 PM (3.5 h)
  • Friday, February 24, 2023, 1:30 PM to 5 PM (3,5h)
  • Monday, February 27, 2023, 1:30 PM to 5 PM (3,5h)
  • Wednesday, March 1, 2023, 1:30 PM to 5 PM (3.5 h)
  • Friday, March 3, 2023, 1:30 PM to 5 PM (3.5 h)

Who should attend this training?

This workshop is for professional dancers, as well as choreographers, rehearsal directors and dance teachers who have not had specific training in partnering or who would like to refresh their skills.



Sylvain Lafortune © Laurent Theillet

 © Laurent Theillet

Sylvain Lafortune has been compelled by partnering since 1972. Throughout his rich dance career that carried him all over the world in masterworks of the classical and contemporary repertoires, he was most celebrated in his partner work. His skills and sensibility have inspired the creation of many original duets, including by Concerto 622 and Fandango, as well as In Paradisum and Désir by James Kudelka.

Since 1999, he has regularly offered classes and workshops in several post-secondary institutions, universities, dance schools and conservatories all over the world. His teaching is now part of the program at the École de danse contemporaine de Montréal (EDCM) and the École de danse de Québec.


This workshop is offered by the Regroupement québécois de la danse. It is made possible through financial support from the Gouvernement du Québec and Compétence Culture, comité sectoriel de main-d’œuvre en culture.