Virginie Brunelle



Roozbeh Tabandeh


Choreographer Virginie Brunelle and composer Roozbeh Tabandeh are presenting the fruits of their joint creation. Danced by Sophie Breton and music performed by Marcelle Mallette.

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Choreographer : Virginie Brunelle

Born in 1982, Montérégie native Virginie Brunelle first studied violin as a child and went on to play in the Orchestre des jeunes de la Montérégie as well as in a string quartet, where she fostered a love for the power of rhythm and the pleasure of performance. Impelled by this new- found musical knowledge, she auditioned and was accepted into the dance program at Cégep de Drummondville in 2002. In the years that followed, Virginie Brunelle explored a variety of choreographic techniques and styles, most notably as a student at UQAM, where she first embraced contemporary dance.

After graduating in 2008, Virginie Brunelle created Les cuisses à l’écart du cœur, a choreography for seven dancers that earned the 2009 Bourse RIDEAU at the Vue sur la Relève festival. Emboldened by this initial success, she founded her eponymous company (Compagnie Virginie Brunelle) in 2009, and in the same year created a second work, Foutrement, which won the 2017 Prix du public presented by the CAM en tournée (CAM touring program). In 2011, Virginie Brunelle opened La Chapelle’s fall season with the presentation of her third work, Complexe des genres, which received second prize at Denmark’s prestigious Aarhus International Choreography Competition. Three years later, she presented PLOMB, and in 2016 she created À la douleur que j’ai. These four works have since been toured across Europe and Canada, thus allowing the choreographer to gain recognition on the world stage, culminating in an invitation, in 2018, to create a show for the Gauthier Dance Theaterhaus Stuttgart company. The result was Beating, a work that was first presented in Germany, with a Canadian tour scheduled in 2018-2019. Finally, in 2020, she created Les corps avalés, a piece for seven dancers accompanied on stage by the Quatuor Molinari. Presented by Danse Danse at Théâtre Maisonneuve, this work was a great success with critics and spectators alike.

From the outset of her career, Virginie Brunelle takes pleasure in fusing symbols, theatre, narration, movement and music. Her organic and intuitive approach has given rise to a repertoire characterized by raw emotion on the part of the dancers and an abiding humanity reflected in the themes she addresses.

Composer : Roozbeh Tabandeh

Roozbeh Tabandeh is an Iranian composer, born in Shiraz and now living in Montreal. Having a Master’s degree in architecture, he is also known as an interdisciplinary artist, conductor, violinist and Iranian Santur player. He studied music composition at Concordia University under the supervision of Sandeep Bhagwati and Georges Dimitrov. At the same time, he extended his violin technique with Clemens Merkel. Before moving to Canada, he studied music composition and performance with some of the best-known Iranian musicians including Hossein Dehlavi, Kambiz Roshan Ravan, Arsalan Kamkar, Shojaeldin Lashkarloo, Masud Gharib Zadeh, and Masih Mosallai. He has also participated in conducting masterclasses held by Manuchehr Sahbai (former conductor of Tehran symphony orchestra). In March 2019 he received the Frederick Lowy Scholars Fellowship to conduct his Ph.D. research-creation project on the subject of interrelations between music and architecture, and the notion of space in Iranian auditory culture under the supervision of Professor Sandeep Bhagwati at Concordia University, in Montreal.

Tabandeh established “Hengam Orchestra” in Shiraz, Iran which was active for nearly ten years, conducting the orchestra from 2002 to 2011. Later, he founded the “Hengam String Quartet” in which he played the first violin for numerous performances and concert tours presenting western classical repertoire as well as Iranian art music. He has been the artistic director of many concerts and stage works in both Canada and Iran.

His compositional style is a blending of Western Eurological art music with several elements of Iranian national music as he brings the experience of several musical cultures and artistic disciplines to his work as a composer and instrumentalist. His music has deep roots in both worlds and combines his extensive experience in Western music theory with that of the traditional Iranian. He is now exploring solutions to the challenges and issues of composing in a globalized culture.

Tabandeh’s compositions are performed and recorded by a number of ensembles around the world including the Quatuor Bozzini in Montreal, Ensemble Arkea under the baton of Dina Gilbert, Orchestre Symphonique de l’Isle with Cristian Gort as the conductor, and the Iran String Orchestra under the direction of Manuchehr Sahbai.

Dancer : Sophie Breton

Musician : Marcelle Mallette on the violin