Jeanne Renaud

1995 Lifetime Artistic Achievement (Dance)

Renowned dancer and choreographer Jeanne Renaud is a key founder of modern dance in Quebec. Throughout her long and distinguished career, "Jeannot," as she is affectionately known, has embraced all aspects of the arts, including music, visual arts, poetry and theatre.

She was a participant in the intellectual ferment among artists struggling to bring modernity to post-war Quebec. It was her own work, however, launched by a daring performance of modern dance with Françoise Sullivan in Montreal in 1946, that made dance part of this contemporary movement. She went on to co-found the école moderne de danse de Montréal (1962) and then Le Groupe de la Place Royale, where she was Artistic Director and Choreographer. Art for her meant collaboration, and she commissioned new music, designs and costumes for all her works. Her gift was in the integration of many creative sources into a piece. Always ready to take risks, her devotion to the encouragement of creativity in herself and others has been central to her life.

A former co-artistic director of Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, university professor, Canada Council member, and winner of the Prix Denise-Pelletier, today she continues a lively and eclectic existence as a dance advisor and lecturer, and supporter of all the arts.