Ewe won’t believe it! The bizarre Canadian dance troupe that is bewildering audiences by pretending to be SHEEP for half an hour
- A Toronto-based dance group act out a pastoral performance live on the streets
- The group says its aim is to present a ‘surrealistic overview of sheep behaviour’
- They have performed in China, Israel, India, South Africa and the Artic Circle
A bizarre spectacle greeted the folk of Shawinigan, Québec over the weekend.
A shepherd could be seen leading a flock of creatures with farmyard bells swinging from their neck, filling the air with the sound of baaaaa and chewing on greens when they arrived at their pen.
But it wasn’t a flock of sheep that had come grazing around the streets of Québec, but a Toronto-based group performing an immersive art project called ‘Les Moutons’.
In the performance, actors dressed as sheep are led around the city by their shepherd, who takes them to a pen before ‘shearing’ them.
There, he might feed the ‘sheep’ lettuce which they eagerly chew on, lapping up the greens from the hands of audience members.
He also ‘milks’ the sheep — via a mechanism which remains a secret to the audience.
A Toronto-based dance group called ‘Les Moutons’ is commonly seen grazing around the streets of Canada, where actors dress as sheep and act out a pastoral performance live
The group says its aim is to take the audience through a ‘surrealistic overview of sheep behaviour’
‘We do half-an-hour in the life of sheep, without any commentary’ said the company’s artistic director and co-founder, David Danzon, who formed the dance group Corpus in 1997 with artistic partner Sylvie Bouchard.
‘Les Moutons’ doesn’t boast any particular ethos on its website, solely focusing on the performance for artistic purposes.
The group says its aim is to take the audience through a ‘surrealistic overview of sheep behaviour.’
It certainly does just that, with the group finding audiences all over the world to watch the strange performances.
Passersby were recorded saying children will stand for hours watching the group.
On some occasions, a ‘wolf’ appears — frightening the sheep — and hunting down one of their number before the shepherd chases it away.
The sheep can be seen trembling after their brush with death.
In the performance, actors dressed as sheep are led around the city by a Shepard, who takes them to a pen before ‘shearing’ them.
On some occasions, a ‘wolf’ appears — frightening the sheep — and hunting down one of their number before the shepherd chases it away
‘I was instantly attracted to the humour of it, and the absurdity,’ said actor and dancer Jolyane Langlois, who performs as one of the sheep.
Other actors said they were interested in the ‘technique of sheep’ and the performative side of the dance.
The group holds auditions before every show, looking for actors who have a background in dance before they can join the flock.
‘Les Moutons’ have performed hundreds of times in more than 30 countries including India, China, Israel and the Arctic circle.
The performance was nominated for the Dora Mavor Moore Award for outstanding choreography in 2003.
The ‘sheep’ took their performance digital with the farmer chasing away the wolf via a Zoom link this time
Ditching Zoom, the group plans on performing live in Germany, the US and Japan for the rest of 2022
When the pandemic hit, the sheep performers were not deterred. They took their performance digital — with the farmer chasing away the wolf via a Zoom link this time.
The group has expanded to include a more diverse range of shows, premiering a new performance at Edinburgh Fringe this year called ‘La Bulle’.
Many of the cast are from abroad, coming to settle in Canada from countries such as Germany.
The group plans on performing in Germany, the US and Japan for the rest of 2022.