Foolish Operation’s vision is about creating togetherness
Our mandate is to create dance experiences that welcome babies, toddlers and their families in performances and workshops filled with irresistible invitations to participate. We collaborate with artists, educators and specialists to spark inspiration between communities, disciplines and fields of knowledge, using play in art-making as the glue.
Our values are togetherness, health, and learning.
Foundation: Foolish Operations Society was incorporated in 2016, as a not-for-profit society, on the ancestral and unceded Indigenous territories of the xʷməθkʷəjˀəm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and səl̓ilwətaɁɬ (Tsleil Waututh) First Nations, also known as Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
Board members: Brigid Portner (Chair), Adriana Contreras (Vice-Chair), Miriam Esquitín (Treasurer), Ingrid Broussillon (Secretary), Astrid Pedneault (Director at Large).
Artistic Direction: Julie Lebel
Julie Lebel is a Vancouver based choreographer invested in community engaged dance and in interactions between public space and community. She graduated from UQAM with a bachelor degree in Dance in 1998 and is based in Vancouver since 2005. Her choreography is shown across Canada in city centres and rural contexts, with dance, theatre and multi-disciplinary presenters, festivals and museums. Julie’s current touring projects are:
- Tricoter, a short form and site flexible interactive performance set within a knitting circle. This project benefited from the support of the Jouer Dehors program by La danse sur les routes du Québec. First presented at the Skampede Festival in 2016, it has been shown over 75 times in BC, NWT, ON and QC since.
- Paper Playground, a creation for the very young premiered at the Surrey Children International Festival in May 2017, touring BC, AB and NB in 2019. Presentation will resume in the spring of 2023.
- Moving Resting Nesting, a performance exploring the world of birds and trees, set in a park and using blankets, books and other magical objects to wonder about the natural world, together. The work was a commission of Surrey SPARK Stages that premiered in May 2022.
At the core of her practice, Julie facilitates the Foolish Operations Ensemble/Dancing the Parenting – an ongoing practice for parents to dance and perform with their young children. This project benefits from the ongoing support of the Vancouver Parks Board in the form of a permanent residency since 2010, which allows for weekly practices from September to June every year. As a bilingual project, it is also supported by the Department of Canadian Heritage to allow francophone and anglophone families to collaborate and exchange. We are also deeply grateful for the support of the City of Vancouver Cultural Office who were first to recognize the value of this work and support it financially starting in 2016.
In 2019, Julie obtained certification in Ensemble Thinking under Nina Martin – Texas and the Lower Left Collective. Ensemble Thinking is a set of collaborative group composition tools for ensemble improvisation. Julie is now a member of the Lower Left Collective along with members in USA, Germany and Norway and Canada .cJulie was studying with mentor Karen Jamieson – Vancouver (embodied facilitation and Energy Body practice, from 2012-2019) and continues to consult mentor Patricia Reedy (Luna Dance Institute, CA, for her expertise in early years relationship-based dance curriculum, since 2014).
From February 2016 to August 2018, Julie was Manager of Community Engagement at Made in BC – Dance on Tour. Since 2008, Julie is active in the development of initiatives to support francophone dance artists outside of Québec with a focus on increasing touring and presentations opportunities in francophone communities outside of Québec. Since 2005, Julie has been active as a board member (until 2010), and now as a volunteer and consultant for CADA-West to improve working conditions for dance artists. She is particularly involved in the Fees and Rates and in the new Basic Dance Agreement projects.
In these documents you can find Foolish Operations’ latest COVID-19 health protocols. The Google doc format allows us to adapt them according to the latest health measures and restrictions.