Vision: Discovering and creating dance experiences together.

Mission statement:
Foolish Operations is a non-profit society creating and discovering new dance experiences where professionals and non-professionals, young and old alike are capable, make choices and solve problems, lead and follow, create and collaborate. Our work is inter-generational, inter-subjective, place-based, and often involves families. We celebrate children as agents of their own creative choices. We explore the power of play to re-shape reality through dance and related arts in performances, installations, workshops and classes. We research and develop the field of community engaged arts and dance education as well as share our best practices with artists, educators and organizations through conferences and workshops.

Board members: Brigid Portner (Chair), Adriana Contreras (Vice-Chair), Miriam Esquitín (Treasurer), Miri Alony (Secretary).

Artistic Direction: Julie Lebel

Location: Based in Vancouver, the artists of Foolish Operations gratefully acknowledge that they are living and dancing on the ancestral and unceded Indigenous territories of the xʷməθkʷəjˀəm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and səl̓ilwətaɁɬ (Tsleil Waututh) First Nations.


JulieLebelHeadShot_2017_Photo Credit©Riz Herboza_6570_webres

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 solo for unusual spaces performed within a knitting circle and part of the new Des arts dehors program by Made in BC – Dance on Tour and Jouer Dehors by La danse sur les routes du Québec. First presented at the Skampede Festival in 2016, it has been shown over 40 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 as well as QC and ON in the spring of 2020.

At the core of her practice, Julie facilitates the Foolish Operations Ensemble/Dancing the Parenting, an ongoing practice for parents dancing and performing with their young children. This project benefits from the ongoing support from The Vancouver Park Board in the form of a permanent residency since 2010, which allows for weekly practices from September to June every year.

In 2019, Julie obtained certification in Ensemble Thinking under Nina Martin – Texas and the Lower Left Company (USA, Germany). Ensemble Thinking is a set of highly collaborative group composition tools for ensemble improvisation. Julie is now a member of the Lower Left Collective.

Her mentors are Karen Jamieson – Vancouver (embodied facilitation and Energy Body practice, since 2012) and 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 2005, Julie is active as board member, 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. Since 2008, Julie is active in the development of initiatives to support francophone dance artists outside of Quebec and was the imitator behind the Des arts dehors program in BC.